Julkaistu 2. heinäkuu.
Call of Duty 2 is one of the best games in the series and for good reasons. While overused by today's games, the regenerative health system introduced in COD2 is balanced in a way that allows the action to keep moving in an exhilarating pace. This new health system prevents the frustration of getting hit by a stray bullet and having to backtrack through the level to find a health pack. The new enemy AI has been upgraded to balance the lax health system. Enemies use grenades to flush out stationary players, flanking tactics to overwhelm defenders, and melee charges to elminate invaders. Players are taught to enter buildings with caution, as enemies are known to hide around corners for a lethal surprise. Smoke grenades have been introduced to allow the player to cloak their advancement through open areas that are defended by enemy machine guns.
The objectives, though scripted, are varied enough to spread the work load to your teammates from time to time. At certain points, teammates will use machine gun placements to help defend an area or use smoke grenades to help advance. The player still has to do the majority of the objectives but little moments like those give the idea that the war was won with team effort a little merit.
Call of Duty 2 is by all means not a realistic war game but it is a war simulator. The COD series never strived to be realistic war games, with or without regenerative health. However, they do illustrate their levels based on history, veteran accounts, and photography. COD2 provides the player a way to experience the war in a way that you would expect from a war film. You do not have to subject yourself to the real emotions that war presents but rather the story it leaves behind. In reality, war is filled with dirt, mud, smell, blood, tragedy, sweat, and believe it or not, boredom. A realistic war game would have the player dig foxholes for hours and wait in the rain for something to happen. One of the quotes in the game tells the player not to take it seriously because "war is delightful to those who have not experienced it". The game instead chooses to highlight the bravery and sacrifice soldiers had to sustain to complete their missions. Even though you do not know any of your teammates personally, visually, watching them get cut down by enemy fire is still a disturbing when you stop to think about it. Much of the enjoyment from this game comes from stopping to think about it. The levels are not 100% historically accurate and they never will be, but they do provide enough details that allow the player to look up these stories if they are interested.
The overall story structure of the game is quaint, which is a huge contrast to the newer games in the series. COD2 is composed of missions spanning across the Russian, British, and American campaigns in World War II. The missions are fairly simple, fix a telegraph connection, retake a town from the Nazis, eliminate enemy mortar positions, etc. The tame nature of the missions does not make the game a chore to play however, as each mission is given an interesting historical backdrop for the player to engage in. Even though the game was made in 2005, the visuals make great use of particle effects for smoke and gunfire, lighting on wet surfaces during rain, and textures for battle worn clothing on soldiers.
Call of Duty 2 does its job of being a sequel extremely well. Even today, other war games are still trying to recapture the style of it. The excellent quality of music, visuals, gameplay, and pacing just works in COD2 that makes it unique in the series. It is one of the last games in the series that does not have a central story aside from doing your job as a soldier. It is by all means not a realistic war game but COD never was trying to be. COD works best as an entertaining video game that uses historical battles as inspiration and structure. Infinity Ward wanted to make the player interested in the history behind these levels and at the same time, entertained by the gameplay in them. No one will ever be able to fully replicate wars in games and that is fine. No one should ever have to experience real war. In reality, war is not clean nor straightforward but it is nice to play a war game that showcases the bravery and triumph rather than the tragedy and loss. It is escapism sure, but you can say that to many other video games.