Call of Duty 2 is a first-person shooter video game and sequel to the critically acclaimed game Call of Duty. It was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. It was released on October 25, 2005 for PC and November 15, 2005 for the Xbox 360. Other versions were made for mobile phones as well as Pocket PCs and Smartphones. Call Of Duty 2 was one of the highest-grossing video games of 2005.
The game is set during World War II and is experienced through the perspectives of four soldiers, one in the Red Army, one in the United States Army and two in the British Army.
The game was met with a positive public reception, receiving mostly positive reviews from critics. The Xbox 360 version sold over 250,000 copies in its first week, and had sold 1.4 million copies by October 2006.
Call of Duty 2 is a first-person shooter. The player takes on the role of several Allied protagonists in specific missions during World War II. The player is limited to two different choices of weapons which can be swapped with those left on the battlefield, and also carries both fragmentation and smoke grenades. Unlike the previous games in the series, the player may now only hold two firearms, including a sidearm. Therefore, a player may not carry two larger weapons and a sidearm. The player can use the battlefields tactically by taking a kneeling or prone stance in addition to standing, and using cover for both protection and stealth. A compass on the heads-up display (HUD) shows both friends and foes, and objective markers to indicate locations the player must reach, areas to defend, or enemy cannons or tanks that the player must plant explosives on to disable. The player may also use stationary machine guns and flak cannons to take out enemy forces, in addition to specific missions where the player takes control of a tank to disable the enemies' tank force.
The player has a set of binoculars. While it is generally ignored during infantry-limited gameplay, it is vital to the long-range use of the Flak 88s, Crusader MK 2 tanks and one of the missions in which the player must direct artillery fire to defend a town. It is also important for scouting, though most of the game takes place in personal, close combat situations reducing the importance of this tactic.
Should the player take damage, the screen will turn red and the sound of the character's heartbeat will become loud; the player must find a way to stay out of fire to recover before entering battle again or else will die and have to restart at the last checkpoint. Some attacks, like grenade explosions or tank blasts, will kill the player instantly if the player is too close to the center of the explosion.
In April 2006, Infinity Ward released the Call of Duty 2 Radiant, which allows a player to create their own multiplayer or single player maps. Along with Radiant, the mapmaker includes Maya plug-in support, an effects editor, and an asset manager which allows custom models to be made and imported into the game, as well as custom effects.
Each PC multiplayer server can hold a maximum of 64 players, while the limit is eight players on the Xbox 360. There are a total of 13 official maps, and three of these are remakes from the original Call of Duty. There are also three extra map packs named Bonus Pack, Skirmish Pack, and Invasion Pack, adding a total of eight maps. Additionally PC players have introduced custom mods such as tactical realism enhancements which bring new life to the online aspect of the game.
The maps vary from Normandy, Africa, and Russia during the winter. Each team can choose a variety of weapons, depending on the map and which teams are playing. Depending on the map, players can choose between American soldiers, Soviet soldiers, and British soldiers for the Allied forces, while the Axis forces must play as German soldiers.
Call of Duty 2 features several game types: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy, Capture the Flag and Headquarters. Many of these game types are retained from the original Call of Duty and its expansion, United Offensive.
Call of Duty 2 contains four individual campaigns, split into three stories. Each story concerns a World War II soldier overcoming insurmountable odds in the war.
Lieutenant Dimitri Volsky is the officer who commands the player's platoon in the Soviet campaign. Private Vasili Ivanovich Koslov is the first playable protagonist. Vasili participates in the winter battle of Stalingrad.
Sergeant John Davis is the second playable protagonist. Davis participates in the North Africa campaign, as well as recapturing Caen in the Normandy campaign. Pvt. MacGregor is a hot-tempered, Scottish, bearded soldier who fights alongside the player in most British missions. MacGregor is voiced by James Patrick Stuart.
Corporal Bill Taylor is the third playable protagonist. Taylor participates in the battle of Normandy by destroying artillery and securing Pointe du Hoc, assaulting a farm silo, and assaulting Hill 400. Taylor then participates in the crossing of the Rhine River. Sergeant Randall is first encountered when he saves the player's life at Pointe du Hoc. He leads the player's squad in the American missions. He is promoted to lieutenant by the battalion commander in the final mission, and recommends Taylor for promotion to sergeant. Randall was voiced by Nolan North.
North African campaign
The player plays as a British soldier, Sergeant John Davis of the 7th Armoured Division. The first map has the player in a sneak attack on German troops, ending with the destruction of a valuable German supply station. The next map on the same night has the player defending a crucial town from overwhelming numbers of Germans, finally achieving victory by destroying much of the German tank force using artillery. This is followed by the Second Battle of El Alamein, during which the player has to fight through several trenches, machine gun nests, flak 88s and finally taking the German's field HQ. The assault on El Daba to intercept the remaining Germans in Africa and destroy several flak 88s soon follows, ending the first British campaign. An addendum to the second set of missions has the player taking on the role of a British Tank commander, David Welsh. The first mission of the third campaign in Toujane, Tunisia, has the player immediately under fire, holding a household with a single machine gun and then wreaking havoc with an armored car, forced out by mines, and then escaping the town with a bare handful of men. The following mission has the player retaking the town, and the final map involves capturing Matmata and shooting down several Stukas using a German anti-aircraft gun.
Battle of Normandy
As Corporal Bill Taylor of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, the player starts off by playing a part in D-Day, at the assault of Pointe du Hoc, to destroy a German artillery battery, and hold it against a massive German counteroffensive in the following mission. Soon after, the player captures a nearby town and serves as a sniper against mortar crews until reinforcements arrive. The second US campaign is focused on Hill 400, involving the capture of Bergstein, a disastrous charge at Hill 400's bunkers and the defense against the German counterattack, with the player again performing sniper work against German mortar teams, destroying enemy armor, and generally holding the hill against the counteroffensive, all the while burdened by artillery and overwhelming numbers of German soldiers. The final British mission takes place during the Battle of Normandy for control of Caen.
Crossing the Rhine
The final mission is set amongst the Americans in the Rhine River crossing into Germany. It begins as one of the few missions with the player immediately under fire, providing cover fire against the Germans until reaching the river banks and then fighting throughout most of the town. The final fight has the player defeat two German Tiger I's.
The end credits depict the dramatic rescue of Captain Price from German hands by American soldiers. After the credits end, the words "No cows were harmed in the making of this game" appear, as in the original Call of Duty. This is in reference to the dead cattle visible in the Normandy missions.
Equipment, by country, made available for use during the game.
- M1911 pistol
- M1A1 carbine
- M1 Garand
- Springfield rifle (+scoped)
- Browning Automatic Rifle
- Thompson submachine gun
- Grease Gun (Multiplayer Only)
- .30 Browning machine gun
- Mk 2 grenade
- Webley Revolver
- Lee-Enfield (+scoped)
- Thompson submachine gun
- Bren LMG
- Mills bomb
- Crusader tank
- K98k bolt-action rifle (+scoped)
- G43 semi-automatic rifle (+scoped)
- Sturmgewehr 44
- MG42 machine gun
- Stick grenade
- 88 mm gun
- Scout Car with 20mm cannon
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Review scores Publication IGN
Xbox 360: 9 PC: 8.5 Xbox 360: Outstanding PC: Great GameSpot
Xbox 360: 88 PC: 88 Xbox 360: Great PC: Great Metacritic
Xbox 360: 89 PC: 86 Xbox 360: Based on 65 reviews. PC: Based on 64 reviews.
Call of Duty 2 was generally received well by reviewers, with the Xbox 360 version (89/100) scoring slightly higher than its PC counterpart (86/100), according to Metacritic. The graphics and sound were widely praised, and the reactions to the regenerating health system were mostly positive, with reviewers such as Gamespot and Gamepro receiving it as an improvement over the previous health bar system. The PC version multiplayer was criticized as being a step back from that of Call of Duty: United Offensive.
IGN gave the Xbox 360 version 9/10, calling it "outstanding". Reviewer Douglass C. Perry described the presentation as "classy and well-produced", and said the graphics were some of the best on the Xbox 360 at its launch. He gave the sound 9.5/10, calling the sound effects "unbelievable", whilst the gameplay was described as containing an "enormous amount of action". Perry also gave the game a score of 9/10 in the "Lasting Appeal" criterion.
IGN's review of the PC version was less generous, only giving the game a score of 8.5/10. Reviewer Tom McNamara was impressed with the presentation and graphics, describing them as "Excellent" and "smooth" respectively. He also said the graphics did not suffer "from also being developed for the 360." McNamara also praised the sound, describing it as "awesome music, encompassing battle noise, and excellent voice work." The biggest criticism was for the gameplay, where McNamara said "the hard-to-swallow regenerating health makes things a little too easy too often". Finally, the game scored well in Lasting Appeal.
Gamespot reviewer Bob Colayco gave the Xbox 360 version 8.8/10 - including a 10 out of 10 for sound. He summarized his review by stating that Call of Duty 2 has "smooth, detailed graphics and great sound", as well as praising the artificial intelligence, realism, and variety in the campaign. However, he was critical of the game's pricing, stating it had a "higher pricepoint than its PC counterpart". He also complained that the multiplayer aspect could only support eight players.
Bob Colayco also reviewed the PC version of the game, and gave it a score of 8.8/10, as he did its Xbox 360 counterpart. Colayco once again praised the sound, calling the presentation of the game "excellent", as well as praising the aggression of the artificial intelligence. Unlike in his review of the Xbox 360 version, Colayco praised the multiplayer, describing it as "fun". His main critique was for performance, stating "performance can chug at times".
Call of Duty 2 was the most popular launch title on the Xbox 360, with 250,000 units sold in its first week of availability. 77% of people who purchased an Xbox 360 also purchased the game, which contributed to its high sales. As of July 2006, 1.4 million copies of the game had been sold on the Xbox 360. In January 2008 the game reached 2 million copies sold. Current retail disc (in 2008) is sold as part of Xbox 360 Classics series.
A television advertisement for Call of Duty 2 was the subject of some controversy in early 2006. The commercial, created by Los Angeles animation studio Rhythm and Hues, depicted a first-person view of events that were supposed to transpire during the game, rather than scenes from the game itself. Some consumers felt that the advertisements were misleading, and in February 2006 the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority demanded that networks remove the advertisements after three consumers filed complaints of false advertising. According to ASA spokesperson Donna Mitchell, "Viewers felt that the ad was misleading because the quality of graphics was superior to that of the game's". Activision denies that the scenes were meant to give an impression of gameplay, stating in a press release shortly after the ASA banning that "The footage was intended purely to communicate the subject matter of the game rather than to represent actual gameplay."
An Collector's Edition of the game was released exclusively to PC on October 25, 2005. It features the game and an extra DVD, which includes interviews, a making of movie and mission walkthroughs.
In January 2006, MFORMA (now Hands-On Mobile) released Call of Duty 2 for mobile phones. The Pocket PC and Smartphone versions were developed by Aspyr Media and released January 2007. The mobile version is a 2D top-down shooter. It received a favourable review from IGN, praising its length and storytelling.