• First of all, the single player. You begin the game as a Russian recruit in basic training, learning how to fire a rifle and throw grenades by shooting teddy bears and lobbing potatoes through doorways and windows. Then, all of a sudden, you are ordered to go outside on your first real skirmish and must work with your team to eliminate the enemy and complete specific objectives. Throughout the game, objectives range from destroying enemy fuel supplies to directing artillery fire.

    The graphic and audio attention to detail is brilliant, from marks on your binocular lenses to personal comments shouted towards the enemy team by your comrades.’ Your character in the game also keeps a diary, which is helpful, as it describes mission details in brief. As well as this, genuine World War II footage is used in cut scenes, courtesy of the Military Channel.

    Not only can you fight on foot, but you can also hop into the back seat of your computer-controlled team-mate’s vehicles and fire at enemies as you pass. The AI in the game is also pretty cool, and enemies will hide from you or run away if they’re cowardly enough!

    The weapons are accurate to those which would have been used in WWII and range from rifles to artillery. The Flak 88 is easily one of the best guns in the game. It is a fixed gun emplacement which fires explosive shells at long or short range, and can kill several enemies at once. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, as enemies may use trenches or bunkers to hide or take shelter in, or they may use the landscape for cover and sneak up on you. One of the worst scenarios that can happen is when the enemy lob a few grenades at your team, although they’re not impossible to dodge, as a handy grenade danger indicator will appear on screen if you are within close proximity of a grenade. It will also display an arrow to show you where the grenade has landed.

    Call of Duty 2

    Bunkers are cool – They’re a good place to hide and they’re really cosy compared to the rest of the land. Raiding them is fun, too. There are usually around ten enemies in each bunker, so it’s not easy- but still fun.

    On one mission, you must raid an enemy base, clearing out every bunker, stealing classified documents and destroying supplies.

    The game isn’t all about just killing – It features many unique objectives such as the one mentioned above and others such as climbing to a vantage point and then using your binoculars to direct artillery fire at incoming tanks and swarms of enemies. Another is demolishing a building with enemies in by planting explosive charges on the building’s main supports. It is these sorts of objectives which keep the game fast-paced and exciting, and also more laid back and strategic in some parts.

    The game isn’t all serious, as it features a couple of subtle in-game jokes and comments, which keep it lively.

    A good feature about this game is that not only can you jump, but you can also climb over most half-destroyed walls or through window frames. You can cover up your team’s position from an enemy tank or other major threat by using a couple of well-placed smoke grenades, or blast out a trench of baddies with one good old frag grenade. You can also use many objects on the map such as non-explosive barrels for cover.

    Not only is the enemy a danger to you and your comrades, but other dangers are lurking out in the field, too. It’s an easy mistake to make to misplace a grenade and kill a team-mate, but this will reset you to your last saved checkpoint. Another danger is mines, but if you keep away from areas where you see the distinct red and white sign, then you should be fine.

    After completing the Russian missions, you get to play as British and American soldiers. Each mission is divided into several long sections, and it is only until you complete each section of the mission that you are able to move onto the next.

    Achievements aren’t given away willy-nilly, either- they really have to be earned. Missions can sometimes become a little boring, although not for long as the game is pretty action packed and exciting throughout. If you want a challenge, then try completing the game on Veteran difficulty – an equivalent to Halo’s Legendary difficulty, where enemies can kill you with just a couple of shots.

    Xbox Live mode is great, especially without the constant lag, although having said that some games (but not all) seem to be full of lag, and the game’s Xbox Live seems to be vulnerable to a few crashes. Xbox Live Game-types consist of Deathmatch, which is an ‘every man for himself’ battle, Team Deathmatch, which involves battling the opposite team, ‘Capture the Flag’ where teams must both defend their flag whilst attempting to steal their opponent’s flag, ‘Headquarters’, where a team must find and set up a field radio and defend it from enemy capture, and finally, ‘Search and Destroy’, where one team must attempt to bomb a target, whilst the other team must defend the target. You can also select ‘Quick Match’, to be directed to a random match, or if you want to check out the gametypes first, then why not try ‘Spectator Mode”, which gives a controllable view of the map. There is a nice selection of multiplayer maps, and players can choose whether they want to play a ranked (to be matched up with players of their own ability) or unranked game, although there is unfortunately no in-game leaderboards or visible rankings. Xbox Live is fun, but would be better with more than a maximum of 8 players per game. Probably the best feature on Live is the ‘Killcam’, which shows a replay of your death from your enemy’s point of view.

    Split Screen and System Link modes also feature the same exciting gametypes as Xbox Live.

    Overall, we think that Call of Duty 2 is a really solid game, and recommend it as a first buy for new Xbox 360 owners, but there is still room for improvement, particularly with Xbox Live mode, where some features such as leaderboards and visible rankings are missing.

    Score: 9/10

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