Gamecube - Call of Duty 2: Big Red One February 15, 2006
The original Call of Duty (COD) for the PC was heralded as one of the greatest gaming experiences of all time; winning many awards such as the coveted “game of the year” title along the way. Having played it, I can tell you that it is on my favorite list for sure. What set COD apart from other First Person Shooters (FPS) was that for the first time, fans of the genre felt as if they were part of a bigger picture as you fought along computer controlled squad members and felt the mayhem of war as explosions erupted all around you and bullets rushed past your head. The original COD was fun, intense and exciting and at times, you had to walk away from the computer to collect yourself. So how does COD2 compare to its predecessor? Basically, not very well….
In COD2, you play a grunt assigned to the famous First Infantry Division, nicknamed, “Big Red One” because of the large red “one” that serves as the units insignia. Along the way, you fight in Africa, Italy and finally, Germany. Until you reach Germany, you’ll have that “I’ve seen this before” feeling. Nothing occurs in the first two campaigns that hasn’t occurred in every single FPS a fan of the genre has experienced before. In Germany, the game attempts to emulate COD as the fire fights and the ferocity of your opponents gets much more intense. Which, brings me to my next point, the AI in this game is terrible! You could literally watch one of your squad members and an enemy soldier stand facing each other and (a) do nothing or (b) empty 2 or 3 clips before one decides to actually try and hit the other! But before it even comes to that you’ll pump bullets into the Kraut to put them out of their misery. Too bad you can’t shoot your dumb squad members! And forget about the voice acting, it is so canned and stereotypical (yes, there is a soldier from Brooklyn) that it actually made me feel embarrassed at times. The graphics are average at best and clearly do not push the Gamecube’s abilities at all. About the only aspect of the game that comes close to the original is the sound effects, which are generally realistic and well done. They attempt to vary the missions but basically they are all the same; move forward and kill everything in sight!
All in all, I was disappointed with this game (no kidding, right?) and I think fans of the series or FPS will be as well. This game does very little that resembles the original and does nothing to further the genre. Basically, this is just another average game in a genre chock full of mediocrity.
Next Review: Dreamcast - Armada