To be honest with you, I've never had a taste for shooting games before. Heck, I was usually into those Japanese anime games. But I had recently became interest in World War II (thank you, my history teacher), and I thought, heck, why not, I'll try out a World War II game.
Ladies and gents, I had made the biggest mistake of my life. How DARE I never played Call of Duty II before! It is outrageous! The games is GENIUS! It's a superb blend of 1940's wartime, and it's actually very historically accurate. It can even be called - dare I say it - educational. But seriously, you do learn a lot from this war game, and it can even be proven in the credits that they give special thanks to the people, museums, etc., who helped give accurate info for this game.
And not only is this game realistic, but it is HUMOROUS! How do you think that heading I wrote came to be? When some American soldiers shout at Germans... and then slaughter them with their Thompson's. The storyline is historically correct (somewhat, at least) but there is also blend of fiction.
Alright, enough of my sucking-up to CoD2, let's get this review started.
**Game Play** A-
Basically, the point of the game is to kill Nazis. However you do that is up to you; shoot lead into them, blow them up, smack them with your rifle, who cares? Dead is dead. You'll also be doing other objectives, such as repairing telephone lines, destroying communication radios, blow up the tank. But that just all leads to killing Nazis, one way or another. However, there is a simple storyline, which I'll give you the rundown on.
You play as 4 people, basically: a Russian, a Brit, a Brit who uses a tank (sweet), and an American. In Russia, you try to take control of a German-controlled Russian city. It's currently winter (or it could be summer, I suppose it also snows 2 meters a day in July when in Russia). With the Brits, you're fighting in Northern Africa, which means desert. However, the British campaign is by far my favorite, because, for 2 missions, you get to use a CRUSADER TANK! Whooo~... Ahem. Anyway, when you're an American, you get to invade German-controlled France, and you even get to fight in the historically famous D-Day, though I think we should've just let the frog-eaters alone, and let them sort out their own problems. But hey, whatever.
Also, in between every 2 or 3 missions, you get to see some slide shows with real, genuine pictures (though with a modern voice-over), and get to learn about the current situation with what you're going to do. Again, it's historically correct. Then you go out to kill Nazis.
Again, superb. The faces of your Russian Commissar, good old Cpt. Price, ol' bloke MacGregor, ever-sharp Sergeant Randall, and all your allies, and all those Germans, their faces are as sharp as they can be. The blood actually comes from where you shoot them, not like when you shoot someone in the arm, and blood comes out from the chest. And it all seems real when a Fascist as just got hit twice in the chest, and is crawling for his life. And the joy you feel when your ever-real-looking rifle butt connects with his terrified face is terrific. Of course, there are some buggers that takes 3 shots to the chest, but still have enough energy to take out a pistol, aim a couple of shots at you, and then fall dead.
Not only are the characters good-looking (no, not like that; come to think of it, there are no women in this game, save for some woman that's fighting with you in one of the Russian missions, though she gets blown up or something), but the landscape and the guns, and the vehicles, and EVERYTHING is good looking. Not only that, but characters really do react with their environment. Sergeants shout orders to hide behind a hay cart, and there really IS a hay cart, and not something they spew out randomly. Poor Russian soldiers rub their hands together warm themselves up. Like everything else, it's quite realistic.
Controls are simple, yet effective. All players like that. Move around with the w-a-s-d controls, move the gun around with the mouse (and in the tutorial [first mission] they let you choose how you make the gun go up and down), switch weapons with numbers 1 or 2 (it doesn't matter which), use "g" for grenades, "4" for smoke grenades, and "f" to pick up weapons lying around from dead soldier's hands. Of course, there are the default options; you can change them around, but the designers chose really good keys for the controls, so I don't think you should change it.
To start off, there's pretty much no music. Sometime victory music when you complete a mission, but either there's no music, or you just don't pay attention to it. That's not really a bad thing; music would just interfere with the intensity of CoD2. The sounds are, like everything else, realistic (God, I'm starting to sound like a broken record now). The cries of people being shot, they explosion of the grenade, the feet shuffling through snow are great. The voices are really good too. The Russians really do talk with thick Russian accents, and go on to occasionally talk in Russian. The Brits talk with good-thick British and Scottish accents. And the Americans sound, well, like Americans. The voice-syncing is excellent too, even though the producers probably knew people would be looking at something else other than some sergeant speaking to his troops before a battle.
I'm sorry, but I just had to put this into a category of its own. Most of the game is meant to be intense, but some parts are just extremely hilarious. I won't say the actual funny bits, cause it wouldn't sound funny the way I'm saying it, but that headline I wrote is just an example.
A great World War II game, with its share of very small problems, but a great choice for getting a game. The only major problem in this game is... it's too short! It's only, like, 10 hours of gaming, probably less. Then again, you can do it all over again. After all, killing Nazis never gets old.