Ok, let me start off with saying that I'm not your average historical FPS gamer...I am drawn to these games because I am actually a history major in college right now and absolutely obsessed with the great wars of history...
Now...about the game....
The first thing that I truly found extremely helpful was that the game takes you thru "training" which helps every "true man" who never flips thru the handbook before diving into the game. The controls are very simple and, with a mouse with a roller wheel, extremely quick. Changing weapons truly only takes as long as it would really take if you were having to holster the Luger you picked up off a corpse and pull out your .50 caliber to blow away another Nazi! That's extremely awesome to me.
Between background noises (Nazi's yelling orders to each other, distant explosions, and the sound of bullets whizzing by) and the thrill of hiding behind bushes and darting from cover to cover while tracer's ping on the ground and metal around you totally immerses you in the moment and will definitely get your heart pounding when you realize that if you had been there for real, you'd have just barely survived (or would be sent home in a box or, at the very least, walking with a gimp from a bullet still lodged in your leg.)
Sorry...but I can't talk about this game without talking about the amazing historical accuracy and the amount of research that had to have been done to nail down the details of the weaponry, scenery, and facts of battles and troop movements. When you pull out a weapon, you're probably getting as close to firing the real thing as you'll ever get in your life (save for the jamming...but that's a good thing...) The towns you run through while tanks scare the stuffing out of you, looked extremely similar to what it looks like in the game and the missions you go thru are true to life! For history buffs like me, this game is as good as it gets!
However, as a gamer, I can't help but notice the quirks of the game that keep it from being absolutely beautiful. As mentioned in the official review, there are some graphics flaws (which most will probably miss due to the total immersion the game accomplishes) and there is the odd scattering of health packets to aid you along in the lower levels of the game (tho the higher you go, the fewer there are until you reach the last level where there are none...good luck!) I would have liked there to be health packets stuck in with random soldiers that I mercilessly filled with lead while darting thru a building like it would have happened in real life...(minor first aid kits were carried by most soldiers in the European front).
Another thing I really got tired of was the linearity (although it can be a blessing in disguise, I still have to complain...) because there were so many times where I wished i could dart around with a small number of soldiers and scare the Nazi scum to death...and then deliver death to them and was prevented from doing this by a wallpaper of trees. I can deal with a border on a game like this, but to make it so obvious during gameplay was a real letdown. Simply putting an increasing number of trees in my way would have worked just as well and it would have left the gamer totally immersed in the game.
(linearity of the game also hurts replayability...you find yourself hiding behind a wall knowing that the first person thru the door triggers a Nazi to jump out and shoot)
Multiplayer games are much more fun, although with the massive amounts of random people, it's very hard to get a decent team with a plan unless you are part of a "clan."
+++ HISTORICALLY ACCURATE!! (WOOHOO!)
+ In game training
+ Total game immersion
+ Multiplayer fun
- - Border of the game is obvious
- Linearity makes replays somewhat boring.
- Multiplayer chaos