Call of Duty 2 (Video Game)

Artist: Video Game ReviewTitle: Call of Duty 2 (Video Game)Rating: 4 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Bill "Low-Key" Heinzelman

As you huddle in a foxhole bracing for your life, your hands are sweating, your heart is pounding and you are preying you make it out alive. You want to raise your head out of your hole so you can scope incoming Nazi soldiers with your sniper rifle. You hear the bullets whizzing past your head in every direction. You feel the ground shake as grenades make their impact close by. Your commander then shouts, "Incoming Nazi's, from the north, behind those crates." Sounds real, doesn't it? That's the beauty of Call Of Duty 2 (Activision; Xbox360) on the X-Box 360.

While the World War II genre has been beaten to a bloody pulp over the years, Call Of Duty 2 is the definitive game of its kind. No WWII shooter has captured the intensity of the epic conflict like this before. From the sound to the enemy A.I., it's all second to none. When playing on the highest difficulty level (veteran), you will literally have to scratch and crawl for every inch of your life. The A.I. is the finest ever seen in a WWII game, as they will never react the same way twice. Concentrating too much on the fire coming from in front of you? Then the Nazi's will flank, blindside or use whatever means necessary. As a result, you will be forced to duck and hide throughout the campaign, testing your patience, as you and your comrades will try to advance on enemy territory one foot at a time.

You start the campaign as a private in the Russian army, as you fend off the Germans in Moscow and Stalingrad. The middle half of the game finds you in control of a British solider, taking you through Caen, France and the deserts of North Africa. The game ends with the American campaign, as you attempt to climb the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc and take over Hill 400 in Germany. On the normal difficultly the game should take you at least 10 hours, but on the veteran level-the only way to get the full experience-you can expect to fight for your life for much longer.

The only disappointing aspect of Call Of Duty 2 is the online play. While it’s a fun experience that offers a variety of modes - such as, capture the flag, headquarters and death match, among others - there is unfortunately an eight-player limit. Additionally, you cannot invite your friends into your lobby or game, which is inexcusable. Nevertheless, Call Of Duty is the premier X-Box 360 launch title. Anyone with a pulse will be instantaneously drawn into one of the most intense first person shooters to ever grace a home console.