Despite what I said about WW2 FPS, when they’re done right they can be very, very good, and Call of Duty 2 is certainly done right. The marketing for the original told us that no man won the war alone, and this follows the same credo but with the added horsepower of more modern PCs and the Xbox 360 to enhance the atmosphere. In a game that was all about chaos going on around you that made all the difference, and I think that overall this is the better game because of that.
What I thought were the biggest flaws of the first game – namely that the British campaign was quite poor and that you had to get through the rest of the game to get to the best part, the Russian campaign – have been solved. The Russian campaign now comes first and the other two have been improved, giving them much the same gameplay but with enough changes to atmosphere and setting to make them distinctly enjoyable. The same mix of objectives that range from demolitions to sniping are here, but the aforementioned added power means that you’re now demolishing massive buildings and making your last stand against whole platoons. Only the end, which goes out with a splutter instead of a bang, let the action down for me.
Even in the series’ first wholesale conversion to consoles (previously consoles have received their own, markedly inferior, games) nothing was lost besides the cut-down multiplayer. The graphics run smoother than all but the most monstrous of PCs with their equally monstrous price tags, and even the controller wasn’t a hindrance. That made it my favourite game on the Xbox 360 so far, and my ninth favourite of the year.