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Release Date

Call of Duty 2
March 6, 2006 | Bryan Clodfelter

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[Elder and Moody hotwire a German car while being shot at by Germans]

Sgt. Moody: Hurry up, Elder!
Pvt. Elder: Our Father, who art in Heaven...
Sgt. Moody: God's busy! This one's on YOU!

We missed you, Call of Duty, for moments just like these. Welcome back!

Opening Words
Unless you're new to gaming or were wandering around lost in the Amazon for the last decade, you should be well aware of the fact that World War II-based first-person shooters have grown in popularity to the point where they have almost become victims of their own success. Even before I had heard of Call of Duty, I felt almost as comfortable on the beaches of Normandy as I did in my own home, and I had shot enough Krauts to send them running to the EU for protection. I could name almost every piece of hand-held weaponry that was used during the war, and can probably identify most of them by sound alone. I mention this so that when I say that the original Call of Duty stands out among all of the other WWII games of its time, looking like Jessica Simpson at the Apollo, I want you to understand my full meaning.

In short, Call of Duty essentially took much of what was great about Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Battlefield: 1942, and Medal of Honor, and threw it in a pot with a dash of Saving Private Ryan and a hearty portion of The History Channel. The result was a game that did everything so remarkably well that when I heard that Call of Duty 2 had been announced, I seriously doubted that developer Infinity Ward could produce a worthy sequel.

I stand corrected.

Therefore, it was with great anticipation that I began to write the Call of Duty 2 first look preview for Inside Mac Games. I've done my homework; I've read magazines, scoured the web, talked to gamers, and had a limited amount of first-hand experience with CoD 2 on Xbox 360. Submitted for your approval, IMG proudly presents its very own preview of Call of Duty 2.

Although the majority of the people reading this preview have probably played, or are at least familiar with the original Call of Duty, a short preface will be helpful for the unfortunate minority among us who may not have had a chance to experience the game firsthand.

Call of Duty became popular for many different reasons, but three of the things that gamers most frequently mention when asked why they love Call of Duty are the cinematic presentation, exceptional campaign, and incredible sound. First of all, Call of Duty does not have a single storyline like most games, but instead focuses on putting the player into some of the most famous and/or intriguing battles of World War II. This unique approach works because retelling the story of WWII is unnecessary, and therefore sets the focus squarely on the fight at hand. Call of Duty is well known for its cinematic presentation, which is assisted by sound and music that were unsurpassed until Half-Life 2 was released. I can name numerous instances during my own first run through Call of Duty and the United Offensive expansion pack where the game essentially had me stapled to the chair. The overpowering feeling of having a large red bullseye painted on me as I piloted a small Russian tank against superior German armor, or the horror that I felt as I manned a gun turret in a B-17 bomber being slowly chewed to pieces by German fighter planes was something more akin to living through the event rather than playing a video game. By far the most powerful experience, which many gamers have attested to, is the tremendous adrenal kick-in-the-pants served by the artfully orchestrated swell of Call of Duty's score. Just as things are looking their worst—when your company has been whittled down to a dozen men and driven into a corner of a building, when hundreds of German soldiers accompanied by tanks are swarming in from all sides, and when you prepare for a final, heroic charge—that's when the music kicks in. That's when American airplanes fall from the sky, pelting the enemy force with such a furious hail of lead and high explosive that your subwoofer actually moves several inches. The experience is simply jaw dropping.


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