Call of Duty 2

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In the increasingly crowded world of World War II-inspired shooters, the Call of Duty series is the oft-challenged king. Call of Duty 2 adds improved friendly and Nazi artificial intelligence (which means understanding a few words of German can make the difference between knowing the enemy is advancing on the left as opposed to the right flank) as well as some beautiful visual effects, most impressive of which is the smoke, which now billows and authentically blankets parts of the battlefield in a fog of war.


The lowdown:

The yells of your men mix with the bellowing of the storm troopers in skirmishes that already feel heady and confusing, adding to the sensation of being in a real conflict. Intense, chaotic and making full use of Xbox 360’s Dolby Digital surround sound, Call of Duty 2 looks as though it will create a new benchmark for console simulations of the last World War.


Most exciting moment:

Clearing houses of those last few concealed Nazis is nerve-racking and highly rewarding, as is lobbing a smoke grenade into the bunker of a particularly troublesome machine-gunner before storming it in the resulting blackout.


Since you ask:

If you liked TV’s Band of Brothers, listen up, because virtually the entire cast appears to have signed up to provide voiceovers for the game.


The bottom line:

Unlike smoking behind the bike sheds, this is shaping up to be big, hard and clever.

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