Call of Duty 2
From the early days of Wolfenstein through to the more recent Call of Duty, the grim reality of WWII has provided inspiration for many a game maker. Over the years our expectations of visual look, gameplay and multiplayer ability have evolved. For a long time, Call of Duty was the first-person shooter of choice; but with the release of its successor we’ll have to rethink that.
The setup is familiar – you take the role of one of a number of Allied soldiers fighting the Nazi’s. You start as a Russian private in Moscow (during which you’re also provided with basic training); then you’re a British soldier fighting tanks in North Africa; finally you become an American corporal landing in Europe on D-Day. Before each mission you’re presented with a documentary-style newsreel providing some background on the events up to that point in time.
Each mission is divided into stages, requiring a mixture of stealth, strategy, aggression and patience. It’s sometimes worth simply watching the events unfold around you as you may find that your computer-controlled allies help make meeting the objective easier. The AI is superb – friends and enemies play as you’d expect, working with you or working with their own colleagues to destroy you.
The game looks stunning. In fact, what we have here is the exact same game as they’ve got on the Xbox 360, hence the much higher system requirements than before. It looks best on a top-end Mac, with the best graphics processor available, but will look equally stunning on a G5 iMac. The Multiplayer mode is superb. Allowing gameplay against Windows-using friends in one of four modes, you’ll get immediate satisfaction from being able to defeat the rest of your friends and family within the field of war.
Call of Duty 2 is a visually fantastic game that hits every element bang on the head. It looks good, it sounds good, and it plays great. This is clearly the best first-person shooter for the Mac platform bar none (and suffers from only minor niggles). The fact that it’s a Universal program is a plus for the market in general, but the demands it places on the system mean that Mac mini or MacBook users will be left behind.