I have to admit, I'm a Call of Duty fanatic. I cannot tell you how many times I have stayed up late running and gunning against human opponents online. The Call of Duty maps replay themselves over and over again in my head; I could accurately draw each map with my eyes closed. It came as no surprise to me that on April 7th the guys at Activision officially announced that Infinity Ward will be developing the much anticipated Call of Duty 2. It has only been two years since the original Call of Duty, but much has happened in relation to the breadth and depth that recent games have ascertained.
Players in Call of Duty 2 will now be able to play a more tactical battle if they choose to. The dynamics of the game have shifted somewhat. You now have more than one way to cross the battlefield, in contrast to the relatively straightforward approach of the original game. Alleyways, corridors, and back streets all have their advantages and disadvantages. These new avenues can be taken advantage of by you, or they can easily fall under enemy control as they flank your position. The new AI will be a lot more dynamic in Call of Duty 2; no longer will you have enemies that mindlessly guard their position. The tactics that you employ - like flanking, suppressing fire, or brute force - will be amply turned against you. Your enemies now have the ability to actively pursue you with some sort of intelligence. There are also rumors of squad commands that you will be able to issue to your troops, but at this point in time, that information is very guarded. Another interesting addition is in fact a limiting one: there will be a set number of troops on the map when you start a mission. Enemies will come running as soon as they hear the sounds of war and react to your presence as they see fit.
Call of Duty 2 has had a big update to the graphics system. While the style and feel are still there, the visuals are stunning, to say the least. The whole gambit of shaders, dynamic lighting, particle effects, etc., are all included and put to good use. While you will need a relatively high-end computer to run everything to the max, the developers and designers have accounted for this and made it possible for lower tech computers to run the game looking a lot like the first Call of Duty. Infinity Ward also sent people to scout the actual battlefields and areas of conflict that would be included in the game's storyline. When it comes down to it, the graphics, visual scenery and artwork, and the whole atmosphere will hopefully be leaps and bounds better than the first Call of Duty.
Indications suggest that the in-game animations in Call of Duty 2 will be a lot smoother, but will carry many the same characteristics as the first game. However, there will be more of them, and they will be tuned to the specific actions of the characters and what's going on in the environment. Your buddies in the trenches next to you now have the ability to call out enemy positions and movements. You'll now know how many soldiers are hiding just inside the doorway of the half destroyed building, as well as knowing that there is a sniper hiding on the fifth floor of the building on your right. The soldiers fighting alongside you will effectively be able to help you with their battlefield chatter.
The surround sound in Call of Duty was excellent; now, it looks to be getting even better. Everything from bullets to explosions have been tweaked and made to sound more realistic. It's going to be a long six months before this game hits store shelves. Hopefully when I'm down at E3, I'll be able to get some truly good hands-on experience. Everything about the game has been improved upon and made more realistic and engrossing, which hopefully makes for a better game. As this goes to print, there's no solid word on the multiplayer portion of Call of Duty 2 - lets just hope it is as addicting as the first.
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