5/19 – Call of Duty 2

Hello and welcome back! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

Welcome to our first day of Sequels Week where I’ll be talking about the sequels to games I’ve covered previously on this show. First on our list, let’s talk about Call of Duty 2. Developed by Infinity Ward, Call of Duty 2 was originally released on Windows in 2005.

Call of Duty 2, much like the original, is a World War 2-based first person shooter, allowing players to play through three separate campaigns set in different fronts during the war. The Soviet campaign follows a Russian soldier from the defense of Moscow to the reclamation of Stalingrad. The British campaign takes place in the African front and the America campaign follows the Normandy invasion as the allies pushed into Germany.

After the massive success of Call of Duty, Activision set Infinity Ward to work immediately to make a follow-up. Since it seemed that Call of Duty was going to be a lasting franchise, Infinity Ward started by updating their technology. The first game used the id Tech 3 engine which Infinity Ward further customized in order to create their own engine dubbed, IW 2.0. Iterations on this engine are still being used in Call of Duty today.

This new technology brought some significant enhancements to the sequel, particularly in the visuals. Smoke effects from grenades and weather effects such as blizzards were used to add to the chaos the player feels and immerse them into the battlefield more than the first game. It also allowed for some gameplay upgrades as well. Call of Duty 2 features a recharging health system, the first in the series to do so. While it is not the first first person shooter to feature recharging health rather than health packs, it was one of the first to popularize the mechanic in modern games and many other shooters have gone on to use this same mechanic. The game also features missions that allow players control of tanks.

Less than two months after Call of Duty 2 released on Windows, the game became a launch title for the Xbox 360, taking full advantage of Xbox Live for multiplayer. Call of Duty 2 featured 8 player battles on Xbox Live and DLC brought the game up to 21 official maps. The PC version featured battles of up to 64 players and allowed players to create their own maps via the use of Radiant.

Call of Duty 2 received very positive reviews from critics and fans. Players enjoyed not having to hunt for health packs which helped them focus more on the action. The campaign was praised for being excited and full of bombastic set pieces. Call of Duty 2 would become the most popular launch title for the Xbox 360, which estimated that 77% of Xbox 360 adopters purchased a copy of the game. It would sell more than 1 million units over the next six months. Call of Duty 2 solidified Call of Duty as a household name and an enduring franchise. The series has received more than a dozen mainline entries since 2 and it would be difficult to find a gamer in 2019 who has not played at least one Call of Duty game.

Thanks so much for listening to the show. If you want to hear more episodes, check out the archives on videogameoftheday.com and also follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday for updates and polls and random thoughts about whatever I happen to be playing or watching. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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