I tried getting my copy at my local Walmart on the 26th, but it didn’t come in so I just went back on the 27th and got it! My past experiences per-ordering games seemed pretty pointless since I could always get it the very first or second day it was released at a local store.
So far I only have about three hours of gameplay into it on Hardened difficulty, and I have a lot of mixed feelings about the game. It still somewhat feels like COD, but big changes like the grenade/smoke grenade system, health system, sprinting, etc. make it feel like an entirely new game. I think the most upsetting thing about the game is the fact that it almost feels like it was originally created solely for the XBOX360 and then ported to the PC as a “bonus”. The mixed up controls somewhat portray the game should be on a console (because no FPS game controls well on a console) and the point that there is no Quicksave and Quickload feature make it look even more like a console game. A game should not be released for both the PC and consoles. I just isn’t right. Consoles play console games, and PCs play the better PC games. Whoever came up with the idea that the console should act like a PC is a moron. A console is a console and a PC is a PC.
I never start MP without finishing SP first, so my view of the MP portion will come soon. Overall, the game seems very heavily scripted leaving very little to be done on my own. There are always teammates waiting at the right door or tunnel to guide me in the direction I need to go leaving very little doubt to make me think if I am doing the right thing or not. This really takes the drama and involvement out of the game. I would rather mess up a few times and go the wrong direction finding some things out for myself rather then have my hand held through the entire game.
So far the enemy AI doesn’t seem to bad with reactions and actions and they even tend to surprise me every now and then with a charging bash or unexpected grenade returned to me. I enjoy the new screams, moans and groans that happen throughout the levels and especially like the dying act that some Germans do, pulling out a pistol at the end to still try and kill me. On the other hand my AI teammates tend to walk into a lot of my grenades and yell the same commands over and over at me which tends to get on my nerves. With COD2 the grenade indicator feature was introduced that gives me a warning of grenades. Well why don’t my teammates have the same feature? Usually they don’t even move when I throw a grenade and other times they will rush in when I do. Its just bad teamwork.
The one thing that I have enjoyed greatly so far is all the weapons. I think the weapons that I have used so far have been greatly improved or have been great additions. I don’t care much for the new sniping method of having to hold your breath for true accuracy, but at least it isn’t totally necessary. I think the changes with the automatic weapons, specifically the Thompson, will reduce a lot of the “run-n-gun” tactics that so many people use. The rifles, which are my favorite, actually seem to have the power of a rifle now. The changes made to the Russian Tokarev SVT-40 and the German Gewehr 43 are great giving much better control of the gun and feeling much more solid still being a semi-automatic. Some new guns of all different tastes let you choose what you want to use when you want to use it all the way through the SP missions.
I am not going to say that I don’t like the game, but there are a lot of things that seem to be missing or have been changed for the worse. From what I remember playing, I do think that I enjoyed playing United Offensive much more from the start. I am not sure what it is about COD2, but it just doesn’t leave that feeling of excitement and wanting more at the end of a mission. I will see what happens as I progress through the rest of the game and then try out MP.