Great stuff, but only worth playing on the hardest difficulty level.

User Rating: 8.1 | Call of Duty 2 X360
Well, first and foremost, this game was extremely well-done, and deserves praise for sure. Frame rate is rock-solid, visuals are excellent, and the feeling of immersion is even better than previous games in the series. Some control issues have been fixed as well, and the AI is better than ever.

That being said, the game does not come without its flaws. Except to the pure beginner, playing this game on anything but "Veteran" level is pretty much a joke, especially with the new regenerative health feature. Don't get me wrong, that's a great touch. Not having a health bar adds to the immersive feel of the game, and the regeneration eliminates the annoyances of finding health packs, or constantly dying and having re-loading your game. On the other hand, it makes the game much easier (basically you find some cover and hang out when you get shot, and you'll be fine). My recommendation would be to play on the hardest difficulty level, for any sort of challenge.

The AI has been improved, but still needs a bit of work. In order to maintain the cinematic feel of the game, your teammates will often wait, simply sitting around doing nothing, until you to accomplish certain tasks to trigger the next sequence in the game. While this design decision is understandable, it takes away from the immersiveness of the game, and can get annoying at times. In several instances, your teammates will hang back while you single-handedly have to enter and clear a building. Not terribly realistic.

There are also several instances where the enemy AI singles you out and ignores the rest of your fellow soldiers, concentrating its fire solely on you. This can make the game terribly difficult in spots, most notably during the tank standoff in Stalingrad. The tank magically 'knew' that I was the one with the sticky bombs, and as a result it fired at me exclusively, while simultaneously staying as far away from me as possible. This, needless to say, made planting a bomb on it all but impossible. Even after blanketing the area with smoke bombs, I died literally 50+ times before I was lucky enough to take it out.

Similarly, the enemy AI can be superhuman at times, detecting you instantly when you step around a corner (even though they are facing the other way and more than 100 yards away from you).

On a side note, my grandfather was in the first wave of Omaha beach on D-day, and fought through Normandy and all the way in to Germany. The terrible brutality and realism of war is excellently portrayed in this game, and at times made me feel rather sick, realizing what he had to go through.

All in all, it's a great game. Instead of blasting through it on easy, however, I recommend cranking up the difficulty level and playing it like you were actually in a war. Duck behind cover, pop off a few shots, wait for help before you advance. It's exciting and scary, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Obviously in real life you wouldn't run into a firefight screaming like a banshee, and doing so in Veteran mode will get you killed. Only on the hardest difficulty level will you experience the true sense of immersion, awe, excitement, and naked fear that this game is able to deliver.

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