You've been through the hell of World War II before in first-person shooters like Medal of Honor and Brothers in Arms. But beating back Hitler's blitzkrieg has never been as shell-shockingly chaotic and intense and indeed heavily scripted, as it is in Call of Duty 2.
You'll alternately fight in the American, British and Russian armies, each experience complete with fanatically historic weaponry and badly accented English. You'll regularly attempt heroic assaults against impossible odds, fighting uncannily smart enemies who effectively shoot from cover, retreat and unnervingly call out your position. (Sprechen Sie Deutsch?) Many fights throughout the game require both skill and luck to pull you through; treacherous artillery fire will often force you to break cover and sprint directly into the teeth of the enemy or into bunkers brimming with bad guys. Pre-scripted moments, in which you're guided into a certain area to witness a carefully choreographed event, are common, but you never relinquish control of your character. Rather, you'll often find yourself up to your neck in 360 degrees worth of action.
CoD2's recipe for immersion starts with an ultra-realistic visual setting, but the biggest part of what made the game a standout is the excellent audio. Engrossing sound effects, superb voice acting and a powerful musical score combine for a grand achievement in game audio. Every weapon has been painstakingly modeled and sounds historically accurate. You'll eventually learn to tell friend from foe by weapon report alone.