Generally favorable reviews - based on 64 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
Buy On
  1. 100
    Instead of feeling like a stale retread or losing steam halfway through, it manages to be a blast from start to finish.
  2. 100
    With familiar and entertaining gameplay, a slick overall presentation and multiplayer that still proves to be a worthwhile distraction Call of Duty 2 may very well be in the running for the 2005 action game of the year.
  3. With more campaigns and the larger and non-linear missions and objective structure, Call of Duty 2 is easily much more than the original. It is a finely tuned work of art with so much research and attention to detail incorporated into it that action gamers will become totally immersed in the unrelenting experience of brutal combat.
  4. Game Informer
    Quite simply, this is the best WWII game ever made. [Dec 2005, p.146]
  5. With a single player campaign so exciting it should be illegal, combined with an incredibly fun multiplayer, Call of Duty 2 is an absolute must-have for any gamer.
  6. Infinity Ward took the bar, threw it up, and jumped over it when it was still in the air.
  7. The levels were incredibly balanced and elicited feelings of imminent danger as you are often starting very close to your enemy’s location.
  8. It’ll push your rigs to its limits, and when it does, you’ll know why Call of Duty 2 is one of the most visceral, exciting, and blisteringly addictive experiences in gaming ever.
  9. Call of Duty 2 is like a good war movie, it may not be a realistic portrayal of war but it is dramatic, compelling, and epic in scale.
  10. netjak
    Bringing to the table solid gameplay elements, great visuals, and even better sound makes this game the culmination of the World War 2 FPS experience.
  11. The AI is better than ever and the action is the perfect mix of tactics and full-on gunfights - and the regenerating health system means I have to worry less about how much health I have left and more about how to take out the overwhelming numbers of Germans.
  12. You must have this game. This is the front-runner right now for Game of the Year as far as I am concerned.
  13. The graphics are jaw-dropping, the sounds is amazing, and the missions are varied and fun to play.
  14. Detailed textures, weather effects, realistic explosions all put together a solid performance. The only issue I had was some slow down issues when too much was going on.
  15. Infinity Ward wants screaming, smoke, flying bodies, chaos and you running around with goggle-eyes, jaw-hanging and tongue lolling, wondering where the next hail of bullets is going to come from. It doesn't want to make you feel cool, it wants to pulverise you. [PC Zone]
  16. Even if gamers have grown tired of World War II, Call of Duty 2 features the largest battles and most detailed environments of any game to date, making it worth a look.
  17. This is a very satisfying and enjoyable game, full of tension, chaos and war’s horror, but with an intelligent AI and terrific visual elements.
  18. 90
    Multiplayer-wise, Call of Duty 2 supports a whopping 32 online players with general FPS game types, including deathmatch, team deathmatch, and CTF, and Call of Duty 2's own brand of Headquarters and Search and Destroy--all wonderfully smooth via online.
  19. The atmosphere is as thick as ever, the battles are tougher and grittier, the highs higher, the lows lower, the enemy more cunning.
  20. 90
    It may not be the most realistic in terms of solider damage and battlefield strategy, but for bringing across the atmosphere, and pure chaos of World War II, Call of Duty 2 is the still the best around.
  21. Call of Duty 2 continually kept me on the edge of my seat. Non-stop adrenaline stretched across a surface tension that’s unmatched in any other first-person shooter.
  22. Play Magazine
    For now, they can bask in the glow of a truly superior achievement. [Dec 2005, p.80]
  23. 90
    Even the tutorial level at the start of the game is a work of genius in this gem of a game.
  24. Computer Games Magazine
    Infinity Ward lays claim to the creation of the ultimate WWII shooter with Call of Duty 2. [Jan 2006, p.63]
  25. It may not really innovate or move the genre into a new direction, but it offers everything most players want from the genre and it does it with certifiable mastery.
  26. This multiplayer component caps an already stunning single-player campaign and extends the value greatly.
  27. Little things like how you need to hold your breath to shoot a sniper rifle and the use of smoke grenades, as well as the much more significant improvements that deal with the technology and the level design in general, show that Infinity Ward has invested a lot of time and effort into this project.
  28. Nothing radically new but 30 missions of the most furious, vibrant, relentless, utterly insane war your can imagine. [PC Gamer UK]
  29. It doesn't really break any new ground, but the game nails the core aspects of first-person-shooter gameplay so well that it doesn't need to.
  30. PC Format
    Unbelievably intense and absolutely beautiful on a high-end PC. [Christmas 2005, p.93]
  31. Compelling is barely adequate to describe the feeling as you’re gritting your teeth and trying to find a new way to assault that strongpoint at the highest difficulty levels – grenades gone, no squadmates in sight and an MG42 trained on you. The visuals, the sound, the yelling and screaming and the rain or dust storms just suck you right back in.
  32. You get a real sense of claustrophobia in the middle of the mess trying to figure out which direction to go and who to shoot in the haze.
  33. 85
    I find implementing regenerating health to be a little troublesome. It allows you to experience a kind of combat only a mythical super-soldier could withstand, and in so doing, propels the game from gritty authenticity to John Woo fantasy.
  34. It's by far the greatest WW2 game to date and it will be so for a long time.
  35. The fast paced action is still the centerpiece of the game, and the action is engaging enough to capture even the most jaded first person shooter vet who’s probably tired of the numerous WWII titles that’ve been released.
  36. Provides a great single-player experience that immerses the player completely in the experience. If not for the lacking multiplayer, this game would be nearly perfect.
  37. To stick so closely to the first game was probably a mistake that is bound to hit sales. It almost feels like an expansion pack, sort of a follow-up to "United Offensive."
  38. There are many great World War II games but in my mind Call of Duty 2 is the best of the bunch.
  39. A technically accomplished and truly involving first-person shooter.
  40. Pelit (Finland)
    Call of Duty 2 has near-perfect visuals and great gameplay, but suffers from a serious case of same old, same old. Where is the innovation? [Nov 2005]
  41. PC Gamer
    If you're looking for a pure action game, I can recommend no better, at least not for single-player. If you're looking for the bleeding edge of digital storytelling, however, you'll find it at Valve and Monolith. [Holiday 2005, p.60]
  42. The most realistic WWII-inspired game in the market.
  43. 80
    When something is this well done, just because you've seen it all before doesn't mean it's not worth seeing again.
  44. 80
    Pulling its trigger condenses everything that's right about Call of Duty 2 into a single moment. Online or off it is the epitome of visceral thrill seeking.
  45. This attention to realism is actually disturbing. It reminds you that war isn't a party.
  46. It makes no attempt to move the genre forwards and is largely a routine run and gun shooter from start-to-finish, albeit an intense one at that.
  47. Justified cynicism aside, Infinity Ward's latest effort unquestionably refines the cinematic World War II shooter genre to new giddy heights of bombastic brilliance.
  48. While some areas could have used more polish, particularly the AI which is a tad disappointing, the experience the game has to offer is unmatched.
  49. Maybe I was a victim of my own expectations, but I really think it comes down to the fact that this game is essentially Call of Duty with a few bells-and-whistles.
  50. 80
    An exhausting, exhilarating ride which will hold you captivated 'til the very last second of the last mission.
  51. This exhilarating and atmospheric World War II action game does little to advance the run-and-gun genre, but it is a memorable experience.
  52. AceGamez
    It's not going to impress anyone who's grown to loathe games based in this era, but action fans and those desperate for more since the original Call of Duty burst onto the scene will be hard pressed to find a bad thing to say about it.
  53. I would have liked to see a little more variety in the level design, and just a bit more of the “over the top” craziness of the original, but I still enjoyed the single player missions enough to rate the game highly.
  54. It's perhaps a bit too frenetic, but on this showing at least, I know I'll be playing this through a few more times until a welcome sequel arrives.
  55. Call of Duty 2 isn't a bold new game, but subtle improvements and new historical battles deliver a good reason to keep fighting.
  56. Computer Gaming World
    Like a good meatloaf, it expertly scratches that comfort food itch, leaving you well-satisfied until the craving hits you again, months later - just in time for the inevitable expansion. [Jan 2005, p.94]
  57. The AI has been fixed up a little bit so that they react and take cover quite often, and will even act aggressively to encourage you to push forward.
  58. games(TM)
    The sense of mortality, tension and sheer scale makes for a truly stunning experience. [Christmas 2005, p.110]
  59. 80
    There’s no feature bloat, and there are no dud missions--just quality gaming from start to finish. That’s just about all we can ask for.
  60. Infinity Ward/Activision have certainly shot themselves in the foot with this one. They will be very lucky if it can maintain online playability for as long as its predecessors in its current state.
  61. Essentially, the game is missing the refinements that all good multiplayer shooters have. You get the feeling that Infinity rather pushed this game out for the mad Christmas rush.
  62. It delivers unbelievable graphics and more cathartic chaos than you can shoot a luger at, but has something of a dumb head on its shoulders, an overly simple control scheme and busies itself providing greater densities of the same old content without doing anything new.
  63. Edge Magazine
    For those who can tolerate having their brain beaten numb by it, the game entails often enthralling, occasionally awe-inspiring sights and sounds. But little is there that’s new compared to much that needs renewal. [Christmas 2005, p.96]
  64. You won't be disappointed about how great it looks or how much fun and full-on the game can be. If you frequent LAN's or enjoy slaughtering your mates (or strangers), online multiplayer is just as entertaining as the original and furthers longevity to the game once you've finished the single player campaign.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 710 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 710
  1. Jul 16, 2011
    After many Call of Duty games, I have to say that this is still the best Call of Duty in the market. The campaign is not so full of itselfAfter many Call of Duty games, I have to say that this is still the best Call of Duty in the market. The campaign is not so full of itself like our modern CoD games, it's just a simple World War 2 shooter with you playing as the three major Allies (Russian, Britian, U.S.). The campaign itself plays out wonderfully, very fluid and memorable quotes from Price. The multiplayer is mostly why I write this review now. This has the multiplayer that the current CoD games should have sticked with. Instead of grinding your profile in order to get better weapons, all the weapons are available to you right from the start, each having their ups and downs, but a very balanced set of weapons so that you don't have to worry about a overpowered weapon (which happens a lot in the current CoD games). The original maps were very well layed out, making camping a lot less viable than in the current CoD games. Though this game is very old and not many play this anymore, I decided it would be right to write a review of my favorite CoD game and hope the best that they can bring back the way multiplayer used to be. Until then, the CSS is still very active so there's that. Full Review »
  2. Nov 2, 2011
    Despite all the changes and gameplay changes since, CoD 2 still remains one of the overall best Call of Duty games to date. The MultiplayerDespite all the changes and gameplay changes since, CoD 2 still remains one of the overall best Call of Duty games to date. The Multiplayer mode offers a simplistic, yet rereshingly addictive playstyle. It's the campaign however, where COD 2 shines. Each stage (American, British and Russian) is divided into seperate acts; whilst this might hurt the storytelling side of things, each level feels unique with an appropiate level of tactical choice. The graphics and sound are simply stunning; from fighting in the streets of Stalingrad to the Normandy landings; the chaotic and confusing nature of warfare rings through every single moment without ever letting up. Overall, though fans of more open-world MP games like Battlefiled will find much to be desired here, it still offers one heck of a viseral kick for the Single Player crowd. Full Review »
  3. Jul 31, 2011
    A true gem of it's time. I continue to enjoy this game much more than the newer Call of Duty's despite the years due to its simplicity andA true gem of it's time. I continue to enjoy this game much more than the newer Call of Duty's despite the years due to its simplicity and pace. Single-player is lackluster in plot-line but provide very well made level-designs despite its linear progression., Full Review »