Artificial intelligence goes beyond the call of duty

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 April, 2006, 12:00am

Product: Call of Duty 2
Price: $270 for CD version, $300 for DVD
Pros: Greater variety of campaigns and game play design. A smarter enemy and team memebers make for the most stunning World War II shooter game yet.
Cons: Use of smoke grenades and other graphic-intensive weapons and tactics during game play would be too much for a regular PC to handle.

Get set to strap up those boots, tighten that buckle, grab your helmet and return to battle in Activision's Call of Duty 2, the sequel to 2003's best-selling personal computer action game developed by Infinity Ward.

The original Call of Duty set a benchmark for portraying the chaos and intensity of war with lifelike authenticity in a video game.

There is more explosive action with bigger battles in the sequel, more destructive weapons and troops, more advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and amazing special effects set in a wide range of locations and environments.

Gamers will soon be immersed in armed battle through the eyes of soldiers fighting together in epic second world war conflicts.

Call of Duty 2 is set across three Allied campaigns: Russian, British and American. Gamers can play through each storyline to its completion, or choose to engage the enemy in historic battles chronologically from 1941 through 1945.

Although players are free to take on mission objectives in any order, they must use actual combat tactics such as outflanking and fire and manoeuvre to succeed.

Each campaign is split into missions. Each mission offers plenty of opportunities for players to approach their objectives, such as clearing bunkers, running in and out of ruined houses, taking out emplacements, crawling through trenches, planting explosives on moving tanks and killing Nazis.

Each mission is further split into sections. As the players complete each mission, more are unlocked.

Players can fight as a British officer against Rommel across the deserts of North Africa. They can play an American corporal joining an Army Ranger squad that uses rocket-propelled grappling hooks to storm the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc. They can also slog through the urban chaos of Stalingrad and Moscow in blizzard conditions as a tank hunter.

Most impressive is the groundbreaking AI used in Call of Duty 2. Dozens of Allied soldiers surrounding a player are fully aware of the changing situations around them, and will let a player know using an all-new, context-sensitive battle chatter system. They will draw enemy fire, use foxholes and moving tanks for cover, and warn you of incoming troops and hostile fire.?