Sonovabitch.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve lost my copy of the Glory soundtrack. It’s a seminal James Horner composition, which he’s been shaving pieces off of and growing other soundtracks from for years. I needed it for this World of Darkness game I’m hoping to run this week (pay attention, Ken), and now it’s gone.

So I went out to Best Buy to buy a new copy of it. BestBuy.com told me they had a copy of it at a local store, but they didn’t. What they did have was a playable Xbox 360.

Yeah. Uh oh.

The game for King Kong looks lovely, but I sure couldn’t figure what I supposed to do in it. So that’s not great. But the store also had a playable level (or part of a level) of Call of Duty 2 in its forthcoming shmancy Xbox 360 edition and… Holy. Shit. Beautiful, exciting, nerve-wracking, compelling, intuitive and so good. I’d been eyeballing other Xbox 360 titles lately, but none of them have really grabbed me yet. (Gun, the Grand Theft Auto of the Old West, might but I just heard about it.) Call of Duty 2 is the deal-maker. It’s the game I’m getting the 360 for, and a game worth not waiting for.

From the moment when you’re riding across the African desert underneath a dogfight to the moment when the chap in front of you gets cut down by German machine-gun fire from a hidden emplacement to the moment when your mustachioed commanding officer holds up a prized bottle of recovered wine and declares the mission a success, it’s a terrific experience. No health meter, just get to cover. Reloads are swift and bold. This game knows what it’s all about: moving forward, being thrilled, ogling and having a great time.

Sixteen days and counting.

4 comments:

  1. anon7, 6. November 2005, 3:52
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    well, right now i’m playing COD2 for the pc this is not the same game for xbox360, and i’m highly disappointed, team AI is weak, you can take infinite damage, its rambo style. oh and everyone can pick up grenades except me. I still say Medal of honor pacific for PC is the best WWII game i’ve ever played.
    however for the XBOX360 its all about THE BIG RED ONE, which just happens to be the museum Kate works at, one of the generals requirements for the game is that it not be rambo style and historically acurate so we’ll see.

     
  2. anon7, 6. November 2005, 22:05
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    you know what, i think the 360 version is the same as the PC, but you seem to like the way it plays so cool for you. i guess BR1 is for the first xbox. oops. The PC was fun but i wanted more, cooking grenades and i prefer it when i have a health bar. The enemy AI was pretty good though.

     
  3. Will, 8. November 2005, 4:24
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    See, I don’t think the absence of a health bar makes for a “rambo-style” experience. Not knowing just how much health you have keeps you from dealing with meta-tactics. The only information you have about the danger to life and limb comes from the game world — the sounds of ricochets and the searing whirr of a passing bullet — so you’re a little more immersed in the game world. It leads to mad dashes through hostile fire (“I think I can make it!”) and desperate scrambles for cover, thanks to its hurt/unhurt system. That feels more like a war movie to me.

    Plus, every time you reload part of a game, you’re reminded of how unreal the experience is. By not populating the game world with health packs and floating green crosses, you don’t wander away from the mission to go scrounging for hit points.

    I think it’s clever, but I’ll know more when I get to play the full game.

    Soon.

     
  4. anon7, 8. November 2005, 8:49
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    i know what you mean about random health packs, and you do still get that feel of the wizzing and such, i just like it when i’m bleeding to death and i’m fighting to stay alive, not taking 10 hits and hiding for 5seconds and being fine. by rambo i mean the game keeps spawning enemines til you make a push, this does keep the pace up but sometimes its just ridiculous and yyou have to run in and usually you get killed, it was a fun game even though i beat it in 3 days.

     

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