GAME REVIEWS: Call of Duty 2

Activision (Xbox 360)
Game ••••• Graphics/Sound •••••
The battle between gaming giants Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo has been dubbed the Console War - a grizzly bout that matches WWII for ruthlessness, frenzy, and gore. And now, things have gone nuclear with Call of Duty 2, one of the first games for Xbox 360.

The 360's standard of 720p resolution and a widescreen 16:9 presentation means maximum grit for this first-person shooter. Even with tons of activity on the battlefield - countless combat­ants, the cacophony of screaming soldiers, whizzing bullets, and falling debris - the heightened processing power of Xbox 360 handles it all. But it's the subtler details (like dust rolling across desert landscapes, or the breath of Russian soldiers in snowy climates) that make you forget this is only a game. And the absence of a heads-up display makes the action even more immersive. For example, when you take a hit, you're not distracted by a shrinking health meter. Instead, your vision blurs, and a red haze creeps in from the edges of the screen.

Gameplay is more sophisticated, too - so don't expect this to be target practice against the usual gang of shooting-gallery dumm­kopfs. It's not like you were there - you just are.