The magazines over the past few days have been praising Call of Duty 2 for the XBOX 360, saying it is one of the best WWII games to be made. I'm not here to argue that point; it is a wonderful and highly detailed game. The missions are exciting and diverse and lengthy at that. But one aspect that ALL the magazines and websites seem to get wrong is the online feature.
Some go as far as to describe it as "smooth", or that you don't even notice the transition between offline and online play. To be fair to the game, a 4-player room doesn't cause the horrendous lag, but it also doesn’t cause that much action or excitement either. I began to think that maybe these game critics were just playing some 4-player rooms and calling it a day. Then I read some more reviews and quickly saw that that wasn’t the case here.
Gamespot notes that it is unfortunate that the online play is only 8 players compared to the PC version of 32 players, but then they go ahead and say, "the network code is smooth". Gamepro seems to be under the same impression and goes ahead to mentioned the following.
"Multiplayer wise, Call of Duty 2 supports eight-player online play via Xbox Live, standard four-player split-screen, and the option to system link up to 16 players. The general FPS game types, including deathmatch, team deathmatch, and CTF, are all included, and it runs wonderfully smooth on Live."
One other aspect that these critics seem to get wrong a lot of the time is how many players the 360 and the PC version of this game are. Electronic Gaming Monthly says the game is playable up to 16 people online for the XBOX 360 version. 1up.com also previously mentioned that the XBOX 360 version was 16 players; they have since noted this error. Various other sites and magazines have mixed up the numbers of 8, 16 and 32 between the PC and XBOX 360 version of this game.
Some of you may think that It is my sucky dial-up connection that is making it so hard for me to play this game online, but I assure you that even a T3 connection can't stand up to this lag filled online experience. Sites like Gaming Nexus and IGN are the only ones that I could find that would acknowledge this issue as something wrong on Infinity Ward's end.
"I played about 50 games yesterday and today and several more over the last week. About 90% of my games suffered from lag. In most cases, it wasn't a little lag either. It was major crunching, uncontrollable, skipping all-over-the-place curse-your-mother-in-horribly-unspeakable-ways lag. I'm not sure I've ever seen that happen before even on a regular Xbox
game. In at least 15% of my games I had to manually drop out of them because it was impossible to play, and in another 15% of them I was the last person standing in a capture the flag game because everyone else had dropped out -- because of lag. And you bet I won those cheap games too, despite how lame that sounds. In about three games, the whole thing just crashed. And in uncountable games I experienced multiple disconnection issues. This is me playing from the IGN Offices mostly, where the connection is a giant fat pipe, not my home connection."
-IGN: The Live Chronicles, Chpt. 4
Oddly enough IGN contradicts themselves with the actual review of the game stating "The action continues without a skipping a beat from the single-player campaign straight into the multiplayer levels.”
Now I don't like to accuse people of heinous acts with not a lot of supporting evidence, but it certainly seems like these game critics were being paid off to say nothing but praise in their reviews, which would go to explain why IGN vented in "The Live Chronicles" and not in the review. Then again, it could just be that the attach rate for this game is close to 75% and that it was a shock to the server backbone.