Home Gaming Call of Duty 2 vastly improved through Xbox One’s backwards compatibility

Call of Duty 2 vastly improved through Xbox One’s backwards compatibility

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Call of Duty 2 is still probably my favourite game in the series, but that’s because I’m not especially keen on the multiplayer shenanigans that have become its raison d’être. Add that I’ve always like the more historical take, and it’s easy to see why I have very fond memories of playing through the game.

Back when it was released, I played the game on PC, largely because the Xbox 360 had yet to be released at that point. It did end up coming to Microsoft’s console as one its launch games. It did, however, launch with a few performance issues. Though it targeted 60 fps, its odd frame pacing means that it often ran at half that frame rate.

Just over 10 years later, and the game is now available to play as a backwards compatible game on the Xbox One. I’ve always maintained that the Xbox One’s software-based Xbox 360 emulation is powered by black magic, and there’s nowhere more evident of this than in Call of Duty 2’s performance on Microsoft’s newer console.

The chaps at Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry put the game through its paces on the Xbox One, and the result is impressive. The game seldom falters from its 60fps target, without any visual anomalies or oddness you’d expect from emulation. Take a look!

While there’s the temptation to roll one’s eyes and exclaim that “of course a game from 2005 runs better on new hardware!” the fact that it’s being done by software-based emulation on relatively underpowered hardware is incredibly impressive.

As I’ve said before, I really expected Xbox One backwards compatibility to be an appreciated, but severely underutilised feature; something great for a bullet point on the back of a box, but not very much else. I was wrong.

Last Updated: August 25, 2016


  1. Matthew Holliday

    August 25, 2016 at 10:15

    “of course a game from 2005 runs better on new hardware!”
    Actually thats not always entirely accurate. I often find that when I go back to older games, performance isnt actually any better than it was when I first played it, that and stuff like the hitching you get when playing DX11/12 on a game designed around DX9 and all that good stuff.

    And COD2 was quality, but my favorite game from that era is still Medal of Honor Pacific Assault.
    I laughed, went back to that game last year some time and the load screens every two meters were just hilarious.
    No idea how we played games back then.


    • Darren Peach

      August 25, 2016 at 11:02

      That was a transitional period for games. COD had just changed the landscape in terms of that over the top action that the original games a famous for. I must be honest, Going back and playing games with the pace of Medal of Honor and Return to Castle Wolvenstein gives you great perspective on the evolution of something as cerebral as game-play.


  2. Darren Peach

    August 25, 2016 at 10:16

    Been playing COD 4 online on my PC. Got seriously dizzy. Viva console controller.


    • Matthew Holliday

      August 25, 2016 at 11:18

      Are there CoD4 servers still up and populated locally?


      • Darren Peach

        August 25, 2016 at 11:37

        Nope. I play on international serves with high ping.


        • Matthew Holliday

          August 25, 2016 at 12:07

          The pain must be pretty intense, quick scoping was hard enough to deal with on 30ms


        • HairyEwok

          August 25, 2016 at 15:32

          Just wait until Infinite warfare gets released with the remastered CoD4. That will re-ignite the servers both locally and internationally, unless they throw dedicated servers out of the boat again.


          • Darren Peach

            August 25, 2016 at 15:39

            Yeah, Hopefully after this weekend, Playing on PC will be a thing of the past.

  3. HairyEwok

    August 25, 2016 at 10:40

    So basically the Xbone is made for games that was released back in 2005 😛


    • Matthew Holliday

      August 25, 2016 at 11:19

      Right? It all makes sense now!


    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      August 25, 2016 at 12:03

      OH SNAP


  4. The Order of the Banana

    August 25, 2016 at 12:20

    Xbone, 2005 called and it wants its games back! hehehehehehe!


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