Call of Duty 2: Big Red One

Moby ID: 21658
PlayStation 2 Specs
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Description official descriptions

In the second Call of Duty game for consoles, players again take to battle in The Second World War. As with other Call of Duty games, the focus is on the characters and their drama amidst the furious, heavily scripted, first-person action. As a private new to war in America's most legendary infantry division, nicknamed the Big Red One for the distinctive patch they wore, players will fight through the game as a team in the Fighting First and will be affected by the loss of friends on the battlefield.

Players will have to re-enact the successes of World War II through a wide variety of land, sea, and air missions in Africa, Sicily, and Normandy, by using vehicles including tanks, jeeps, armored cars, and half-tracks. Success will depend on how well players can move, shoot, and complete the objectives that a commanding officer provides before each mission.

The Xbox and PS2 versions offer multiplayer games with up to 16 players.

Spellings

  • 使命召唤2:红一纵队 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

428 People (364 developers, 64 thanks) · View all

Creative Director
Art Director
Technical Director
Audio Director
Lead Artist
Lead Animator
Lead Designers
Lead Programmer
Senior Director of Technology - Multiplayer
Lead Programmer - Multiplayer
Producer
Executive Producer
President
Associate Producers
Production Coordinator
Additional Production
Animation
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 57 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 1 reviews)

Ask Not What Your Gamecube Can Do For You...

The Good
Activision ask players, yet again, to take up arms and hit the many battlefields of World War II. This time, we're specifically recruited into the historic 1st Infantry Division; the "Big Red One" of the game's subtitle. Obviously, you play as a US Soldier, and you are shipped all around Europe and North Africa to fulfill your duty. The Fuhrer is at it again, and this is your "Call of Duty" - to repel and defeat the Axis of Evil. It's all up to the "Fighting First".

The game takes players through pre-game dialog in a quasi-cinematic fashion. You are often briefed (all voice-acted by real actors) before you hit the dirt, sand or air, and the game attempts to give you a feeling of urgency and realism. The first mission title "Baptism By Fire", should give you an idea of how the level designers wish to introduce to the action. You really do face a lot of resistance head-on. The first level is full of soldiers, crashing P-47s, armoured attacks and bombings. It's intense, and the feeling of vulnerability is apparent from the first minute in.

Apart from the lack of overall context I felt in the game, there is still loads of fun to be had in the mission themselves. The controls are well-done (apart from the D-pad for weapon select) and the motions of sneaking through battlegrounds where bullets and explosions are flying everywhere are a pleasure. The vehicle controls aren't bad either, and laying into Panzers with such heavy fire-power is satisfying.

There are plenty of weapons to experience, all feel and fire differently enough to warrant their inclusion. Be prepared though - they are dished out quite periodically, and at moments seemingly randomly. Aiming down the barrel by hold the L-trigger adds some great first-person perspective as well. The rifles are particularly powerful and useful, and so are the machine guns - some say the latter are too powerful. Grenades are not quite as useful as I'd hoped. You can cook them, which is fine, but they bounce about like superballs. It's strange to see a pineapple ricocheting around like it were made of rubber.

The Bad
Like many games set in this theatre of war, you take the role of a kind of all-rounder. You're a good rifleman, a bit of an engineer, squad-leader and bombardier, only to name a few of your skills. If the the real division was full of guys like this, it's no wonder they won the bloody war. That said, you are by far the best in your squad - the NPCs in your fire-team are mostly there for company and scripted banter. Speaking of which, the incidental dialog in this game really sounds tired. How many times have we heard the guy from Brooklyn, or the guy called "Cowboy" or some other stereotype bang on about the girl at home or the best deli in the Bronx? I wish that the characters were a little more humanised, or even scared at times. Rather, they seem to be cocky parodies of poor movie characters.

Except for your character! He never talks, you often drift outside of the conversation like an eavesdropper, and you're only occasionally referred to directly. Your the best guy in the squad and you've got nothing to say!

Taking the route of the Fighting First should be an engaging, exhausting and rich in history. But this game really doesn't take advantage of much of the wealth of this division's history. Sure, the between stage newsreels are well done and worth watching, but on the ground, you don't really feel like you're fighting in any special unit. There's not much mention of the context of your missions, neither is there a bigger picture in which you can find some perspective of the war. For example, one moment you're driving in Tunisia, and the next, you're flying over the Mediterranean; all without explanation as to why this is your current mission.

As mentioned, your squad are pretty useless, and are not responsive to command in any manner. One complaint is that they constantly interrupt your line of sight. You take aim at something carefully, only to have Baker or Bloomfield or Kelly or some dude stand there looking pretty. Also, when you're prone sneaking along, they often walk over you and almost seem to kick you. This is very annoying too. This, along with the terrible interaction with the environment and it's objects (try to get out of a fox-hole while crouching, I dare you) makes for some annoying and carelessly crafted gameplay.

The Bottom Line
There may not be much reason to pick this one up an play through now, especially since "Call of Duty 2" arrived quite shortly after this one. It's appeal lays in the pure challenge of shooting and not being shot. That's as simple as I can categorise the gameplay. This, if savored, can lead to some great WWII reenactments, but I'm sure that they are not unique to this title.

GameCube · by So Hai (261) · 2008

Trivia

German version

In the German version all mentions of Rommel, Hitler, Mussolini and Göring were removed with periphrases and their appearances in the intro videos were cut out. All swastikas (except one on a German plane in the bonus material which was missed) were either removed or replaced with iron crosses.

References

Big Red One is a reference to the nickname of the 1st Infantry Division of the United States Army, after its shoulder patch. It is the oldest division in the United States Army, and has seen continuous service since its organization in 1917.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Mananan.

PlayStation 2, Xbox added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Sciere, Patrick Bregger.

Game added April 4, 2006. Last modified April 28, 2024.