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Call of Duty 2: Big Red One

Score: 82%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: High Voltage Software
Media: GCD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ First Person Shooter/ Squad-Based

Graphics & Sound:

Graphically, Activisionís Call of Duty 2: Big Red One is quite impressive. But this isnít because of the texture quality, as that is fairly poor, in fact. What sets this World War II action game apart are the effects that it produces. As you work your way through each area, youíll be surrounded by flying debris, smoke and explosions. The smoke, as it is outstanding in every way, even causes your vision to be obstructed when searching out enemies to take out.

While all of these effects are flying around, the audio syncs perfectly to give a very in-the-game feel to the entire experience. The voice acting is also quite good, and doesnít detract from the gameplay at all. There are cut-scenes that separate the action, and the animations and voice-overs keep the lack of interactivity interesting.


A glimpse of war on your television screen is exactly what Call of Duty 2: Big Red One is. If you wanted a WWII simulation, this is as close as it gets to feeling like youíre really on the battlefield. Bullets whizzing over your head, grenades getting ever so close, and mortars that land just feet away are only a sample of what Big Red One is all about.

As a member of a squad of soldiers, youíll constantly receive instructions and updated mission objectives real-time during your gameplay experience. The great experience here is that you really can get into the action and feel a sense of urgency to complete each mini-objective in order to complete the entire mission. The unfortunate problem with this is that the gameplay of Call of Duty 2 is quite linear in nature. Youíll have objectives to complete, and you cannot get the rest of the squad to move on until you do what you came to do, whether it be blowing up a tank to clear the way or gunning down a swarm of enemies to cover your squad mates.

Call of Duty 2 contains a lot of action and a lot of weaponry. Youíll be able to pick up enemy rounds, weapons, and grenades, as well as take over some of their more high-powered equipment. With the ability to carry only 2 guns at a time, the action can get crazy if you donít plan ahead and get stuck with two slower rifles. All of this sounds like a great scenario for multiplayer, right? Well, unfortunately the GameCube version of Call of Duty 2 only contains single player missions.


Call of Duty 2: Big Red One contains three modes of difficulty, each represented by bars on your arm patch. At the default medium, the action gets quite intense and can cause a few restarts here and there. Since the only time to save is between missions, youíll sometimes have to replay the same steps over and over again. Fortunately, there are checkpoints throughout each level to fall back on when you die. The key to successful infiltration, no matter which level of difficulty you attempt, is not to go running into any given situation. Getting into the prone position tends to be the best way to approach most situations, as you are crouched down, yet fairly mobile. You can also stand up and run through open areas, or lay down in tight situations. Whereever you are, however, you can always use your environment to hide behind many different types of objects.

Game Mechanics:

The controls of Call of Duty 2: Big Red One are, in a word, perfect. Every button on the controller is used, yet it doesnít seem to get confusing, even after just a few minutes of action. Even the D-pad has a very important use, as you can switch weapons and lean around corners. The only bad thing about this is that you have to move your thumb from the analog stick to lean, which can sometimes cost you that split second of protection you greatly need. The camera actually does quite well, and you can control it (and your aim) with the right analog stick with ease.

Call of Duty 2: Big Red One is a very, very great action title for fans of first-person shooters, especially those into the WWII scene. The pace is usually quite fast, unless you get disoriented and donít see where to go next. But because of the linear nature, you can usually see exactly what your next step needs to be. Unfortunately, the variety in Big Red One is lacking in both the single player campaigns, and the lack of a multiplayer option. This would be one of the best shooters out there if four people could hook it up. But because it doesnít allow for multiplayer, you may want to rent this game first, as the replay value of the single player missions isnít very high at all.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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