Call of Duty 2: Big Red One Review

Developer: Treyarch Publisher: Activision
Release Date: November 1, 2005 Also On: GameCube, PS2 and Xbox

You sit back on your couch and dim the lights. Grab a bag of popcorn and witness the intense war scenes Call of Duty has to offer. No, this is not a movie, but it might as well be an interactive movie. The story comes close to home with people from all around the United States being somewhere in the game. Outside of the actual plot, there is still a solid game to be played.

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Take on look at Big Red One and you will see that it’s nothing like the 360 and PC game. For the Xbox however, it looks fantastic. The wartime environment feels incredibly realistic. The explosions and crumbling buildings in cities give you a great sense of the chaos war brings. Character models are great, but then lip synching is way off for the dialogue. This hurts the game considerably since you never leave the first person view even during cut scenes. That means you will witness the poorly synched dialogue up closer every time.

The sound of war never felt more real on a console. Big Red One brings the sheer brutality of war to life with the echoes on the battlefield. Gunfire and shell explosions roar in the distance while realistic gunfire blasts away at your opponents in front of you. Something that I found amazing was the bullet impact sounds on the bodies. Voice talents are outstanding and range from the Texas redneck to the New Yorker from Brooklyn. It just shows how diverse our military really is. The score is nothing brilliant. But you don’t need music on the battlefield.

Call of Duty isn’t your typical shooter. You have your best chance at scoring hits when you aren’t moving. When you scope, you use the actual sight line of the gun which is a fantastic bonus. The AI isn’t the brightest, but it’s nice to see them climb to their feet after being shot in the leg and try to keep fighting. They do tend to just take your punishment most of the time. Levels are long and feel extremely linear. You really only have one path that you can follow throughout each map. The story is presented well throughout and it will keep you interested until the end.

Multiplayer wise, Big Red One shines. There are only four multiplayer maps at your disposal including capture the flag, death match, team death match, and domination. The handful of multiplayer maps will keep all types of players happy so the lack of modes shouldn’t get you down. There are plenty of hiding places and sniping positions for you to get the jump on your enemy. The maps are well thought out and balanced for game play and you will find yourself indulging in the realism time after time.

Call of Duty 2 isn’t the greatest shooter on the Xbox, but it is a great pickup for fans of the series and the WWII genre. The campaign lasts about 15-20 hours and he fun throughout. Even if that doesn’t interest you, the multiplayer options will keep you coming back for more on PS2 and Xbox Live. There are many World War II shooters out there and Big Red One ranges near the top. If you are a fan of shooters, you should easily enjoy this one.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.4
Written by Shawn Review Guide

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