You know it seems like each console has a specific genre in which they just have an over abundance of titles. Where the PS2 is just over flowing with platformers and RPGs, and the Gamecube has lots of younger kid games, the Xbox is blessed with first person shooters. Well today we are actually going to look at yet another first person shooter for the Xbox, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, yet another WWII FPS. So can Big Red One make a splash on the busy field? Read our full review to find out!
It is kind of odd to see two different Call of Duty games come out at the same. You have the game Call of Duty 2 for both the PC and the Xbox 360, and then Call of Duty 2: Big Red One for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Gamecube. Now why you would want to make two competing FPS is beyond me, but nevertheless both games are out and we are actually going to check out Big Red One for the Xbox.
Ok so what is Big Red One and what is up with the name? Well in this game you will find that the game features the 1st Infantry Division, where you will go through a nice lengthy thirteen campaign trail, getting up close and personal with the soldiers of WWII. What Call of Duty 2: Big Red One really tries to do is get you involved with your fellow soldiers, and it does this by really getting into the nitty gritty and really learning about all of your compatriots. For all the work that went into the story, I have to say that although the story was very interesting, it was nothing that hasn’t been done before in video games.
Now to separate Big Red One from Call of Duty 2, you have a much different style of action in Big Red One that some will enjoy and others will find to be boring. In Big Red One, you have a lot of variety in the things you do. So at one time, you will be driving around in tanks, while at another time you will be just gunning down enemy planes. So the game really wants to keep you away from just continually running and gunning, and in this sense the game accomplishes the goal of not making things repetitive.
Now sure having a great deal of variety is key for any FPS, especially since a lot of great FPS hasn’t done as well as they could, because they merely did the same thing over and over again. However in Big Red One the variety in things you can do is not the issue, but instead it is how you do them that causes some frustrations. In fact the biggest problem is actually just the feel of the game, as the game engine has a lot of weird quirks. The first noticeable one is the actual shooting, which is kind of sloppy. I found that the shooting the game just was not as exhilarating as what was found in other WWII FPS. You just don’t get the same sort of satisfaction in Big Red One as a lot of these games have been giving.
The overall single player mode is good but the missions range from really fun to really not fun at all. The game has good ideas, but in the end it ends up being a bit to short and lacks some of the added depth that we have also become accustom to in recent years. Now although the depth of the game is found in the single player mode, Big Red One does have some multiplayer options as well. These options are rather limited but they do allow up to sixteen players on Xbox Live. The game has modes like Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Domination. Now there may not be a whole lot of variety but the multiplayer seems to work really well.
In the end, Big Red One is just an average shooter that has a lot of variety, but the gameplay is just nowhere near as engaging as previous games have been. Big Red One has some good ideas and is a capable shooter, but don’t expect it to be anything that hasn’t been done better in other WWII shooters.
One thing that Call of Duty 2: Big Red One really does well is the visual presentation, which just gives an overwhelming performance on the Xbox. Sure it is not the best the Xbox has seen, but it has some really well created environments with a great deal of detail and color. The game takes place in a lot of different locations and the game does well in this aspect as well as you will find the game manages to keep things fresh by using all these different battlefields.
The game has some very nice explosion animations, which in my mind really stood out. You will be in the tank quite often and in this aspect you will really see these explosions up close and personal. The game does a nice job of bringing everything together in the game. In the end, Big Red One may not be fantastic, but it is impressive and sticks with that same theme throughout the game.
I am a huge Call of Duty fan, as well as a huge fan of WWII games, and I have to say there are some very entertaining segments of Big Red One that I was very impressed with. But then again there were a lot of areas in Big Red One that I thought could have been a lot better than how they turned out, and this can be seen in some of the most basic shooting sequences. Big Red One is a fun game but it is nothing that goes out of its way to be better then all of the rest.
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One is a very capable FPS that has some really neat ideas, especially with all of the variety the game has. Big Red One is a solid game through and through. However, fans of WWII FPS will find things to enjoy in the game, just don’t expect it to be one of the best ones out there. If you like these sorts of games, give the game a try as it is definitely worth a rental. But purchasing this game just doesn’t seem worthwhile in my opinion.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.