Call of Duty 2: Big Red One (Gamecube) Review
WWII games you either love em or you dont, Im in the second category, WWII games to me just dont click with me. I mean its just Call of Duty games but Medal of Honor never sparked my Interest as well. However for some reason I like Battlefield 2 so I approached Call of Duty 2: Big Red One with the good memories of BF2 and not the disappointments of the latest Medal of Honors. And also the Call of Duty 2 on the Gamecube is different from the one on the PC and Xbox360.
So what is the Big Red one? The Big Red one is the North Americans 1st Infantry division; they were the first division to see action in World War 2. In COD2 you follow the foot steps of one soldier through the Big Red Ones campaign from North Africa, to Sicily, France and to Germany. You watch you and your squad develops and changes over the time line of the game and the game really is like paying respect to these men, which is great.
The game features two main types of gameplay with on foot missions taking up the bulk of the action, however during the on foot missions there is plenty of turrets and gun emplacements for you to man even AA Flak guns too. Also one mission aboard a Bomber was really good but I wont spoil want you have to do on that one. The second mode of gameplay is in tanks, I must have missed a cut scene because I cant remember why your character that is in the Infantry is driving a tank but he does. The tank missions are a good break from the first person shooting however you dont get the same sense of desperation or mate ship when you up close with the Boys. The missions are of good length too with checkpoints often incase you stuff up and you dont stay in one place for two long your always moving which is good as there is lots of different locations to see.
The Graphics for BRO are pretty good for the time were in now, While it may not have all the detail of say Resident Evil 4 it in no way look bad, the Character models are very well done but its the environments which score top marks with all of them not only looking authentic but war torn, the opening prologue is set in a burning France with Planes flying in the air, smoke everywhere, buildings, tanks on fire its really gritty and even authentic. There are a few issues with invisible barriers which sometimes get in your way which detract from the atmosphere because all of a sudden youre walking and bam invisible wall. The instances of this are rare but it does happen. Two other niggles I had was that when a grenade was thrown there was no visual indicator to know where is was coming from just your teams mates yelling Grenade! and two It could be just my eyesight but when shooting people from a distance it was hard to tell if they were actually dead, I suppose there camouflage was really good.
Of course Graphics cant make the entire atmosphere of the game, for that you need sound and good sound, which I am please to announce Call of Duty 2 has tons of. Music first off and for what there is of it, its very good; the upbeat drumming military sounding music sets the mood very well. However when the action heats up it quiet down mainly seems to disappear and thats when the sound effects kick in, the gun sounds are really meaty, the cars and tanks sound just about right although Ive never seen or heard a WWII tank so I couldnt tell you if they are Authentic but they sound good none the less. Voice acting is also top notch with actors from the Band of Brothers TV show.
Call of Duty 2 has typical console controls, which work well and dont overcomplicate things, Tank control is a little hard to work out first but in 30 seconds you have it down pat.
So the Story is good so what about the Multiplayer? Well youll be saddened to know that the game features no multiplayer modes what-so-ever. The Xbox and PS2 get online however so you would expect we would get Split screen? Nope we dont, however this is not all bad as half the experience of playing COD2 is the story and the narrative, I think if there was Multiplayer and especially Split screen it would just be a bland shoot-em fest.
So should you buy Call of Duty 2? If youre a WWII nut then yes its a great Console WWII game, however if you got a Xbox360 or a PC that can run it get those versions, I havent played the X360 one but the PC one is very pretty. However there is nothing really terrible with this game just a few things letting it down and then of course no multiplayer. Also you have to weigh up if youre a Xbox and PS2 online player will you be playing this online? If you are you wont be getting the Cube version.
However if your not a WWII nut you may not like it, it features older guns and it not fast paced like Timesplitters or similar, you have to appreciate the time and what the Boys of the Big Red One went through to enjoy the game, COD2 will help you with that and I think it sets out to give you what you paid for, A good game, A Few Flaws and because its on the Cube it has no online so its really only half there fault there is none.