There will probably never be a definitive World War II action game, for the simple fact that so many new ones are released each year. Call of Duty 2: Big Red One should certainly be the last word on the current console formats though--which means something at least. Rather confusingly this has nothing to do with the subtitle-less Call of Duty 2 on PC and Xbox 360. Whereas that game has the usual mix of three different nationalities of soldier to control, Big Red One has you playing the same soldier throughout the whole game. You do get to do quite a bit of sight seeing though with missions in North Africa, Italy, France, Belgium and Germany. The Big Red One of the title is the nickname of a famous American infantry division and by sticking with them throughout the whole game you do get a much better sense of camaraderie than previous Call of Duty games. Unfortunately it also means that the game seems perilously close to the already excellent Brothers in Arms, except without the strategy bits. No war game ever seems to do its action quite like Call of Duty though and the set pieces here tread that difficult line between cinematic bombast and harrowing realism perfectly. Big Red One won’t have the same impact on the gaming world as the first Call of Duty games, but it nevertheless looks like having a very good chance of being a better game. --Harrison DentThis preview is based on an incomplete version of the game; features or problems mentioned above may not appear in the finished game.
Cinematic Intensity – The hallmark cinematic intensity of Call of Duty® returns with a more complete gameplay experience than ever before. Experience a wide variety of missions on land, sea and in the air, with the aid of more than three-dozen authentic American, Italian, French and German weapons. Charge into battle as Allied and Axis planes duel overhead, artillery explosions shake the ground and choke the air, and bullets and shrapnel streak past squadmates. Experience war-torn Europe and Africa, from the blistering desert expanses of Tunisia and Libya to the beautiful yet deadly countrysides of Italy, France, Belgium and Germany.
A Soldier’s Story – Players are thrust into the role and story of a member of the U.S. Army’s famed Fighting 1st Infantry, the Big Red One, America’s most heroic and decorated infantry division. Experience the camaraderie of a single tight-knit squad, bound together through the chaos of battle.
Know Your Squad – Through all-new A.I. and animation, allies and enemies take battle tactics to new heights. Squads will now make better use of environmental cover and tactical maneuvers, such as flanking, envelopment and fire-and-maneuver behaviors. Hear allies reacting to the events on the battlefield with contextually accurate battle chatter.