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November 7, 2005
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
16/11/2005ActivisionTreyarch1, 16 $89.95

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Looking over the convoy.
Big Red One eh. Kind of sounds like a name for a porno movie - but it's not. It is, in fact the subtitle to Activision's latest Call of Duty title on Playstation 2. The original Call of Duty: Finest Hour was a quite impressive World War II First Person Shooter and this game looks even better. So what is the Big Red One, and what's it about? The Big Red One is America’s most heroic and decorated infantry division. Experience the camaraderie of a single tight-knit army squad, bound together through the chaos of battle over the course of the entire game. Yes, you will suffer casualties; you must not suffer defeat.

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XBox screens - PS2 is very similar.
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One allows you to experience the adrenaline rush and harsh realities of war as never before, get to know your squadmates, and fight alongside them through an epic story during the most harrowing moments of World War II. As a part of America’s most decorated and heroic fighting unit, The Big Red One, you'll work together with your squad to accomplish a variety of combat missions spanning North Africa, Italy, and Nazi-occupied Western Europe.

One of the biggest changes from the previous title is that you now follow the fortunes of a single soldier through the war. In the previous game you played different soldiers from different armies entering different campaigns. It was an aspect we weren't especially fond of here at Future Gamez as it took away much of the emotional content.

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Check out the effects.
Your squad will now make better use of environmental cover and tactical Maneuvers, such as flanking, envelopment, and fire-and-maneuver behaviors. Hear your allies reacting to the events on the battlefield with contextually accurate battle chatter. Perhaps the biggest change to this title will be an improvement to the AI. During the early development Activision had Grey Matter (who worked on Call of Duty: United Offensive for the PC), move the AI systems onto the consoles and apparently the results are a dramatic improvement in the enemy, and friendly soldiers, AI.

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Storming the stronghold.
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots Call of Duty 2: Big Red One looks mighty impressive. The level of detail in the game world is up there with the best on Playstation 2 and as with the previous title we can expecte dozens of soldiers on screen at once.

Interestingly the developers of Call of Duty: Finest Hour aren't working on this sequel as they are working on a next generation project for Atari. Instead Activision have handed the development duties over to Treyarch who in recent times are probably best known for thier impressive Spider-Man games on Playstation 2. This game is shaping up quite nicely with the game on target for a mid-November release.