Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
Buy On
  1. The impression of war is always well intact in the game which is simply amazing. The actual gameplay is top-notch with tight shooting and controls making the game as approachable as possible.
  2. With an amazing single-player campaign and superior control system over its counterparts Call of Duty 2 Big Red One for the PS2 is an all around great game.
  3. 90
    The comfortable control scheme adapts well to the myriad of mission types (thanks to a forgiving targeting system), and makes switching between standard first-person shooting and the ultra-cool vehicular combat sequences a cinch.
  4. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Combining frenzied conflict with Hollywood blockbuster production values, this is one of the most explosive war games around. [Christmas 2005, p.102]
  5. It's pretty short, but while it lasts, you'll find an intense World War II shooter that sticks to reality but is still a blast to play.
  6. The combination of good graphics; great sound and intense action makes for a very immersive game that will be hard to put down.
  7. Not quite as nails as before, yet even more exciting, Big Red One is the gaming equivalent of your synapses combusting. And that can only ever be a good thing. [PSM2]
  8. Big Red One isn’t quite “the one” we’ve been waiting for, but it’s a polished and extremely exciting shooter that won’t have anyone reaching for a pillow.
  9. Sometimes a little scripting is needed to bring such an important historical event to life, but decisions made on the field, in the heat of combat are what won the war. The next time around, it'd be nice to see a bit more of that flexibility in the progression of the game.
  10. One the best examples of a series which makes you feel like you are a part of the war rather than the most important member of the war, which is perhaps the game’s biggest draw, and rightly so.
  11. An immersive and cinematic game featuring a storyline plenty of action enough to spare.
  12. I would put Call of Duty 2: Big Red One below "Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood," but above "Battlefield 2: Modern Combat."
  13. Aside from my mixed feelings on A.I., which was never one of the series' strengths to begin with, and the length, the game has a lot of great action, well done atmosphere, and multiplayer to keep you coming back for more.
  14. A solid gaming experience with great atmosphere though a little linear.
  15. 80
    And while the basic multiplayer component and a few obvious drops in pacing sometimes make the title feel a touch flat, the singleplayer campaigns are actually anything but.
  16. 80
    You don't have to already be a fan, though, to appreciate the game, and that's a big part of its appeal. It's pretty easy to jump in, grab a gun and start starring in your own WWII movie mowing down Nazis.
  17. More than anything else, Big Red One is all about throwing players into war individually, and letting them feel the despair, noise, and thrill of coming out the other side alive.
  18. A great game. The sound and graphics alone make this title worth checking out; the only problem is that it does little to innovate. The whole game, while exceptionally well done, is just more of the same old WWII action that we have already seen a hundred times before.
  19. Sure, you've played most of this stuff before -- and in Call of Duty games, too -- but that doesn't stop it from being some of the most gripping and exciting firefights found on the PS2.
  20. A significant improvement from the first iteration of the game on the PS2 -- it features an exciting and intense single player campaign, even if it is on the short side, while the multiplayer is mediocre at best.
  21. No other console WWII game has ever produced such a technically stunning or emotionally involving experience. Big Red One has been polished to perfection. [PSW]
  22. AceGamez
    If you can pick it up for twenty in the sales, then do it.
  23. In conclusion, if you're looking for a great online shooter, well you're just not going to get that here. If you're looking for a little bit of a change in a WWII genre campaign, you may want to check out what Call of Duty 2: Big Red One has to offer.
  24. A good WWII shooter with great graphics and effects, but missing the finer points and freedom in the first-person mode.
  25. While the gameplay is adequate and the concept behind the title is a solid one, the brevity of the single player campaign and the drab multiplayer, along with some quirky features makes Big Red One a game to check out first before you buy it.
  26. Treyarch have done a commendable job with the single-player in such a tough development cycle, that just managing to make a multiplayer mode that improves upon Finest Hour’s is a fantastic achievement.
  27. Big Red One comes across as a nicely presented game with some impressive visuals and memorable moments, but it doesn’t have enough to make it stand out from the rest.
  28. Game Informer
    The total lack of soul in Big Red One, along with the irritating level design, are simply too much for the technical excellence embodied in its smooth framerate and slick graphics to overcome. [Jan 2006, p.137]
  29. 73
    If however you are considering what should be your first folly into World War action, then consider looking elsewhere.
  30. A decent distraction, even though it isn't much different from the horde of other WWII games out there in recent years with the exception of some mild squad tactics.
  31. While it offers an interesting and varied campaign, Big Red One doesn't quite nail down the intense feel of World War II infantry combat.
  32. PSM Magazine
    You're left with a simple arcade shooter cloaked in WWII guise that completes every prerequisite. [Jan 2006, p.76]
  33. All in all, this is about what we've come to expect from a competent World War II FPS: frequent moments of drama and tension and cinema interspersed with some fairly run-of-the-mill shooting.
  34. Despite having a strong legacy to build upon, this game somehow manages to somewhat disappoint. In fact, it may be time to let the entire WW II, FPS genre die with dignity.
  35. It’s not that Big Red One is a bad game – it’s enjoyable for as long as it lasts – but there are much more entertaining, value-packed titles available.
  36. Sometimes the graphics were actually surprisingly good, such as the detail on the planes as I gunned them down, or the rust on the vehicles. But other times, like when all the glass windows burst the same, or every office in the game has the same desk, chair and bookshelf, Call of Duty 2 begins to show its age.
  37. Better than Finest Hour, but still not where it needs to be.
  38. There are a few issues with Big Red One (particularly a slow trudge through the Africa campaign and spots of truly artificial intelligence), but fans of the series will find it enjoyable, intense, and an improvement over earlier chapters.
  39. This game’s single-player campaign is a decent diversion and serves up a relatively well-produced version of the PC series. Unfortunately, what it lacks in replay value and online play leads to a solider a bit too thin for his britches. Will this war never end?

Awards & Rankings

#29 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#19 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. AndyC.
    Jan 24, 2006
    The single player mode is incredibly, dissappointingly short - just as you feel the game is about to really get going, the credits roll. The single player mode is incredibly, dissappointingly short - just as you feel the game is about to really get going, the credits roll. There are also some irritating glitches (eg sometimes health and ammo is picked up automatically, sometimes not), and delays between pressing the reload button and your character actually doing it. The AI of your squad members is also poor at times - they have an annoying tendency of getting in the way at the worst possible moments. There's a good game lurking in there, but its brevity and shortness means it never truly comes to the surface. Full Review »
  2. Sep 27, 2013
    This game has a pretty decent story that actually makes sence unlike the other cods, the aiming and gameplay are actually solid and theThis game has a pretty decent story that actually makes sence unlike the other cods, the aiming and gameplay are actually solid and the graphics are pretty good for a game that came out in 2005. Treyarch did a good job with this game. Full Review »
  3. Aug 3, 2013
    This is better then any new Cod game that has or ever will come out. This is my favorite WW2 game of all time. The sound of bullets and theThis is better then any new Cod game that has or ever will come out. This is my favorite WW2 game of all time. The sound of bullets and the cries of dying soldiers will make anyone tense up and pray not to end up like them. The story is all about the Big Red and there campaign during WW2 its a must play for those who like shooters and gamers like me who just want a realistic shooter based on history. The music is great and very old fashion. The voice acting is really cool and even tho they look really dated I still like the way the game looks. What more can I say this is better the any modern warfare game and once you play it you will see it for yourself. Full Review »