Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
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  1. 100
    By far the best action game you'll find on the Xbox this year.
  2. Gritty realism aside, no other game has ever grabbed me from the opening level and captivated my interest from start to finish like Call of Duty 2: Big Red One. I literally played this game until I was too tired to play anymore, went to bed, got up, and played it some more.
  3. The Xbox version's online support is nearly flawless, but there is some occasional lag on the PlayStation 2 version.
  4. So much fun and so well made that it completely obliterates the insultingly awful "Call of Duty: Finest Hour." This is the game that war gamers have wanted on a console, and it delivers the thrills and entertainment in ways I did not think possible.
  5. Official Xbox Magazine
    The gameplay is great throughout, even if the graphics and A.I. don't quite live up to the standard set by "Call of Duty 2" for 360. But it stands up really well among the existing Xbox library. [Jan 2006, p.58]
  6. Striking visuals (it's not at all grey) and ear-piercing sounds make the action intense, engaging and very cinematic. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  7. For those of you sticking with the Xbox this holiday season, I highly recommend picking up Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, as it is most definitely one of the better shooters released on the Xbox this year.
  8. The emphasis in Call of Duty 2: Big Red One is on the complete experience, which just so happens to include a more scripted, movie-like gameplay experience. If you don't like the more "on rails" M.O. in your war game, then you may want to look elsewhere.
  9. 85
    Ultimately it's a game of straightforward shooting, but one directed with such care that it really shouldn't be neglected.
  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. It's a fine, fine shooter, capturing a micro scale in a macro story, with a remarkable capacity for maintaining alert attention.
  15. 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.
  16. With an engrossing, chaotic presentation that's sometimes at odds with the repetitive tasks you're ordered to carry out, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One asks you to overlook some questionable gameplay as you toil alongside the rest of the Fighting First.
  17. The game is fun and well worth a play if you are into all things war.
  18. Worth picking up for those who choose not to enter the next generation just yet but still want their WWII fix.
  19. It doesn't push the genre into new territory, but the single player campaign is a blast.
  20. A massive improvement on the lacklustre 'Finest Hour', and provides a solid, highly enjoyable singleplayer campaign.
  21. 80
    With a fairly entertaining, though disappointingly short campaign, the game makes a great rental title to play to kill off a boring weekend afternoon.
  22. The combination of multiple sensory inputs allows for a very believable environment and is the primary draw of the game.
  23. 80
    A top-notch FPS, and a huge improvement from Finest Hour.
  24. 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.
  25. I had hoped Activision would have pushed for more character development and overall gameplay fix-ups from the first title, but Call of Duty 2 still manages to offer some appealing material to war fans worth the price tag.
  26. A good WWII shooter with great graphics and effects, but missing the finer points and freedom in the first-person mode.
  27. Even with all the quirks, Call of Duty 2 for the Xbox would have been a hit just a few years ago, but I just can't figure out who the market is today.
  28. 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.
  29. I really dug the variety and movie like quality of the experience.
  30. 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.
  31. 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]
  32. 73
    If however you are considering what should be your first folly into World War action, then consider looking elsewhere.
  33. If you own an Xbox 360 or if your PC can handle it, I would instead recommend "Call of Duty 2" for its far superior gaming intensity and excitement.
  34. AceGamez
    The lack of freedom, the highly structured levels, the checkpoint to checkpoint style of play and the inability to manipulate teammates or the world around you makes you feel that you are playing in a garden wholly owned by someone else; and no, you're not allowed to walk on the grass! Just as a roller coaster does, this game offers.
  35. With the FPS genre and WWII setting being done to death on the Xbox, Activision's new shooter offers some variety in the gameplay, but falls short due to its sloppy shooting mechanics.
  36. While it's a definite improvement on Activision's last Call of Duty game for consoles, Big Red One still doesn't do quite enough to distinguish itself from numerous other World War II first-person shooters.
  37. Hits the right notes all around, providing a fun, action-packed experience. If it were only a bit longer, it'd earn the highest marks, but as is, it's worth a rental, if not more.
  38. Many thrills but you'll have to weigh that against the very directed action which takes a bit of the fun out of it.
  39. An average game in an otherwise stellar series.
  40. The lack of emotive content is conspicuous by its absence, as is the inability to wander from the game's restrictively linear path, as well as the option to accomplish mission objectives from multiple perspectives.
  41. 70
    The game is polished, and delivers a satisfying journey while it has you, but loses you with an all-too short experience.
  42. A fine FPS for the Xbox, giving you lots of opportunity to unearth the trials of war through a number of intriguing campaigns.
  43. Personally I would've liked some variation on the route and have control of what weapons and when to use them, but with all the different array of weaponry at your disposal it is a minor consequence.
  44. Big Red One comes across as rather flat and uninspiring online, and even though there's room for 16 players, most maps will feel quite empty.
  45. 60
    It's just another WWII shooter in that sea of WWII shooters we're all drowning in. It's fun enough while it lasts but there's nothing here we haven't see many, many times before.
  46. 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

#96 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2005
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 33
  2. Negative: 12 out of 33
  1. Rem
    Jul 11, 2013
    Call of Duty 2: BRO is more of the same, but that's easy to forgive when there is so much to enjoy. The characters are interesting, and whileCall of Duty 2: BRO is more of the same, but that's easy to forgive when there is so much to enjoy. The characters are interesting, and while it is not as epic in scale compared to Call of Duty 2, it manages to feel fresh despite of it. The guns in here are standard WW2 affair mixed in with vehicle sections, but it feels powerful and it truly makes you feel as if progress is being made. The witty banter between your squadmates are entertaining and they bond well through the 6-hour campaign. Once that's over, there is the multiplayer which we have seen from Call of Duty 2 before. I enjoyed it for the most part. In the end, this game sets out to be nothing more than another appetizer for the expanding WW2 library. It manages to be one of the better ones though and that's an admirable achievement. Full Review »
  2. Pete
    Apr 21, 2006
    Probably the least enjoyable WW2 FPS i have played on the XBOX. Not a patch on the first one I'm afraid. Why did Activision switch there Probably the least enjoyable WW2 FPS i have played on the XBOX. Not a patch on the first one I'm afraid. Why did Activision switch there programmers?!? Jerky controls and poor graphics reminiscent of early PS2 games. There's a complete lack of emotion and not once did I find myself drawn into the story. Playable, but by no means loveable. Full Review »
  3. Rick
    Mar 2, 2006
    Ho hum! How terrible is the A.I - on a number of occassions the enemy was right infront of me. I was facing the wrong direction, they had the Ho hum! How terrible is the A.I - on a number of occassions the enemy was right infront of me. I was facing the wrong direction, they had the jump on me and they started shooting at my team instead. It does improve as the levels progress but not by much. They are lemmings. Such a shame it didnt have the same A.I. which I enjoyed in the first Call of Duty which at least had some challenge in its gameplay. Infact the first one poops all over this. The cinematic environment is nice but the game is too easy to be considered worthy of anything above a 6. Full Review »