I’ve mentioned periodically how the PS2 is currently the best bargain in videogames. It’s nearing the end of its mass market commercial lifespan, and this, combined with the fact that it has sold the most consoles by far of its generation (by 1/05 it had already topped 100 million consoles sold) has led to an abundance of inexpensive used games. Today’s example is Call of Duty: The Big Red One, a World War II first person shooter. I got this game used for $12 shipped on ebay. It took me a couple of weeks to play through it. On a scale of 1-10 I’d give the game a 7. The graphics are solid for a PS2 release, though any PC fps fan would find them crude. The gameplay was a mix of mostly on foot infantry combat with occasional vehicle-based missions, ranging from tank and armored personal carrier to a fun and novel B17 Bomber mission where you’re tasked with moving between belly, tail and nose turrets to fend of waves of German fighters, then jumping into the bombadier’s position to bomb German industrial targets. You’re accompanied by squadmates through most of it and while they’re pretty stupid they are occasionally helpful and more importantly they rarely got in the way. The game features some really excellent set pieces as well – things like storming German 88 emplacement positions, holding fortifications until reinforcements come up, or rescuing downed airmen. The infantry set pieces are really the best part of the game, in fact.
One of the most interesting things about me having enjoyed and finished the game is that it led me to pick up a couple other PS2 FPS games – basically it convinced me that despite the relatively crude graphics and the fact that you have to use a joypad instead of a mouse and keyboard for controls, the console FPS can be fun. There’s also a wider variety of fps game types on the consoles than there are for PC.
To sum up – the game is well worth trying if you’re a wwII or fps fan, and you definitely can’t beat the price.