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Call of Duty 2: Big Red One was the second Call of Duty game from developer Grey Matter, previously responsible for the United Offensive expansion pack. Towards the end of development they were formally merged with Treyarch, making this the first game in the franchise to be credited to them. Pi Studios, a small Houston, Texas-based developer, contributed to the scripting and engineering of the game.
Big Red One is unique from other games in the Call of Duty franchise in that for almost the entire game, instead of focusing on the multiple points of views of soldiers from varying countries throughout the conflict, it focused on the single point of view of Private Roland Rogers of the U.S. Army's First Infantry Division (referred to as "the Big Red One") during the division's battles throughout the African and European battles.There is a brief mission played from the point of view of Pvt. Rogers' brother in a B-24 Liberator (much as Call of Duty 4 would do later with the AC-130 mission).
Big Red One was considered by many to be the "last gen" version of Call of Duty 2. Prior to release that may have been seen as accurate, however after release it appeared that the two versions of the game were infact quite different, and Big Red One isn't simply a port of Call of Duty 2. Because it was shadowed by Call of Duty 2's release, Big Red One had received less attention then it would have otherwise, and therefore created some misconception about the game.
The game met with a fairly warm reception, eventually accumulating composite scores averaging ~77 on Metacritic across all three platforms and 79% on GameRankings. GamesRadar reviewer Gabe Graziani praised the high quality voice acting but criticized the online gameplay and proliferation of bugs throughout the game. Armchair Empire echoed criticizims about the online play and stated that the game was a major improvement over the maligned Call of Duty: Finest Hour. Gamespot reviewer Bob Colayco highlighted deficiencies in the artificial intelligence of the squadmates