Call of Duty 2: Big Red One is a World War II video game for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox and acts as a spin-off of Call of Duty 2. It was released on November 1, 2005, in North America. While developed by Treyarch, personnel from Gray Matter Interactive, who created the Call of Duty: United Offensive expansion pack for the PC, also worked with them on the game. Pi Studios contributed as well.
Big Red One differs from other games in the Call of Duty franchise in that it focuses on a single Allied formation in the War: the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, which goes by the nickname Big Red One due to their unit patch which features a large red numeral one. The game covers the division's part in the invasion and liberation of North Africa, the invasion into Sicily, the landing on Omaha Beach in Europe and moving east, eventually crossing the Siegfried Line into Germany. At the end of each chapter and the beginning of the first, period footage with voiceover (courtesy of Mark Hamill, who was also in the Sam Fuller film, The Big Red One) is seen from the Military Channel, imitating a WWII documentary.
The game features several actors from the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, including Michael Cudlitz, James Madio, Frank John Hughes, Richard Speight, Jr., Ross McCall, Rick Gomez and Rene Morono. The box cover features actor Stephen Saux. The story and characters were written by Aaron Ginsburg and Wade McIntyre.
In the North America it was released as part of a compilation pack entitled Call of Duty: Legacy for the PlayStation 2 only. The pack included Call of Duty: Finest Hour and Big Red One.
The game follows the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division (the "Big Red One") from the sands of Africa to the rolling hillsides of Sicily and the beaches of Normandy and to the heart of Germany. On the way, new weapons, vehicles, and aircraft will be unlocked. The player gets to play as two American soldiers during World War II, as an aircraft gunner and an infantrymen.
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One features online play in both the PS2 and Xbox versions, with drivable tanks, character classes, and experience gain much like United Offensive. Multiplayer functionality is handled by highly modified netcode originally licensed from DemonWare. The GameCube version, however, does not have any multiplayer. Originally the Game Cube version of Call Of Duty 2: The Big Red One was supposed to come with an adapter, that connects to the bottom of the Game Cube, to allow Internet through an Antenna on the back of it, but the idea was scrapped.