WorthPlaying: First off, what is the significance of the name “Big Red One”?
JR: “Big Red One” is the nickname for the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, America’s most decorated fighting unit. The nickname comes – quite literally – from the red number “one” that the members wear on their sleeves. The Big Red One made for such a compelling story, because they really tackled the “firsts” of the war: they were the first into action, the first into Africa, the first to capture a German city – they did it all. The upside for players is that – because the Big Red One operated in theaters from Africa to Europe – by traveling with them, you see a range of new enemies such as the Vichy French and Italian Fascists, as well as the Germans. Players will also get to experience all the weapons that come with them.
WP: With so much covered in the first game, what operations and battles did you want to focus on this time?
JR: WWII offers an incredible number of settings and battles to choose from, especially when playing as a member of the Big Red one – these guys did it all. For Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, the first thing we wanted to focus on was “how” players engaged the game. Because the Big Red One operated in so many different locations and engaged in a variety of different battles, we wanted players to experience the game’s epic storyline as the same soldier throughout the entire game.
WP: Tell us about the missions this time around.
JR: The game covers Northern Africa, Italy, France, Belgium and Germany. Players will enjoy a truly cinematic gameplay experience, facing all the chaos that battle has to offer. Additionally, players will engage in land, sea and air missions, taking the helm of a variety of vehicles.
WP: Did you ever consider having Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia, be part of the game?
JR: Since we wanted to tell the story of the Big Red One, Treyarch selected operations where the American First Infantry Division made some of their biggest marks: Operation Torch in North Africa, Operation Husky in Italy and Operation Overlord in Europe.
WP: Graham Revell has written an original score for “Big Red One”. Will his music be exclusive to this title only, and not appear on the X-Box 360 or PC version?
JR: Revell – the artist behind such feature films as Sin city, The Crow, Chronicles of Riddick, The Insider and The Saint – composed music for Call of Duty 2 (PC/Xbox 360) and he scored Call of Duty 2: Big Red One. This was his first endeavor into video games and he was able to capture the emotion and intensity of being on the battlefield of some of WWII’s most explosive conflicts.
WP: How has multiplayer been refined?
JR: Up to 16 players will enjoy online, team-based multiplayer gameplay action on Xbox Live, System Link, PlayStation 2 Online and LAN. Additionally, multiplayer features four modes of play: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination and Capture the Flag. Players can communicate through headsets and will also have access to exclusive weapons, maps and vehicle gameplay.
WP: I understand that you were in Europe last month. Tell us about the event and what they did to you there.
JR: We had a press event last month in Poland where one of Hitler’s main command bunkers was located. Unfortunately, we were in crunch during the time and I could not attend. One of the guys on the team, Peter Muravez, went in my place and got to see some of the blown-out bunkers from the war. At one point, some of the guys were taking a helicopter tour of the compound when one of our military advisors, Hank Keirsey, retired Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, took control of the helicopter. Let’s just say that Peter has not been the same since that helicopter ride.
WP: Are there plans for a Call of Duty 3? If yes, will it still be a WWII shooter or another war?
JR: Right now, we’re focused solely on completing and bringing the experience of the Big Red One to gamers everywhere.
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