Call of Duty 3

 

  

 

 Call of Duty 3 is the next World War II first-person shooter to come to the 360, and it's the sequel to the game that is generally regarded as the XBOX 360s greatest launch title, Call of Duty 2. The development team responsible for the latter game, Infinity Ward, moved on so Activision enlisted Trey arch to do this one. Do they succeed?? In a word, yes. Call of Duty 2 was incredible, but Call of Duty 3 is really what its all about. It's a lot more focused, yet still gives the player a great variety of things to do.

 

 

 

Call of Duty 3


There is also a storyline going through each nationality's missions. I put that in quotes because it really is there just to add flavour to the whole thing, but it doesn't really work that well. The Canadian missions have a radio operator who is basically a coward, who finally has his redemption. The British missions involve a fellow British officer who doesn't like the French and the Americans have some conflict between a couple of your immediate superiors as casualties take their toll. This all gives the missions a little more of a storyline, but the linking of the missions to the overall campaign is effective enough that this just seems a feeble attempt to add atmosphere. Still, it doesn't detract from anything, other than the so-so dialogue from the cut-scenes. I did appreciate the fact that, during the Canadian cut-scenes, there was only one "eh" heard. Way to avoid the stereotype, Treyarch.

As mentioned, the missions follow a logical flow, though the British ones do seem a little arbitrary (maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention). The Poles need the Canadians to take a river so they can move their tanks across, and they end up driving the Germans toward the American assault on Chamois. While the British mission starts out being about disrupting supply lines and the like, it quickly becomes "rescue the major and other Marquis fighters" and thus doesn't seem as cohesive to the rest of them. Overall, between the variety of missions and how they all come together, you get the sense that you are in the middle of one of the more important battles of the war.

Call of Duty 3


 
Gameplay is much the same as the previous games, with the controls being exactly the same as Call of Duty 2. The right trigger fires your weapon; the left brings it up so you have a sight, helping your accuracy. The right bumper throws frag grenades and the left throws smoke grenades. I found myself using frag grenades a lot, but thankfully a lot of the dead Germans have grenades of their own (at least on the normal difficulty level, I don't know if there's a shortage of this on higher ones). The Y button changes between the two weapons you can carry and X re-loads your current weapon. One new aspect is that you can throw back grenades that land near you, rather than just running away. You use the X button for this too, but remember that this just picks it up! You still have to throw it back (as I discovered, to my character's dismay, the first time I tried it). Of course, the left stick moves you and the right stick changes your view. There is no "lean" function, which would have been nice, but I made do without it. That does make house fighting a little tough, though. Pressing the left stick raises binoculars and pressing the right stick makes you use the butt of your weapon to hit somebody (or something).

Another new aspect is a couple of mini-"games" that basically require you to hit the correct buttons at the right time. One of them is easy. Instead of just hitting X to set an explosive, you have to hit X, then hit the button the game tells you to (it's different each time), then rotate the right stick repeatedly until the fuse is set. It then tells you to hit another button, and it's set. The second one is the occasional time when a German’ll surprise you and have to face him in a hand-to-hand struggle. You alternate pulling the right and left trigger, and if you lose, you die. If you're winning, the game then tells you to hit a button (again, it's different) to finish him off. The first time this happened, it startled me, but after that it just became annoying. Neither of these two things adds much to the game, and the bomb part is just silly. Some may say it immerses you in the game even more, but since you aren't in much danger when you set an explosive (I think I got hit a couple of times while setting a bomb), it just seems like busywork.

Call of Duty 3


Despite those little annoyances, though, the gameplay overall is very good. Explosions are going off all around you, bullets flying, and often your screen becomes red very quickly (that's its way of telling you to get to cover while you rest, as there are no healing packs in this game, much like the second one). The physics is very good, with bodies flying from grenades everywhere. Bits of scenery get destroyed, though it would have been nice if there were a little more of this. I was impressed that staircases could take damage and that bullet holes stayed on walls for a while, but other times when you shoot something it doesn't move. One really impressive bit of atmosphere, though, is when you're in a wine storage building taking on some German soldiers. As bullets hit the casks, wine actually starts spurting out of them. Nice attention to detail.

And then we come to the AI. On the normal difficulty level, it's not the greatest. The Germans do show some intelligence, and so do your buddies, but not a whole lot. Frontal charges are the norm, and I watched a bunch of my Canadian soldiers get gunned down running through a trench charging a machine gun position. No attempt to use smoke (unless I threw it). Other times, though, the AI is great with judicious use of smoke and other grenades. Unlike the previous game, I didn't have any instances where one of my buddies saved my butt from a German sneaking up behind me, but that could be because I didn't get myself into that position this time. One annoyance that often happened in a building, though, was that a German and one of my guys would be standing almost right next to each other, facing opposite directions, and they wouldn't notice each other. I'd have to manoeuvre myself around to get the German without hurting mine (friendly fire will still make you fail the mission, as before). Overall, the AI is fine, but questionable. That could very well be due to the difficulty level, though.

Call of Duty 3
The graphics in Call of Duty 3 are truly awesome, with a few minor exceptions. The explosions are real, buildings on fire look fairly real (though not close up) and the environments are impressive. Some have said that the houses look a little too similar, but I only agree with that to a degree. There is enough variety in them to keep them interesting, but some of the basic houses in the villages do look similar. That being said, it could be considered realistic that they're that way. The soldiers look very good, and even the cut-scenes are well done too. They are very next-gen, and there's a lot of stuff happening on screen for the graphics engine to keep track of.

So, inevitably, there are a few glitches. This happened mostly with dead bodies, thankfully. Sometimes, when a German soldier (or even an Allied one) dies, they become part of the scenery they were next to. I saw a few soldiers sticking out of walls or through barrels or what have you. More rarely, when a German was hiding behind something, I would see a piece of him sticking through the wall or object as well. This surprised me, as I don't remember that happening too often in the second game, but it has been a while since I've played that one. Thankfully, I couldn't shoot him through the wall, but I did know he was there. Overall, though, the visuals in this game are stunning, and well worth playing it on the XBOX 360.

 

Call of Duty 3


 

Call of Duty 3 is the next World War II first-person shooter to come to the 360, and it's the sequel to the game that is generally regarded as the XBOX 360s greatest launch title, Call of Duty 2. The development team responsible for the latter game, Infinity Ward, moved on so Activision enlisted Trey arch to do this one. Do they succeed?? In a word, yes. Call of Duty 2 was incredible, but Call of Duty 3 is really what its all about. It's a lot more focused, yet still gives the player a great variety of things to do.

As with the Call of Duty games, you play a variety of allied soldiers in World War II. The focus this time, however, is on the Normandy campaign. You alternate between American or Canadian infantrymen, British SAS or Polish tankers, taking part in a variety of missions to either take territory, defend it, call down artillery on attacking Germans, or helping the French Marquis resistance interdict supply lines, all as part of the battle to close the Falaise Gap, trapping a German army in the process. There are driving missions where you drive a jeep down French country roads, through Germans (while your fellow British soldier mans the guns), a mission where you drive your Polish tank through a French village to take down a notorious German general, and other basic missions like that.

 
Call of Duty 3 is an excellent game with only minor problems. The normal difficulty level will take you about 8-10 hours, but it's a great enough game that you'll be wanting to play the higher difficulties as well. I know that's where I'm headed next.

 

 

Gameplay  9.4

Graphics    9.0

Audio         9.5

 

 

 

Total  9.2