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Call of Duty 3 Review

publisher: Activision
developer: Treyarch
genre: Shooters

ESRB rating: T

release date: Nov 07, 06
» All About Call of Duty 3 on ActionTrip

December 04, 2006
Josh Gibbons

The world is awash in Xbox360 First Person Shooters. Having just finished up Quake 4 and Gears of War, I was working my way through F.E.A.R. when Activison's little gem Call of Duty 3 (CoD3) came along. It feels like every other game, coming out for the 360, is an FPS. Personally, I love it. I will take a mediocre FPS (aka Quake 4) over a good adventure game (aka Kameo) any day (I hope you are wearing your flame retardant under-roos, Josh. -Mo).

As I started playing CoD3, I wondered to myself, "Can I really stomach one more FPS"? When we are talking about an FPS from developer Treyarch, the answer is a resounding yes. These guys have a proven track record. They also have some of the best scripted sequences in the business. You might agree that it is a rare occurrence for a game to inspire awe these days. There were actually a few of those 'awe' moments for me in this game. I won't spoil anything but they are pretty cool to play through.

Just to be clear, for those you who played COD (Call of Duty) 1 and 2, you will not be shocked by anything new in single player game. The storyline is a little tighter and the area you fight in is a bit more focused than the previous two titles. However, the guns are for the most part, the same. The mechanics are almost exactly the same. The graphics are slightly improved but really noticeable when it comes to lighting effects. But the single player campaign could almost have been an expansion rather than a sequel.

So, if you played COD 1 and/or 2, is this worth buying? In my opinion, yes. If you haven't played any of the previous titles, then it is a definite yes. As I stated at the beginning, there a lot of good FPS games to play. If you enjoy them, you will enjoy this. Even if you find the huge influx of WW2 game getting a little old (A little?! -Ed), you will still enjoy this for what it is, a quality FPS. Not only that, the big reason many of you will like this game over its predecessors will be the multiplayer mode. More on that in a second.

There a few new items to note. One item is that you can, if you do it quick enough, throw grenades back at the enemy. Toss backs, are mostly scripted in the single player campaign (meaning you will usually get the chance at certain points in game). In multiplayer, it is a bit more useful if the "enemy" throws a grenade too quickly and it gives you a chance to toss it back.

Another mechanic you will come across is the Action Events. They are sparse but they are there. They require you to push certain buttons as they appear on the screen in order to perform an action. I don't think they add much to the game. For me they actually broke the flow of the game and were more of an annoyance.

The storyline is done in the same style of the previous COD games by having you go through a number of missions, jumping between many of the allies of WW2. Along those lines, I believe this is the first WW2 game to give you a chance to play the Polish. That alone, is worth the sticker price. That being said, the faction you play will probably not matter to you much. The only reason you will probably notice, will be the change in accents as you take over British, Americans, or Russians, etc.

The scenery in game is very good and varied, but sadly, much of it will go unnoticed. Partly because you will focused on the fifteen or so guys shooting at you, partly because you are keeping your head down and all you see is the brick wall you are hiding behind, and partly because some levels you race through on a jeep. On the jeep sections, you will barely have time to blink as you race across fields and roads with tanks, grenades and bullets raining down on you. Not ideal conditions to stop and check out the cool textures or charming old European architecture of the building you're driving past.

Considering CoD 3 is a multiplatform release, the graphics look very good on the Xbox360. Good enough that I was surprised this wasn't built from the ground up for the 360 exclusively. Don't misunderstand, it's not the best looking game on the system to date, but you will not have much to complain about here.

Along with the graphics, the sound effects are just as good as CoD 2, which is to say they are very good sound effects. I have never been in the middle of a machine gun fight or been shot at by a tank but everything sounds like you would imagine it would. The voice acting is also above par, especially when you take into account that they have 7 or 8 nationalities speaking in this game.

The multiplayer plays like a cross between Battlefield 1942 and Counter-strike having been completely revamped for CoD 3. It's a heck of a lot more fun than ever before. It can involve up to 24 players in the same game (cool) and you can play one of 7 different classes (very cool). As you might expect, every class has its advantages and disadvantages. What you might not expect is that every class has been balanced pretty well. They all have their uses and every one of them can be fun if played correctly.

The multiplayer maps themselves also come across really well. They look great and don't appear to be dummied down graphically to support the large number of players. Every thing looks just as good as it did in the single-player campaign. This was great technical work on the part of the developers and it should be applauded. There is, however, one nagging issue that was bugging me. When I was playing four-player split-screen, there were very few indicators as to who was on your team. Maybe I was missing something but all four of us were having issues with "friendly fire". Oh well, guess it is more "realistic" that way.

All in all, I think Call of Duty 3 is a great play. It is not the best 360 game or even the best FPS on the 360 (Gears of War owns that title), but if you want a game with a worthwhile single-player campaign and a great multiplayer component (games with 4-player split-screen rock), then you cannot go wrong picking up this game.


8.5   Very Good

The single player campaign is more of the same stuff that made the first two great. The multiplayer has been greatly enhanced over previous versions. Graphics look better than ever;

Same stuff that the previous versions had. There's nothing new in the single-player game. Action Events don't add value.



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