Genre : WWII FPS
Release Date: November 19, 2006
Call of Duty 3 is a first-person shooter set in World War II, only moreso. I am obliged by the sacred covenant of games writers everywhere to mention at this juncture that World War II is played out beyond all measure.
Call of Duty 3 bypasses this unfortunate fact of life by being, essentially, what you’d want a next-gen shooter to be. It couples smooth, crisp graphics with fast-paced action, as well as CPU squadmates who, for the first time in convenient memory, are not completely retarded.
Yes, you’re fighting World War II again, and in Call of Duty’s trademark style, you’re fighting it as a host of different characters in several different theaters throughout the war, like an SAS soldier sent to assist the French Resistance, an American sniper making tentative inroads into Germany in 1944, or a Polish tank driver. It helps, then, that you’re fighting the greatest generation’s war on a next-generation platform.
Call of Duty 3 does away with the concept of a “health meter,” instead allowing you to basically walk off bullet wounds by finding cover. If you take too many shots in rapid succession, you’re an unfortunate statistic. It allows combat to proceed at a surprisingly rapid pace, since you’re not often hunting down weapons or health, and also lets you get away with incredibly reckless and foolhardy stunts from time to time. Since this is Call of Duty, and as such, you’ll occasionally be asked to play the time-honored party game of Step In Front Of The German With The Mounted Machine Gun, this helps.
The 360 and PS3 versions are cosmetically identical, as far as I can tell; it’d be disingenuous to call one better than the other, since I played two different levels on two different consoles, and I was playing the PS3 on a larger screen in better light. The big difference between the two is that the PS3’s Sixaxis pad allows you to throw a melee attack by wrenching the controller sharply to the right.
The Wii version, naturally, is an entirely different thing. It’s not as graphically polished as the other two versions; it’s unmistakably a game, whereas the PS3 or 360 Call of Duty 3 are occasionally nearly photorealistic.
That said, you can use the Wiimote or whatever it’s called to guide your gunsights around the screen, much like using a mouse, while you move your character with the thumbstick. Throwing a grenade involves a gentle tossing motion, while melee combat requires you to thrust the controller forward suddenly. It’s not quite as intuitive as the other versions’ controls are, because we’ve been playing first-person shooters with the same basic setup for years. The Wii version of Call of Duty 3 is, oddly, more immersive, because it feels more like you’re in the game. You’re there, throwing grenades, looking around, and sighting down the rifle; there’s less of a layer of abstraction between you and the action.
The 360 and PS3 versions, however, unlike the Wii, offer online play into the bargain. In Call of Duty 3 online, you select one of several character classes, such as rifleman, light assault, anti-armor, heavy assault, medic, or scout, and go after the Nazis or the Allies in teams. There are vehicles all over the map for you to use, from motorcycles to tanks, and several different versions of the game to try out. We had a lot of fun with Capture the Flag, which you may be familiar with, and War, where you capture spawn points to win.
Whichever version of it you’re looking to play, Call of Duty 3 will be out next month for all three next-generation consoles, just in time for the PS3’s launch. This ought to be interesting.
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