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Call of Duty 3 XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.8
Graphics 9.0
Sound 9.0
Value 8.8
Distributor: Activision
Review Date:
November 2006
Geoff Clarke


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Call of Duty 3

Call of Duty 3 blasts its way onto the XBox 360 that provides gamers with an "almost" definitive" World War II experience that transports the player back to D-Day, June 1944 and the liberation of Paris in August 1944. Once again the title features state-of-the-art graphics with a revamped Call of Duty 2 engine that now contains even more detail with that the traditional gameplay of the previous game.

In its essence, Call of Duty 3 is your traditional first person shooter that basically has you shooting your way through a plethora of different levels, however to keep things more varied and vast, the developers have introduced mini-games such as driving jeeps or using mortars to break up the monotony of first person shooters. The use of smoke grenades also makes a welcome return and the realism of holding a gun up to use the iron-sight is even more convincing thanks to a new depth of field effect. The controls work very well indeed on the XBox 360 and whether you're using the M1 or British Lee-Enfield, you really get a feel the weapons of this era.

But what Call of Duty 3 does it does very well and that is not give the player time to breathe as they are dropped into the midst of the battle. First up is Saint Lo, one of the bloodiest and most desperate confrontations of the war post D-Day. Your task, as Nichols, is to traverse the town. To do that you will engage in the kind of duck, cover and shoot action that the franchise is known for. You will move from point-to-point, following the compass that marks your objective. But this is not a totally linear experience. You do have to get from point A to point B, but there are usually a couple of ways to do that.

But merely moving along, fighting the Germans and reaching your objective is not all that easy. You will engage in hand-to-hand combat, using the left and right triggers of the 360 controller to wrestle over the stock of the rifle, then counter with the press of the X button and finally deliver the fatal blow with the B button. You will ride on the back of a tank, using your binoculars to spot targets for the tank to blow into the afterlife. And then you will have to use your brains when you are trapped down on the second floor of a building by a German Panzer tank. You will need help, you will need to mark the target . hmm, maybe a smoke grenade will do the trick.

The game does have squad control, drama between NPCs that further the intrigue of the game, and a solid multiplayer element. The multiplayer has some of the same elements - in terms of games - as before with large maps and tense action. The difference though is that there are soldier types available and players can commandeer vehicles during the scenario. Nothing says quick kill quite like hoping into a tank and blowing a hole through advancing enemy units. Vehicle control is simple and intuitive - much like the rest of the game.

The multiplayer options for Call of Duty 3 is brilliant and offers gamers a variety of gameplay modes that include deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, single flag CTF and headquarters. The maps are large and varied and I particularly liked the ones set in small French villages as they feature so many places to hide. Best of all, 24 players can engage in these entertaining missions that needless to say was a hit at our offices.

Graphically, Call of Duty 2 was a visual treat on the XBox 360 and we've more of the same here, with no slowdown, tearing or glitches that I noticed while playing through the single player campaign. There are more enemies on screen how which makes for some very large scale battles fought over long distances. And some of the maps are huge, giving you the real feeling of fighting on a  battlefield rather than a small sideshow.

What is particularly impressive is  the way many of the levels vary so much, so you might find yourself in a  country lane, before battling through the suburbs into the city proper. The  particle effects are impressive too, they range from smoke coming from the muzzle of a gun to the massive explosion of a tank letting go when you've pierced its armour. There really is very little wrong with the way the game looks or moves.

The sound effects are all first class and the use of surround sound is great too, really immersing you in the conflict. But where the game doesn't quite work is when it comes to the scripting, dialogue and voice acting. That includes the constant repetition of dialogue from the troops around you as you fight. The music is also a momentous event that really lends itself to the genre.

In conclusion, Call of Duty 3 is an impressive game and although not as good as the previous game (storywise), it's still an entertaining romp through World War II with amazing graphics, perfect controls which gives you a satisfaction when you complete the title. Recommended to all lovers of first person shooters, especially the WWII genre. The online aspect of the title is brilliant that will definitely give hours upon hours of replay value. Great stuff!


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