The gaming industry is flooded now days with World War II first person shooters. However, even in such a saturated market, Call of Duty 3 breaks the mold by providing solid gameplay and an impressive multiplayer experience.
The third iteration of the Call of Duty series has often been given the impression of simply being a clone of its predecessor with a few minor improvements. However, after playing Call of Duty 2 on the Xbox 360 and Call of Duty 3 on the PlayStation 3, the only minor changes I could find were in gameplay mechanics. The rest of the game has completely been revamped to a level clearly superior to that of Call of Duty 2.
So let’s talk single player. The storyline in Call of Duty 3 takes place during the liberation of France and its capital Paris. Players are given the option of taking part in American, British, Canadian, and Polish campaigns throughout a total of 14 war torn levels.
Your adventure begins with training where you practice everything from shooting helmets off posts to throwing grenades into broken down shacks. From the get go,the voice acting is superb, adding much needed realism where other titles have failed. Once you complete your basic training, you board a truck with fellow marines, only to be blown off road minutes later. From there, the real war begins.
The first mission takes place in Saint Lo, where you will find yourself in a brawl in none other than a cemetery, fighting against an onslaught of Germans. First impressions seem to be of high priority and it definitely shows. From the start, you are immersed in an environment where bodies fly everywhere in the thick of the war, as the air fills with scattered machine gun fire and a multitude of explosions. The amount of people on screen is remarkable and it is clearly apparent that there have been huge improvements in enemy A.I and volumetric effects in the smoke and flying dirt.
Once immersed in the heat of battle, it is clear that Call of Duty 3 is more of a dodge and take cover type of game rather than your standard run and gun. Melee combat becomes extremely important, as the best ways to breeze through a bundle of enemies is to take a single jab with the butt of your gun and instantly kill them. Treyarch also did a great job in making gamers adjust their strategy based on the difficulty setting. I found that the usual approach on the easier settings was typically to use smoke grenades followed closely by melee attacks. On the other hand, on higher difficulty setting I was forced to go prone and pick enemies off one by one, advancing from cover to cover at a snail’s pace.
Call of Duty III continues along the period of World War II know as "The Normandy Breakout", the period after D-Day in which Germany made its last stand to hold France against the allied invaders. Your objectives will vary from your basic retrieval ops to spotting tanks with your binoculars and eliminating them. In this area, you won’t find a whole lot different from your typical World War II shooter.
So let’s talk features. Two features missing in general from the series were destructible environments and the addition of vehicles, which were present in Call of Duty: United Offensive, but oddly absent in Call of Duty II. Call of Duty III takes the tank mission of Call of Duty II and expands greatly on it, allowing full use of everything from army jeeps to two person motorcycles. The new vehicles translate to the multiplayer aspect of the game, allowing you to use them to travel from place to place, or joyfully bulldoze your opponents flat onto the ground.
Lastly, Call of Duty III does a great job of utilizing the new SIXAXIS controller to help immerse gamers into their title. Occasionally you will enter a cinematic hand to hand combat sequence with a German solider. By performing a few sweeps with your controller, you’re given the ability to defend yourself and eventually kill the enemy combatant. Other tilt gameplay features include driving, planting bombs, and melee combat. When planting bombs on flak cannons or objective based items, tilt functionality comes into play by swing your controller side to side to turn the pin in a block of C4. Though the addition of tilt in this case is small, it is one of many that make the game more intimate and fun. The overall controls on the tilt function are well-built and responsive and add that extra touch to the game.
Now let’s talk multiplayer. Call of Duty 3 sports an expansive, satisfying multiplayer that all gamers should enjoy…almost. The multiplayer menu gives you a few different options ranging from Instant Action to Create a Match. You will also have the option of choosing match making where you can choose to join a server with a specific game type, minimum amount of players, and map.
From the start there are nine different multiplayer maps with new downloadable maps set to release in the future. Players can choose from 6 different game types, including the standard team battle, capture the flag, headquarters, and new gametype called war. Outside of that, gamers can choose from seven different class types from either the axis or allies, both set with their own types of weapons and attributes. These classes include; rifleman, heavy assault, light assault, medic, scout, support, and anti-armor.
The only draw back in multiplayer that I have is that there are no leader boards in the PS3 version. Now this was a problem when Call of Duty 2 shipped with the release of the Xbox 360 last year but months later Infinity Ward did come out with an update which fixed it, so hopefully they will do the same for the PlayStation 3.
Overall, Call of Duty III is a worth addition to the series. With a small list of launch titles available, you’re guaranteed to be satisfied with your purchase of this game. The game has a few bugs, but they detract little from this title.
With an awesome single and multiplayer experience, Call of Duty III will keep you entertained for hours.