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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Treyarch

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

November 2006

 

 

- Excellent Audio and Visuals

- Solid Online Play

- Addition of Canadian and Polish Campaigns provide new perspective

 

 

- Gameplay hasnít changed much

- Short Single Player

- Some annoying bugs

 

 

Review: Call of Duty 2 (PC)

Review: Call of Duty 2 (360)

Review: Quake 4 (360)

Review: Gears of War (360)

 

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Call of Duty 3

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

Since itís initial release in late 2003, the Call of Duty franchise has set the bar for how a World War II first person shooter should be made. Combining adrenaline packed missions with historical accuracy, Call of Duty has proven to be the top World War II franchise on current and next-generation platforms.

 

call of duty 3          call of duty 3

 

Whatís made Call of Duty unique when compared to other games in the genre is that it lets the player experience World War II from multiple perspectives. For the whole series, the game has offered the American, British and Russian perspectives of the war.

 

The next chapter in the series takes place during the Normandy Breakout, which lead to the eventual liberation of Paris. The game contains 14 single player missions spread across four campaigns. (The Russian campaign is no longer present in the game. The Canadian and Polish campaigns have been substituted for the Russian missions.)

 

The game takes a much more cinematic approach this time around. Numerous cut scenes are shown throughout the gameís fourteen chapters in an attempt to

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familiarize the players with the gameís characters. The cut scenes are a step in the right direction, but not as engrossing as you might expect. 

 

If youíve played Call of Duty 2, then youíll feel right at home with this game. The basic gameplay remains unchanged with a few minor additions. The most notable addition is the inclusion of a hand-to-hand combat

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system, which is all very heavily scripted. Youíll usually enter a building only to be jumped by a German soldier whoíll grab your weapon and youíll find yourself fighting hand-to-hand by rapidly triggering the left and right triggers. Many basic actions such as planting demolition charges have been made more immersive. When planting a charge youíll have to sequentially press a series of buttons and rotate the left joystick before the charge is planted and ready to detonate.

 

Like the previous installment of the series, Call of Duty 3 features a regenerating health system. Once your character is running low on health, you simply take cover and your health will regenerate.

 

The single player missions are varied enough from one another to prevent the game from becoming repetitive. Throughout each of the gameís fourteen missions youíll fight alongside a group of soldiers who contribute more to the gameís overall atmosphere than actually proving to be helpful to you. To give more variety to the gameís missions, youíll find yourself driving or riding on numerous vehicles including tanks and jeeps. The vehicle sequences are quite enjoyable and the vehicles handle quite well.

 

Taking a chapter out of the brothers in arms series, Call of Duty 3 features multiple mission paths. Unlike previous games, you can choose the best path to approach an enemy.

 

The single player campaign is quite short and takes approximately eight to ten hours to finish. The difficulty levels provide enough of a challenge to go back and play through the single player game once more.

 

Various bugs and annoyances can be found in the single player campaign. In close quarters your fellow soldiers will get in your way and in other parts youíll find yourself getting stuck in certain holes or craters. Youíll also encounter some respawning enemies. While the bugs are noticeable, they certainly donít ruin the overall experience.  And you'll occasionally encounter some clipping issues.

 

call of duty 3          call of duty 3

 

What the single player lacks in length and depth, the multiplayer makes up for with exciting skirmishes and well-balanced gameplay. When Call of Duty 2 accompanied the launch of the 360 last year, it only featured online play for eight players. This time around, Call of Duty 3 supports online play for up to twenty-four players and supports vehicles. There are a total of nine multiplayer maps and various soldier classes to choose from. There are also six online modes including deathmatch, team deathmatch, headquarters and many more. Multiple people can also play online on a single 360 -- if you donít have Xbox Live, then you can also play with three other players through split screen.

 

Visually, Call of Duty 3 is an improvement over its predecessor.  Call of Duty 3 features great looking environments and even small details such as grass and brush look perfect. Much like Call of Duty 2 the smoke effects look extremely realistic and provide a good diversion against enemy troops. With all the chaotic action occurring on the screen at once, itís surprising to see the game running smoothly without any slowdown.  

 

Much like the previous games in the series, the audio is quite excellent. All of the character voices sound authentic and all the sounds of the battlefield are great (though some have obviously been reused from Call of Duty 2) and the orchestral music sets the tone for the entire game.

 

While the single player campaign isnít a drastic improvement over previous versions of the series, the multiplayer goes the distance, providing one of the best experiences available on Xbox Live.  For fans of the series, Call of Duty 3 is a must own.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(January 3, 2006)

 

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