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Call of Duty 3
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Call of Duty 3 - Review
Written by James Hobbs

I came to Call of Duty 3 as a person who had never played any incarnation of the series, and as such held a fair amount of scepticism – a lack of multiplayer, scaled-down graphics, and other such annoyances were at the forefront of my mind. These problems are certainly evident – Call of Duty 3, at times, feels like the embarrassing younger brother of the hefty Xbox 360 version.

Tony Hawks' Screenshot
'You're going home in a coffin, Jerry!'
It’s not all bad, though. At times, Call of Duty 3 is a wonderfully involving first-person shooter – running hunched through trenches encompassed with smoke, and crawling from cover to cover beneath a hail of gunfire is genuinely exciting, and the wide range of environments and territories means that you have to regularly re-evaluate your tactics when seeking cover and attacking the enemy.

The control system, whilst good, does take a bit of getting used to – mainly because of the sensitivity. Holding your crosshairs still can be difficult at first, and the fast pace of the game can mean that accuracy is often difficult to achieve. However, holding the ‘A’ button allows you to zoom in, steadying your aim, and whilst the sight of the gun obscures your target somewhat, it does allow for easier aiming. The rest of the controls are as you would expect – you aim and turn with the Wii remote, and use the nunchuck control stick to move around. Throwing grenades can be assigned to either the left d-pad button or to the nunchuck – neither of these options are particularly easy to reach or get used to, and unfortunately in the developer’s haste to implement all of the features the Wii control system offers, they have stumbled somewhat.

On most levels some excuse is found to enter into what could best be described as a bizarre mini-game type affair, ranging from pulling levers to driving a jeep. Clearly an effort has been made to utilise the varying functions of the Wii remote as much as possible, and this certainly isn’t a bad philosophy – Rayman Raving Rabbids pulls it off rather well. However, the integration of these mini-game tasks into Call of Duty 3 is not particularly effective, with the controls not responding very well to the prescribed movements dictated to you on-screen. A lot of the time it feels like an exercise in redundancy, with the exception of the vehicle sections.

Graphically, Call of Duty 3 isn’t particularly impressive. There’s an overall lack of detail that definitely lets the game down, and is particularly noticeable when you’re not moving about quickly. However, as a lot of the game is spent running from point to point, most of the time the graphical shortcomings aren’t a major issue – the important aspects, like real-time lighting, smoke, and gunfire, are all fairly well rendered and provide a suitably war-like environment. Some of the environments are destructible, albeit in a very scripted manner, which is a nice touch that adds to the feeling of immersion.

Sadly, however, the graphics aren’t the only weak point of the game. The lack of multiplayer support is a big letdown, as once the campaign mode has been completed there is little replay value. Whilst it is impressively large, covering several countries and locations, once all of the missions are over you might not find yourself revisiting them too often. The numerous cut scenes cannot be skipped, which is an incredible pain, making revisiting the game that much more unlikely.

Call of Duty 3 is an involving, exciting, but ultimately flawed war game, that illustrates to some extent that Wii is capable of producing a controllable first person shooter. It does suffer somewhat when placed alongside the Xbox 360 version, but the addition of Wii controls is definitely a good thing. If you like this type of game, it’s worth checking out.

The verdict:

The future looks fairly bright for Wii-based war games if
CoD3 is any indication. More can be done.


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