Call of Duty 3

Format: Xbox 360

Age Restrictions: 15+
10 November 2006

Fight your way through the Normandy Breakout campaign, the most devastating series of battles in WWII. Featuring all new battle actions, destructible environments, and vehicle-based online multiplayer,
Call of Duty 3 delivers the most cinematic and intense combat moments ever experienced...

Call of Duty 3 sees a significant shift in gameplay for this popular franchise. If you thought you'd seen it all before (after all there are so many great WWII first person shooters out there) then think again.

To start with this game follows a single campaign (Normandy Breakout) allowing you to take part in missions from various allied points of view - allowing you to see what everyone was up to during the campaign.

The A.I. of the enemy soldiers is, on the whole, pretty impressive - although the fact that wave after wave of soldier will run past in exactly the same position means that you can just pick them off easily. But this is really only a problem with the background enemies (the ones in the far distance) and once you know this you are best advised to ignore them and save your bullets for more dangerous.

You also have the ability to pick up your enemies grenades and hurl them back - time permitting. Although be warned, you'd better be sure you know what you are doing or you could end up being blown apart. The graphics are also incredibly well detailed and I was impressed that as long and complex as the levels are that there is never any pause while the game loads more information.

There's also the odd vehicle based mission (be it driving a jeep or taking control of the firing of a tank) which helps to add a little variety to the missions.

If I have a complaint, it's the fact that no sooner have you started to get used to your surroundings, you are whipped off somewhere else with different weapons and you never really feel like you are advancing on anything or achieving anything - it seems to be a relentless shoot the bad guys affair without any goal to aim at. Okay - I know the aim is to win the war, but how about some more in-depth missions where you actually feel like you are slowly advancing on your enemy and picking them off slowly, rather than the running around shooting anything that moves? There are a few levels like this, but a few more would have been very welcome. Oh, and how annoying is it when you do all the leg work, slowly advancing and risking your neck as a hail of bullets reign down on you, only to have your men charge ahead of you and storm a building that you were instrumental in securing? It would have been nice to have been allowed to take point a little more.

It's also not overly simple to tell your men apart from the enemy in some of the levels. But then I suppose this also reflects real life to some degree - that when under pressure you may shoot first and then check who you are firing at later. The good thing here is that if you kill too many of your own the game stops (and you are kicked out of the war).

This is still the best Call of Duty game to date, and is also one hell of an impressive first person shooter.

Nick Smithson

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