Call of Duty 3


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


On the Wii, the Call of Duty franchise should fare well is this third installment is any indication. Launching alongside the console, the first foray for a World War II first-person shooter shows how the genre will be judged from here on out. Aside from some random control problems, this is a fine way to experience this title.

While hardly revolutionary, Call of Duty 3 offers some excellent new material. You'll play a variety of forces, including the French, Canadian, Polish and American. Locales are varied, and mission objectives keep the game interesting. There's even a small dash of stealth tossed in with great effect.

callofduty31_wii.jpg (39844 bytes)Cover is no longer a guaranteed safe spot. A new destruction model not only looks incredible thanks to the typical attention to detail with the particle effects, they have a sudden and jarring effect on gameplay. This is a game in which you can never assume you're safe if you're behind something since enough enemy rounds could take it out.

Failed missions due to friendly fire are rarely an issue anymore. Though you still might accidentally take down a squad mate, it's far less frequent. The AI still frustratingly walks clear in front of your line of sight at times, but the fix is enough that it's rarely a major concern.

The final significant change is vehicle control. Multiple jeep sequences create a nice air of intensity as enemy tanks bombard the area around you, even toppling buildings just overhead. Other brief mini-games add to the experience. For instance, putting explosives on a tank is no longer a matter of simply running up to them and hitting a button. You'll now need to set it, insert the pin, turn the detonator, and then pop the pin.

This is where the Wii version struggles a bit. While it has no trouble sensing the Wii Remote, it has serious issues with the required nunchuck attachment. New melee combat in which soldiers grapple your gun and you fight back require a pumping motion with both parts of the controller. It's rarely accurate, even if you're clearly performing the move.

Oddly, other sections such as brief speed run across a river in a rowboat are flawless. In fact, the rowing motion required it not only accurate, it's ridiculously fun. Driving controls can suffer the same fate as the hand-to-hand combat, though it's worth pointing out that putting the nunchuck down while using only the Remote can do the job just as well. Finally, pulling the pin from an explosive is the point where some gamers will head for the power button. It's sheer luck if it works on one of the first 10 or so tries.

Those brief flashes of control problems are just that thankfully. Aiming and shooting proves precise. The natural set up is intuitive, and rarely do you become disoriented. The wide array of sensitivity options ensures you're playing the game tuned to your needs. It also centers easier should you push off the screen and returns to the middle after cinematics play.

Sadly, you won't be able to test out these options in multi-player. There is none to be found, either split screen or online. To add in another small complaint, you're always forced to re-watch a pre-mission cinema regardless of where you're last checkpoint was. It's also worth noting that these are done with video using the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 graphics engine.

As for choosing the Wii version as opposed to the current or other next generation consoles, that depends entirely on your love for multi-player gaming and willingness to adjust to the control scheme. While it may lack the crispness and shine present on other platforms, it is easily as immersive when it comes together. A few moments of frustration should not deter a new Wii owner from picking this one up.


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Last updated: Friday, December 08, 2006 09:24 PM