The ice cold rain hits your face and all you can hear is the distant screams of your fellow soldiers being killed in ways you simply cannot imagine. You feel the cold steel of your Thompson and you jump over the trench edge and go for one final drive towards the enemies flag… no wait… were risking life and limb for a damn flag, what the hell. I’m thinking Hitler won’t exactly get down on his knees and beg for forgiveness once you turn up with a flag, oh right my bad I forgot it’s only a game and pretty awesome game at that and we are here to tell you why you should buy it.
Now firstly the confusing bit and that being the bit were we explain who exactly made COD3. Infinity Ward were the geniuses behind COD2 and what a game it was, without a doubt the best 360 game on release and un-matched for a good few months. The thing is Treyarch are the boys behind number 3, these were the guys who made the not so good (well actually pretty damn terrible) COD2: Big Red One. The thing is you see, it seems Infinity Ward have already started number four (which looks to be a modern day COD2) and simply wanted Treyarch to create a game to fill the void between number two and number four.
So on to the game and like Call of Duty 2 the game is set in the middle of World War II and you will take control of four different soldiers. You will have the gun-ho yank, the ultra swish British commando, a Canadian Highlander and finally a Polish soldier from their armour division. The story itself switches between the four main characters effortlessly, you start as the Yank and the game will simply glide into the Commando storyline and you simply don’t really notice it and it is beautifully put together.
You will get the mandatory cut-scenes and we actually see quite a bit of comedy especially from the British storyline. The American storyline is a tad more serious and for the first few levels has a rather pathetic radio man who just constantly complains. On the whole you won’t remember the storyline, but it’s still well put together and the voiceovers are practically flawless to.
The game itself plays like you would expect, you get your gun, you shoot a German in head, and you win the war all by yourself. OK so it’s not quite like that, but you get the picture. The game features practically carbon copy weapons from COD2 including my personal favourite the M1 Garand which seems to have been made a little quicker at reloading and firing. You also get the usual Stens, Thompsons, Karak and so on and so forth. There are a couple of new weapons but usually the M1 Garands and Springfields will be the weapons of choice while you progress through the levels.
One of the more exciting features of the new game is the fact you can actually use vehicles like the Jeep. Granted the vehicles don’t exactly handle like Exiges and Murcielagos, but it’s still a right laugh seeing a dead German planted on the front of your car! You will also find yourself on the back of tanks directing it where to shot, this is more difficult then it sounds as it’s really quite easy to be killed especially on the harder difficulties while on top of the tank.
The actual action in the game is as intense as ever, when a grenade goes off next to you your screen will glow red and you will hear your character taking some rather heavy breaths and it is in fact quite hair raising. It’s also awesome when you find yourself on one side of the map with fifty odd allies against the same number of German troops and the mayhem that ensues is just mind-blowing. After seeing soldiers drop to the floor all over the place and hearing screams for the medic, you start to realise just what I may have been like in the middle of battle all those years ago.
Going through the levels is a tad linear, I would have thought that maybe they could have made the game a little bit more free-roaming. Even so, the game does play out quite nicely and you will find yourself blowing up anti-aircraft turrets, tanks, you name it. There is also a new melee system and sometimes you will find yourself locking swords (well gun butts) with a German. The new melee system isn’t very difficult to master as you simply have to press the relevant buttons shown on screen, I just find it quite amazing that you will have five or six allies by your side and as soon as that German attacks you, they take a seat, crack open a few Buds and order some pepperoni pizzas.
On the whole the game doesn’t really bring anything new to the WWII table. The action seems a bit quicker which does feel nice and it is a lot more intense, but when it comes down to it the game isn’t doing anything COD2 has already done. Saying that, it does not mean the game is bad either, I mean COD2 was an unbelievable game to play and the same is said for COD3, it’s just I would have liked to see a bit more innovation in the new game.
The multiplayer of COD3 is the reason you will buy this game though. Many who got COD2 will remember the lag-fest that was online multiplayer and when it was announced number 3 would support 24 players many thought ‘uh oh might be sensing some Déjà vu online’. The result is in fact amazing, there is next to no lag even in full 24 player parties and the game really takes a new form as soon as you sign into a game on LIVE. The game has also included vehicles much like in the campaign although they are a bit of a one hit wonder and you will get bored of them soon enough and opt more often than not to take down your enemies on foot (plus tank kills are just soooo cheap!).
You will able to play in a few different modes including the mandatory Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and an all new game type simply called ‘War’. War is a mix of Battlefield 2: MC and Wolfenstein, you have 3 or 5 territories and must start by taking the middle one and unlike BF2 where you can go for any Flag, in COD3 you cannot jump Flags you have to take them in the set order. War can last quite literally hours (depending on the time limit) and it really is an amazing gametype. Before going into battle you must first select your kit type, again it’s much like BF2. You have the Scout who can not only snipe with his … um Sniper Rifle; he can also call in artillery strikes. You also have heavy and light gunners (self explanatory), Armour which is basically a guy with a Bazooka strapped to his soldier (kaboooooooom), Medic (if you don’t know what he does get your ass back to school), Support which much like the Bazooka as a guy with a massive machine gun who simply presses the trigger and starts laughing in an evil fashion while mowing down the enemy. Rifleman is the most popular especially for the Allies as they have the ultimately flawless M1 Garand.
Graphically this is where the game beats its predecessor. Things like the surroundings are bigger and a lot more graphically sublime as are your fellow soldiers and of course your trusty old sidekick, aka – the thing that shoots metal projectiles into that other dudes heart. You really see how good this game looks not far into the campaign when you get hit by a tank shell and the resulting blast is just awesome. The Vehicles look awesome, the buildings looks awesome the little trails of light from your bullets look amazing, this game simply looks unbelievable.
The audio of this game like COD2 is just as intense as ever. The sound of a tank shell flying over your head and hitting a wall behind you will just blow you away. [Quite literally! – Ed] It gets even better when you’ve got hundreds of bullets whizzing across your screen at once and the resulting pings just sound unreal. The vehicles also sound excellent especially tanks, when you start moving you hear the clunking of the tracks along with the engines rumble makes it feel like your sitting on a real tank, it really is that good! You simply cannot fault the games audio it is literally flawless and by god you’d be mad to miss out.
COD3 is quite simply a game to fill the void until COD4 is released. Who knows what they have planned for number 4 maybe alien mutants come down and defeat the Americans and you must repel them back to their homeworld. Thing is, why dwell on the future when you have this game right in front of you now, present ready to be played. It sounds, looks and plays like a next-gen game. Granted it isn’t very innovative but it is still an awesome game and if you don’t want to buy it for the campaign then buy it for the multiplayer, you haven’t lived until you play COD3 online with 23 guys all trying to get that special item which will end the war, oh right it’s called a flag.
Originally Written By: Lee Matthews