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Call of Duty 3

Score: 96%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: First Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Call of Duty 3 was my first opportunity to play a FPS game for the Wii, having not picked up Red Steel, so I was anxious to see exactly how well the system handled the genre. Suffice it to say that, with a little practice, the feel of the game has rekindled a long-dead thrill of FPS' in me.

Graphics-wise, Call of Duty 3 isn't as detailed and beautiful as its other next-gen versions (I've been watching Psibabe play the same game on the PS3 for a few weeks now ... and all I can say is Wow!), but it packs a punch. Most of the textures are a little choppy and slightly better than what you would expect to see on a GameCube, but atmospheric effects like smoke bombs are smooth and a joy to watch (if you have time in the middle of the war, of course). Even if the visuals aren't as powerful as the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions, Wii's Call of Duty 3 still conveys the jarring and hectic atmosphere that this series has done so well at portraying.

The game's audio is nothing to sneeze at either. Everything from the report of machine guns to the blast of mortars and tank fire just pulls you in and keeps you in 1940's France. Vocals are clean and clear, but some of the in-battle comments shouted out by your cohorts get repetitive real fast. I don't know how many times I would hear someone yell out "I got one" or "I'm out of ammo" or "Germans in the clear", but it was a lot and it started to get painful after a while.

Personally, I felt like one of the best aspects of this game's presentation, both visually and aurally, was when you find yourself too close to a mortar blast or a grenade. The camera shakes, the volume goes down and your ears start to ring. The overall effect is jarring and really un-nerves you.


For a long time now, I have had a blase feeling towards most FPSs. With a couple of exceptions, I haven't really gotten excited over the genre since the original Unreal. That's right, I was one of those few gamers that didn't go out and buy/build a new PC just so I could play Doom 3. But the Wii and Call of Duty 3 seem to have changed that for me, though which one weighed more on that change, I don't really know right now.

Just like the first-person shooter genre, I have had my reservations about the many WWII games that have been coming out over the past few years. Considering the number of times developers have forced us to storm Normandy, I just could not see why we need to keep revisiting this era. Thankfully, CoD 3, just like its predecessor, breaks away from that mold a bit and doesn't have you go through the same battles that everyone else does.

Instead, you take part in the French resistance and help fight off the Nazi occupation of the country. Throughout the game, you will switch between three or four different squads with different origins and different stories. This was an interesting way to get different perspectives of the war and added to the overall feel of the game quite well.

There is no multiplayer aspect of CoD 3 for the Wii. Where other systems boasted Deathmatch or Capture the Flag, this version is noticeable light, which leaves me wondering what Nintendo plans to do for their online gamers, if not multiplayer games of this sort.

Scattered throughout the game are various motion based commands that you will need to perform in order to progress. These are actions like setting bombs (putting in the charge, cranking it to prime and then pulling the pin) or rowing across a river. And while the other systems managed to pull these features off okay, the 360 has to rely wholly on the analog sticks while the PS3 utilizes the Sixaxis ... though not very well from what I've seen. It seems like these parts of the game were geared for the Wii and it handled them very well.


Call of Duty 3 is a tough game, even on the default setting. But unlike most games I play, it was never an issue of not getting past some puzzle or some other obstacle that might require a peek at a walk through. Instead, this game, like the past games, requires nothing more than patience and determination to get through. I found myself going through each location over and over again, each time getting a little farther and getting a better feel for where Jerry was hiding.

CoD 3 is a test of patience because just running in and trying to mow down all of the Nazis in a bunker will rarely work. Typically, you have to find a place to hide, pick off some enemies and you and your team advance to the next piece of shelter - thus making your trek across the French countryside a slow but steady one.

Game Mechanics:

Now for what makes Call of Duty 3 on the Wii different than the other versions. Quite frankly, you could have read Starscream's or Psibabe's reviews of the PS3 or 360 versions of the game and gotten pretty much the same feel, but what makes this game good for the Wii is its use of the Wii-mote.

Like Red Steel and other FPS' coming out for the system, shooting is as simple as point-and-click. Just aim your remote at the enemy you are trying to bump off and tap B (the trigger on your controller). Looking around is done just by moving your cross hairs to the edge of the screen and movement is handled with the nunchuck's analog stick.

You reload your weapon with the minus button, but a quicker way that is more natural feeling is by moving the nunchuck up. The left and right D-Pad buttons are used to lob your grenades and smoke bombs respectively and you can use the up and down buttons to change weapons or hit someone with the butt of your gun. These last two can also be done by moving the nunchuck to the right or the Wii-mote forward (so that butting someone is like you are hitting them with the Wii-mote).

When I first popped in this game, I found my control to be really shaky. I had a hard time keeping my sights on a target. This was more of a training issue than a fault of the game, though. What I ended up doing was turning down the sensitivity of the remote and then slowly turning it back up again over the course of the first couple of missions. This was a great way to train my hand and mind to treat the controls differently than I had done for so many years and would recommend this technique for anyone playing a FPS for the first time on this system.

Even if you have been avoiding the genre (whether it be FPS' in general or WWII games specifically), CoD 3 is a great game that should be tried at least. Its handling of the shooting mechanics are fairly tight, when you get used to them, and the overall feel of the game is very fitting.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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