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Call of Duty 3 Review

Joe_Dodson By:
Joe_Dodson
12/01/06
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE FIrst-Person Shooter 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Activision 
DEVELOPER Treyarch 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Blood, Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

One World War too many.

I know why you’re here, and the answer is yes. Yes, the Wiimote works just as well in Call of Duty 3 as a controller with dual analog sticks. You run around, duck behind cover, and shoot enemies like in previous versions, except now you can switch weapons with a flick of the wrist, melee attack with a jab of the Wiimote, and completely lose your bearings by accidentally scratching your nose. Aiming and firing with the A and B buttons feels akin to using the left and right buttons on a mouse, but most other functions are less intuitive than they would be on a regular controller, because the Nunchuk is covered in buttons.

The biggest difference between the Wiimote and a standard controller is, predictably, aim. You’ll actually be better with dual analog sticks, at least initially, because you can’t stop aiming with the Wiimote. Every little movement of your right hand influences the crosshairs, so you’ll need to concentrate that much more on simply looking in the right direction, much less lining up a headshot. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll find precision aiming easier on the Wii.

click to enlargeWell, you would if you could actually see your targets. Due to the Wii’s lightweight graphics processor, recognizing enemies from their surroundings becomes more a matter of looking for movement than seeing their scowling German faces. Add to that the way Call of Duty games like to fill half the screen with your gun, and finding a target over long distances becomes much more difficult in the Wii version, through no fault of the Wiimote. This is a fine hair to split, though, in light of the fact that neither version is worth a campaign to your local retail store.

Watch this, it’s the Rambo scene from Weird Al’s UHF, and it perfectly captures the feel of Call of Duty 3. But before you go out and buy UHF, or this game, you should know that there are three important differences: You don’t play as Weird Al, it’s all in first-person, and you don’t save Michael Richards (no one can save Michael Richards). But is it bad? Let’s just say it dares to be stupid.

It’s World War II again, and you play an American, a Brit, a Pole, and a Canadian in separate but equally confusing chapters. Each one begins with an explanatory cut scene that is a) boring b) unavoidable c) long d) repeated every time you turn on the game and e) all of the above. Then you find yourself getting yammered at by comrades with ridiculous accents about the “French resistance” (rayzeestahnsse!), not to mention “Oxymorons.” After a couple rusty punch lines, the Nazis show up to save the day, and your attention span.
 
In previous Call of Duty games, you got a feel for one of war’s most terrifying truths: the reality that, when people are shooting at you, you’re supposed to move towards them, not run screaming in the opposite direction. You had to carefully scurry from cover to cover, peeking out and popping Nazis as they tried to kill your oncoming comrades, because they had fast reflexes, sharp aim, and first rate bullets from efficient German factories.
 
click to enlargeCall of Duty 3 seems to pose the question: “What if, instead of killing the lunatics and retards, Hitler sent them to invade France?” The game (I think rightly) assumes that France would have fallen anyway, and that three brave, non-French soldiers, plus one Canadian (adding insult to injury), would have been all it took to liberate the country.
 
So no, Call of Duty 3 does not have particularly sophisticated A.I. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to find yourself standing right next to a squad of entrenched Nazis who, oblivious to your presence, are still looking for you over their burned-out car, turned over table, or privet hedge. They may be poor sport, but shooting them is fun anyway. Think about it, did Weird Al look bored when he brazenly stomped up to the television executive with his bow and arrow? No, he looked macho, determined, and a little silly, which is just how you’ll feel playing Call of Duty 3.
 
Especially since you’re harder to kill than Jason Voorhees. You can easily absorb a full clip of bullets, and hand grenades are only lethal if you’re eating them when they explode. As you take damage, the screen turns red and pulsates, letting you know you’ve taken one or two hundred bullets too many (even your eyeballs are bleeding) but if you can avoid fire by ducking behind a flower pot for roughly five seconds, you’ll completely mend. Even so, you’ll sometimes die only to respawn at one of the game’s many conveniently located checkpoints. There’s literally no stopping you.
 
click to enlargeYou’re so bad, the normally rigid laws of physics bend under your impressive weight, especially when driving. The controls are easy to explain (gas button, break button, steer by tilting the Wiimote), though that’s the only easy thing about them. Staying on the road is outrageously hard, and spinning out surprisingly easy. The shenanigans that ensue as soon as you take the wheel are almost impossible to put into words. I think at one point you drive along a roof top, through a brick wall, and over a yawning chasm as an entire battalion of Nazi troops hopelessly fires on you and your pretty Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
 
Call of Duty 3 would be short even if you couldn’t run through every level shouting like a pro wrestler and shooting everything in sight. But since you can, it’s double short. There’s no cooperative play, meaning you and a friend can’t run amok through France like you did right after your freshman year, nor any online versus play.  
 
Call of Duty 3 for the Wii is mainly interesting because it’s a first person shooter that uses the Wiimote. It’s silly, fast and kind of fun, but it also features murky graphics and very little play value. So if you’re looking for a game that makes you feel like Weird Al in a muscle suit, or just want to see how well the Wii handles first person shooting, give this unintentional comedy a rental. Otherwise, leave it on the field to die of laughter.
C Revolution report card
  • Point and click shooting
  • Fun
  • Stupid
  • Short
  • No co-op or multiplay
  • Murky graphics
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