Call of Duty 3 Preview for Xbox

On: XboxXbox 360PS3WiiPS2

As the come-down of the now obligatory England World Cup exit weighed heavy in the heads of the many, a select few braved even murkier waters, in their quest to find the Honorary Artillery headquarters, nestled somewhere in the heart of London. After being ushered into a secure building by Activision's head-honcho for Europe, we sat down in a small room, offering no clue to the hour's jaw dropping excitement that was to follow. We're here to see Call of Duty 3, and what we saw made us feel engaged; it made us feel connected in a way that even its predecessor hadn't managed. It promised to put us into the thick of the action, to experience what soldiers fighting for our freedom had, and, possibly for the first time, it succeeded.

The battlefield looks busy and pretty fine too

The battlefield looks busy and pretty fine too

Our demo begins in the rural town of St Lo, in the back of an infantry transport. You and your company are eager to jump into the fight after a relentless onslaught of British bombs for 43 days. Hunched in the back of an army transport, you're about to arrive when, from nowhere, a grenade explodes beneath the truck, sending it skyward and throwing you violently onto the road. The first thing that strikes is the realisation that you're not watching video. On the Xbox 360 version we saw, the cutscene moves from the introduction to the in game fighting, with full-screen depth of field effects simulating the haze experienced after an explosion. There was a moment of total silence, followed by the occasional piercing sounds of bullets whistling past you into a stone wall behind. There was no doubt that this was a war zone.

As you move toward the graveyard of St Lo, a huge battlefield emerges to the north, with great geysers of smoke billowing across the sky, and what seems to be an almighty fire-fight ensuing in the distance. Taking cover behind headstones, you push forward toward the town, but stop dead in your tracks as you witness an awe inspiring moment. As you're moving toward the battle, Spitfires roam overhead, picking off targets and shooting down as much axis airpower as possible, but in the heat of the dogfight, one unlucky pilot gets hit with a barrage of bullets. As the plane takes a sharp right turn toward the town, the church bell tower looms closer. The Spitfire gives in to inevitability, colliding with the tower with such force that huge stone fragments are sent flying towards you, creating craters in the ground around where you stand. As the smoke clears, an incredible amount of on-screen traffic makes you double-take what's going on; this is real-time and not a pre-rendered scene. Instincts take over as you make your way through the smoke-filled graveyard that has now become your battleground and the scene of your fight for survival. Smoke covers your vision and you come to regret the eagerness of your approach. War is harsh, you know that now.

'Call of Duty has previously been a series synonymous with PC gaming, but with CoD3 comes a new direction.'

Call of Duty has previously been a series synonymous with PC gaming, but with CoD3 comes a new direction. Designed specifically for consoles by Treyarch, and equipped with a new physics engine, it certainly seems like a step away from the Infinity Ward developed games. Characters now move in a more convincing way, with motion captured animations of not only single movements, but entire scenes acted out to convey an increased sense of realism, and with that comes a heightened sense of emotion. Just watching the demo left us excited and impatient. We want to sit with the game, to play with the physics and to test the new features. One such feature is the way each character has been created. Instead of countless hours toiled over 3D Studio Max, each character has been scanned from a fully dressed and historically correct human source. Old uniforms have been recalled into service to be scanned at super high resolution, along with grenades and weapons of the time. Not content with the usual scanning techniques, Treyarch went as far as to use the same technology developed by NASA, to scan every inch of the models with thousands of lasers - right down to the bloodstained textures of each material.

Attention to detail isn't something limited to the graphics either, with the entire story-arch following the events after D-Day to the liberation of Paris by allied forces in 1944. Whilst every building in the game may not be present in today's St Lo, every effort has been made to recreate the actual layouts of towns and villages - something that's often claimed, but no less impressive in this case. During the game you'll take charge of the American infantry, carrying out close combat missions, including situation combat sequences where you fight hand-to-hand with axis forces. Missions involving the British SAS will offer a stealthier alternative, with missions behind enemy lines to take out strategic targets. Add to this the Polish Tank regiments and Canadian Mechanised Infantry and you're set for an incredible mix of action across numerous fronts of the offensive to liberate Europe; over a more connected route than in previous Call of Duty titles.

Multiplayer has also been on the receiving end of an overhaul, with a dedicated online team taking care of as many community issues as possible from CoD2. In total, 24 players will be able to compete online, with suggestions from fans of the series taking a front seat as far as Treyarch are concerned. Acting on the complaints of the community is also high on the list and the developers admit that while there were some problems previously, these will not factor in the final release of the game. So, a better game it intends to be, and a final verdict won't be too far off. Confirmed as a PlayStation 3 launch title, the game should hit all console formats on November 17 this year, with the current-gen versions of the game benefiting from being led by the next generation in terms of development. We're promised an even better PS2 game than last year's impressive Big Red One, and considering what Treyarch achieved with that game, it's not hard to believe them.

So far, almost every supposedly next-gen game has failed to satisfy an increasingly technology savvy public, with improved graphics failing to set the world alight. Activision look to be onto a winner with Call of Duty 3, and we'll be sure to follow its progress over the coming months with excitement and anticipation.

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User Comments

Brownie's Avatar

Brownie

from wot ive heard it ps3:( but i hope its 360 :)
Posted 17:41 on 24 November 2006
Wicked man's Avatar
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Wicked man@ tobi

wich grapics looks beter or Xbox360 or ps3?
Posted 08:13 on 24 November 2006
Brownie's Avatar

Brownie

its the only good thing ps3 fans have got 2 look forward to apart from the actually ps3 but thts it. lol :)
Posted 23:39 on 09 November 2006
Scorpion_Shark's Avatar

Scorpion_Shark@ PS3FAN

This play will most certainly be the most steep at the beginning initially output PS3
Posted 08:11 on 08 November 2006
Brownie's Avatar

Brownie

me 2 not long now. :). i especially cant wait 2 go online with it.
Posted 22:54 on 07 October 2006
jydamaster's Avatar

jydamaster@ PS3FAN

cant wait for this i have been following COD from the begining
Posted 02:12 on 06 October 2006
Brownie's Avatar

Brownie

found out tht svsr 07 is out 10th of november so start saving up lol :)
Posted 23:45 on 29 September 2006
gameman's Avatar
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gameman@ tobi

playstation 3 sucks 360 rules!!!
Posted 23:44 on 29 September 2006
Brownie's Avatar

Brownie

i literally wont have any hair by the time smackdown vs raw 07 and cod 3 comes out. another 2 months and im there. :) GAMING HEAVEN
Posted 22:23 on 22 September 2006
Banjo's Avatar
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Banjo@ tobi

Looks just the same as xbox 360 graphics so why is it taking so long to come out. What a load of sh*t!!!
Posted 19:12 on 22 September 2006
Brownie's Avatar

Brownie

i love wrestling games and war games i am making me own allaince the problem is guys i got an xbox 360 now cos of all the problems with ps3. if u got xbox 360 reply bck 2 me and u can join ym clan.
Posted 15:21 on 13 September 2006
PS3FAN's Avatar

PS3FAN@ tobi

yo WARMAN......i love war games and wrestling games......hey man u gettin ps3.....its supposed to come out in november but now its comin out in freakin march......now thats gay......well cya homes
Posted 02:09 on 13 September 2006
WarMan52's Avatar

WarMan52

Hey does anyone play cod2 for ps2 online?? post ur usernames please and i cant wait for cod 3 it looks like the best war game out so far!!! and if u like war games and wrestling games pm me :)
Posted 01:49 on 13 September 2006
cOd3aNd SvRFan's Avatar
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cOd3aNd SvRFan@ tobi

Hey brownie im getting cod3 and svr2007 for ps2...

You got Cod 2 online for ps2 if so whats youre username...


Evryone else too whats ur usernames for cod2 online

Im NGFU Pvt Dust...
Posted 01:20 on 13 September 2006
Brownie's Avatar

Brownie

i cant wait to play it online its gonna b amazing. if any 1 here is looking 4 an allaince 2 b in when cod 3 comes out please write 2 me. thankx
Posted 22:04 on 05 September 2006

Game Stats

Release Date: 10/11/2006
Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-24
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 8,873 52
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