The third primary installment in the Call of Duty series is fast approaching, and we got our hands on the coveted PlayStation 3 version today at Sony's San Francisco press event to try out a previously unseen level. Today's demo was set in Laison, France, and it cast us as a member of the Canadian military attempting to shut down a battalion of Germans who were pinning us down with large artillery on the far side of a river. The demo featured action typical of the Call of Duty franchise--in this case, intense firefights through trenches with a handful of allies against wave after wave of German soldiers.
Most interestingly, we got to see some new uses of the Sixaxis controller in Call of Duty 3. Previously, we reported that the controller's motion-sensing function would only be used to perform melee attacks, but today we found it could be employed in a number of other areas. For one, when we cleared the Nazi opposition guarding the artillery guns we were trying to blow up, we engaged a minigame that had us planting explosives on that weaponry to put it out of commission. We had to hit a succession of buttons to plant the charges and insert the firing pin, and then we had to twist the controller as if we were winding in the pin to enable the explosive.
The Laison level also offered some vehicular action--namely, you'll have to drive a jeep through part of the mission to get to where you need to go. Again, the Sixaxis could be used here like a steering wheel to guide the jeep, though you'll be able to use the controller's traditional controls for everything if you prefer. The game sure did look good, though. It didn't look qualitatively better than the Xbox 360 version we've spent a lot of time with, though we noted the frame rate was consistent throughout our entire demo. That's because the many cores of the PS3's Cell processor are handling different parts of the game discretely, which apparently gives the developers more breathing room to implement various visual and aural effects without worrying about dragging down the frame rate too much.
Call of Duty 3 seems to be shaping up nicely on every platform, so diehard fans of this popular World War II series will serve themselves well to check it out on their console platform of choice. The PlayStation 3 version in particular is currently slated to hit shelves on the system's launch date, November 17, so stay tuned for a full review.