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Slick shooting. Impressive presentation. Interesting multiplayer. Forgettable story. Welcome to Call of Duty 3.

Let's face it. There have been so many World War II shooter over the past decade that the mere thought of playing another one won't sit too well with most gamers. As most of the major shooter franchises evolve into modern combat, WW2 games, like veterans of the war itself, are slowly becoming old and will go on to be remembered by future generations. However, it's a shame that many of these such as Call of Duty 3, were overlooked during the trend and didn't get the recognition they deserved. So let us look back upon this game and see what it was all about.

It's 1944. World War II is raging across Europe. The game starts very shortly after the Normandy breakout, with allied forces in an attempt to push back the German threat and liberate occupied countries. Like other CODs before it, you play as multiple soldiers, each from a different nation. These would be the American, Scottish, Canadian, and Polish forces. It's certainly good to have variety, but there's one problem. The story itself is brutally uninteresting. Your character(s) never say a single line throughout the game, leaving your squad to star in the plot. Although you stick with these squads the entire game, all of the members are either unlikable stereotypes, have over-the-top personalities, or are flat out generic. To compliment this is sub-par voice acting that features some very bad accents and general unenthusiasm. With games like Brothers In Arms having respectably good stories, it's a shame COD3 is so far behind.

Luckily the gameplay is better, which is important considering it's probably what you came for. There are 14 chapters in the game, each one being played by one of the 4 nations. They'll take you a little under an hour each to complete, making for a good 10 hour adventure. The levels are mostly linear, although there are some scenarios in the game which feature multiple paths you can take to complete the objective. True to Call of Duty fashion, you have regenerating health which keeps the pacing rock solid, and can only hold 2 weapons at once making you choose wisely about what you pick up and throw away. The controls for gun combat are great, utilizing a generous auto-aim system which might feel a bit like cheating, but is practically necessary to engage the many enemies the game throws at you. More often than not you'll have to aim down the sights of a gun, as firing from the hip is inaccurate and your reticule even disappears when you move. The weapons however, are a bit of a mixed bag. Although the guns that your particular country utilizes are reliable, they'll run out of ammo soon enough, and with none of it in sight, you'll have to resort to picking up a German weapon, only a few of which are any good. Some of these are fun to shoot, but you're forced to use them for too long, making you wish you could use something else. At least you have grenades, and a very useful melee attack which is easy to pull off.

The campaign could also use some more variety. There are very few instances where you use a turret, which is almost criminal in this kind of game. There is one mission where you control a tank and another with a jeep, but in the tank one the only enemies you fight are other tanks, and in the jeep one all you do is drive. Very disappointing. some quick time events are present in the form of placing charges and escaping ambushes, but these are overused and hardly fun to begin with. Altogether though, the campaign is fun. There are enough scripted moments, guns, and large battles to keep you interested, and gunning down Nazis is generally a good time. The multiplayer is an entirely different story however, and I was surprised to see people still playing. The pacing is much faster, making it feel more like Unreal Tournament. You select from a predetermined loadout and proceed to wreak havoc on the map. It's not great by any means, but if you're interested, it can provide for a few hours of fun.

It's a 4 year old game so of course it's not going to be fantastic, but for what it is, Call of Duty 3's presentation is great. The various explosions look great, and the environments and models look and animate well. The guns have great reload animations and depth of field when zooming in through sights. Voicework aside, the audio is great, with each explosion and gunshot coming right off the screen. The Germans actually speak German, and the menus are intuitive. AI is mediocre for both the enemies and allies, but it's generally not a concern. the game uses some war footage and maps in the first few missions but then stops using them, which is strange. Altogether, a solid package.

Yes, Call of Duty 3 is a World War II game. But if you can get over that, you'll definitely have fun with it. It plays a lot like the 2 Call of Duty games before it, which may have been why it was overlooked. But to true fans, that's not all a problem considering the first 2 were terrific. This game is very cheap now being 4 years old, and if you're starving for more Call of Duty action after the Modern Warfare games, then by all means enlist into this division. It's fast, fun, and filled with content. Just don't expect any original story, capiche?

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