Call of Duty 3 debriefed

Treyarch's multiplatform WWII saga adds Canadian, Polish forces to mix, draws inspiration from classic war films like <i>A Bridge Too Far</i>.

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Activision today officially revealed more details on its next chapter of the Call of Duty, which is due this fall on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, as well as the Xbox and PlayStation 2. For PC owners, the outlook is still grim--the game is still only scheduled for release on consoles.

The game will once again take place during World War II, this time focusing on the Normandy Breakout, which allowed Allied forces to recapture Paris and set the stage for the fall of Berlin. Canadian and Polish forces will be represented in the series for the first time, joining British and American troops.

On the technical side, the game is being "built from the ground-up for next-gen consoles" with a new physics engine, meaning COD3 won't simply be a prettier Call of Duty: Big Red One, Treyarch's last Call of Duty game.

As seen in the Call of Duty 3 trailer released during E3, hand-to-hand combat will be a part of the game (watch the new movie to the right to see it in action), as will disarming traps, setting explosives, and "other battlefield situations" that require timely button mashing.

Hiding behind cover won't always be the best thing for soldiers' health. Certain portions of the environment will be destructible, allowing gamers to flush out enemies with a well-placed grenade. Approaching objectives will also be open, as branching mission paths will let players decide the best path to achieve goals.

The multiplayer portion of the game will support up to 24 players, three times more than Call of Duty 2 on the Xbox 360 allows. When running around with guns won't do, players can hop into tanks, jeeps, and motorcycles with those cool WWII-era sidecars. There will also be different classes for soldiers as well as a ranking system. The war between man and artificial intelligence may have to wait--there was no mention of any cooperative mode.

Whereas previous Call of Duty games were clearly influenced by recent war movies, COD3 was inspired by more classic war films, like A Bridge Too Far and The Longest Day, according to USA Today. The development team also chatted extensively to veterans of the war, in an attempt to make the game as realistic as possible, and many of these conversations may be compiled for a collector's edition of the game.

Call of Duty 3 has not yet been rated or priced. For more on the game, including new gameplay footage, head over to GameSpot's previous coverage.

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