As expected of something like Call of Duty, the online multiplayer overshadows the lackluster single-player campaign.

User Rating: 8.5 | Call of Duty 3 PS2
I've never really been a First-Person Shooter fan, but seeing that this was my second FPS video game, I guess you could say Call of Duty 3 got me into the FPS genre, along with Medal of Honor: Frontline (though I liked Frontline more - but that's besides the point).

As expected of something like Call of Duty, the online multiplayer overshadows the lackluster single-player campaign.

Call of Duty 3 was a big change from Call of Duties 1 and 2 - but some of the changes weren't for the better. In fact, many of these changes bog down the game's strong and tight gameplay.

Like the boatloads of FPS games before it, Call of Duty 3 was in the middle of a time where everyone was pretty darn tired of shooting up Nazis and facists and whatnot. Everyone had moved on from World War II to modern-era to future-type FIrst-Person Shooters - like Killzone, Halo, Battlefield,(no, I'm not comparing them).

But I guess you could say that Call of Duty 3 was one of the last "average" FPS games of its time - and note how I say "average" because that's exactly what it is: average. Most of every other First-Person Shooter video game wasn't as appealing except the Medal of Honor series - which I love.

I will be reviewing the Sony PlayStation 2 Call of Duty 3 game released on November 7, 2006 in the US of A.

Call of Duty 3 story is split into many different perspectives like the Call of Duties before it - it'll have you controlling the lives of different people. There are four campaigns that you will be playing through, however it'll jump around from mission-to-mission. The campaigns are as follows: American, British, Canadian, and Polish.

The idea of being able to play through different campaigns as different people like Call of Duty 1 and 2, but it really doesn't work well here - the pacing gets thrown off at times and it becomes confusing to watch through the un-skippable cinematic cutscenes.

I won't spoil much but what I will say is how the American campaign begins.

In the American campaign you'll be playing as Pvt. Nichols - a greenhorn that just got drafted into the American 29th Infantry Division. The first level is pretty much (like previous games in the series) a tutorial combined with a realistic-like training session. I'd say more but I"m afraid that would spoil the first level, which sucks you in pretty well.

The gameplay is pretty simple. You kill Nazis - and then you kill them again. I mean, it's not like it's reused enough, right?

It is in this case.

The gameplay's fine - it's just that shooting Nazis gets tedious - and the bad dialogue doesn't help, however the voice-acting is great. You'll get to use a lot of guns in this game, like M1 Garands, Thompsons, MP44s, MP40s, and others - all of which get the job done pretty well.

Occasionally the game will have you perform interactive button segments like quick-time close-quarters fighting with Nazis - new to Call of Duty 3 - but an underused concept for the game. Sometimes you'll have to row a boat across a river, plant charges, fire mortars and mounted machine-guns, and even control a tank. It's what I like about Call of Duty 3 - it's like a break from the repetitive gameplay. It makes the game unique.

The levels - while they don't number a lot - have several paths for the player to explore, which is awesome. It adds quite a bit of replayability to say the least, and from the main menu you can continue any time from a checkpoint if you want to take a break.

The graphics in this game are pretty darn good for a PS2 game. You might think otherwise, but it's just the work put into the environments that are awesome. There are loads of textures, models, and particles on-screen and how the game is able to maintain a steady frame-rate from all this is amazing. Explosions are big and fiery, sparks fly everywhere - it gets pretty tense.

The controls work pretty well for a PS2 FPS game. You can configure the controls to your liking, which is nice. Everything is where they ought to be and it'll take approximately just one or two levels and you've got the controls down in no time. But when you've got quick-time events and when you're stick in a button-mashing situation, the controls get clunky and poorly-mapped.

The music - it's annoying. The only actual good song I enjoy listening to is the main menu music (which doubles as the theme). The in-game soundtrack is alright, but it's a little quiet at times. Ambient music is used as well, with quiet orchestras and moody horns playing while you bash a Nazi's head with the butt of your rifle while he's taking a pee.

The sound is pure awesome, however. Each gun sounds menacing (except the Thompson) and just the sound of hastily loading a new clip with the (sometimes excessive) camera shake, like in Killzone. The voice-acting is great, except for the Nazi soldiers. There are probably only about fifteen-to-twenty German voices (excluding the cinematic CG cutscenes), and they get repetitive really easily. It ends up as a sort of screaming compitition for the Nazi that can sream "Grenade!" the loudest.

The artificial intelligence is... artificial intelligence-like. The Nazis act like robots. Most of them just stand there while your squad empties rounds into their skulls, and sometimes they'll go all Terminator-mode on you. It's kind of like a rubber-band-based artificial intelligence for FIrst-Person Shooters. It gets frustrating at times when you're cornered and trapped behind a tree while a Nazi is blowing all of his MG42 ammunition on you (of which have an infinite supply).

Now that the single-player campaign is done and over with, it's time to get into the actual meat of this game.

Most of your time will be spent on the online multiplayer component of the game. The problem is nowadays there aren't many people on it; numbering about from thirty to seventy people in my area - it may sound like a lot, but trust me, it isn't.

The online multiplayer was essentially the focus of Call of Duty 3 - it's ridiculous on how much harder Activision worked on the online than the single-player campaign.

There are several modes to play through in the online mode. There's Battle (Deathmatch), Team Battle (Team Deathmatch), Capture the Flag, War, and Headquarters.

An example of how focusted Activision was on the online mode is how the pistols - the Colt .45 and the Walther P38 are available in the online multiplayer, but not the single-player mode. Why the heck would that be? Say what you want, but this is one of the gripes I have with the online.

Speaking of gripes, the online community is pretty mean. Most, if not all, of the players with headsets will always go on a mic-screaming rampage instead of actually using it for cooperation. It's frustrating having to listen to people act like that. But most of the PS2 community nowadays don't own headsets, so that's not a problem on this version.

Those are pretty much the only problems I've got with this game. But if you want me to list them again, I will.

+ Great multiplayer
+ Awesome sound
+ Great voice-acting
+ A lot of variety of gameplay styles
+ Visuals are impressive

- Single-player campaign is not up to par
- Nazi voices are annoying
- Storyline has bad pacing
- Music for the most part isn't great
- Controls at times are clunky

Call of Duty 3 is a fine game. I like it for its uniqueness and how it tried to be different from the previous games, but the step in the different direction probably wasn't the best decision for it. However I must applaud Activision for their efforts and I must say the online multiplayer is pretty fun.

But don't expect to earn the Medal of Honor in Call of Duty - they're two entirely different franchises.