The latest follow up to the hugely popular Call of Duty series, Call of Duty 3 sees you once again thrown on to the battlefronts of World War II. This time the story is all about the liberation of Paris as the Allied Forces work their way through France to the capital.



Throughout the games missions, gamers get the chance to play one of four Allied soldiers; American, British, Canadian and Polish starting with the Americans in Normandy.

As before, the action takes place in the first person and Activision haven't messed around with the games gameplay or style. Call of Duty fans will be pleased to see that the game still aims at getting you so immersed in the gameplay that you'll always want more.

Take the opening level for example, no sooner have you learnt how to use a rifle, you are working your way through a shelled city instructing tanks where to shoot to take out the machine gun nests in the loft apartments. Brilliant.

New to Call of Duty 3 is close quarter battle feature that allows you to fight it out hand-to-hand with the enemy rather than merely filling them with bullets. It certainly brings a break and a bit of button slapping to the game, however we found in most cases, given a split second decision, stepping back a couple of paces and then unloading a clip into them was a more effective route.

Although developed by Activision, Microsoft, the makers of the Xbox 360, is already touting Call of Duty 3 as a second generation next generation title and you can see why. Fans of the previous outing on the Xbox 360 won't be disappointed.

Graphics are still top notch and as before the sound really does immerse you in all the action. We especially like Call of Duty's classic slow motion effect when you find yourself being near a large explosion at the wrong time. Everything goes fuzzy, the noise dims and it's hard to move quickly.

Grumbles? Well although according to Activision there are "Plenty of attack routes that let players decide how to confront the enemy" we found in most cases while the scenery and mission structure gives the impression of being vast, more often than not you are tied down to thin corridors of movement and a very linear path through the levels.

While previous war games like Hidden and Dangerous gave you complete reign of the level, Call of Duty isn't so giving. Of course the upside is that you can't get lost, nor do you have hours trying to work out where to go next, but it is something to bear in mind. If the programmers don't want to you take out a machine gun nest from the left then trust us, you won't be able to.

Call of Duty 3's main focus is of course the single player missions, however with Xbox Live the game offers a massive online element that will see the game last you well past the first month of purchase.

Team based online play includes up to 24 players battling it out online with the option of single or split-screen internet play while gamers have the choice to play as infantry or commandeer multiple occupancy vehicles, including tanks, jeeps, and motorcycles with side-cars. The game also includes class specific abilities, and a ranking system.

Verdict

There is no doubting that Call of Duty 3 is a great game with plenty both in the single player and multiplayer to keep any hardened first person shooter fan who has a penchant for World War II games happy for the next couple of months.



For fans who've played Call of Duty 2 for the last year, this is a logical progression, although you aren't going to find anything ground breaking above and beyond what you are used to.

The only thing stopping Call of Duty being the first choice shooter on the Xbox 360 this Christmas is Gears of War.