Call of Duty 3 is a World War II first-person shooter and the third installment in the Call of Duty (series)|Call of Duty video game series. It has been released for all three seventh generation video game systems: the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii. It has also been released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It was first released on November 7, 2006.
This game was a launch title for the PS3 and Wii in North America, Europe and Australia. It was also the first major Call of Duty installment not to be released for Personal computer|PC and the only numerical sequel to date to have been a console-exclusive game alongside Call of Duty 2: Big Red One and Call of Duty: Finest Hour. It was also the second major installment in the Call of Duty series not to be developed by Infinity Ward after Big Red One, both of which were released by another of Activision's design branches, Treyarch. It is also the second WWII video game to feature Canada as a playable country.
There are various features and functions which add to the realism of gameplay.A character can be positioned in one of three stances: standing, kneeling, or prone; each affecting the character's rate of movement, accuracy, and stealth. Using cover helps the player avoid enemy fire or recover health after taking significant damage, as there are no armor or health powerups. When the character has taken damage, the edges of the screen glow red and the character's heartbeat increases. If the character stays out of fire, the character can recover. When the character is within the blast radius of a live grenade, a marker indicates the direction of the grenade, helping the player to flee from it.
Players have a HUD which includes a game map.
Moving away from the gameplay style of previous Call of Duty games, where players would simply select a team and weapon, players select a class of soldier and a team, the chosen class defining both the player's weaponry and the unique abilities that they will hold over the other classes. There are seven classes of soldier to choose from, with different weapons (although of similar specifications) depending on which side the player fights. Every class has a sprinting action used instead of the normal binoculars used when the usual binocular button (during single player mode) is pressed.
Classes include riflemen, light and heavy assault, medic, scout, support and anti-armor. Players select a class when entering a match, but can change classes after they have been killed. Each class has a primary weapon, a pistol, and a unique ability, such as reviving team mates as a medic, calling in artillery as a scout, laying mines as light or heavy assault, giving ammunition as anti-armor or support, or firing rifle grenades as a rifleman. Unlike in previous Call of Duty titles, the player can only switch their sidearm and not their primary weapon.
The single player is modeled after the Normandy breakout, where the British, Canadian, Polish, American and French Resistance forces pushed into the village of Chambois, France, also known as the Falaise Gap. Unlike most other games in the Call of Duty series, the events in Call of Duty 3 are based on a single combined campaign, with the player being switched between the four nations and their respective characters for each leg of the story. There are 14 playable campaign missions.
In the American missions, the player assumes control of Private Nichols, recently arrived in France and eventually attached to the 29th Infantry Division. Nichols and his squad participate in the capture of Saint-Lô. After that, the squad is folded into the 90th Infantry Division and sent to secure the wooded area of Saint Germain-Sur-Seves, where intense hedgerow fighting took place. Soon after, the 90th assaults the town of Mayenne, where Pvt. Huxley is tasked with defusing bombs planted on a bridge, which is heavily guarded by German infantry. Huxley is wounded before he can carry out the order and Sergeant McCullin successfully defuses the bombs, but is killed in the process. Corporal Dixon then assumes command of the squad and is promoted to sergeant. The squad is later tasked with clearing out Forêt d'Ecouves, so 2nd Battalion can move through. In the end, Nichols clears the last roadblock with a mortar. The squad then participates in clearing out a nearby town with a vital crossroads. Towards the end of the assault Dixon is wounded but survives. After taking a shortcut through the sewers, they find the crossroads and take it successfully, with the help of Sherman tanks. The unit is then sent to defend the town of Chambois from Axis forces trying to run through the Falaise Gap. Guzzo marks German positions with flares for air support. While laying smoke, Guzzo is wounded, and Dixon and Nichols come to his aid and extract him to relative safety. While treating Guzzo, Dixon is killed. Guzzo takes command of the squad. After fighting through the rest of the town, the squad then holds off the Germans until reinforcements arrive. Guzzo is then shown as the new leader of the squad, giving a "pep talk" to some fresh soldiers.
During the British campaign, the player controls Sergeant James Doyle, a returning character from Call of Duty: United Offensive and member of the British Special Air Service. Doyle parachutes into France with a squad led by Major Ingram, also of Call of Duty: United Offensive fame, and meets up with members of the French Resistance. Due to fire from an 88 mm gun, their Handley Page Halifax is shot down. The plane drops the squad and the two jeeps. Soon after making contact with the French resistance, SAS and French Resistance fighters attack a German anti-aircraft position. The French Resistance and SAS then try to destroy a German-held fuel plant. While escaping, Ingram is captured and tensions rise as Corporal Keith accuses one of the Resistance members, Marcel, of collaborating with the Germans. Against the advice of the Resistance, Keith and Doyle attempt to locate Ingram. Soon after rescuing Ingram, French and British fighters attempt to stop the executions of captured Resistance fighters. They rush to save as many as they can, but in the process the Resistance loses one of their significant members, Isabelle DuFontaine, who is killed after planting an explosive charge on an armored car. Keith is then seen comforting Marcel, showing that he actually respects the French Resistance.
The Canadian aspect of the campaign involves members of the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division. It is centered on Private Cole, led by World War I veteran Lieutenant Robichaud, who demonstrates a proud and often haphazard style of leadership, often making assaults and completing objectives beyond his assigned mission at the risk of his own men. Robichaud commands a platoon in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada. The platoon captures an industrial area and successfully defends it from a numerically superior German force. While the Polish 1st Armored Division guards their western flank, the unit clears a forest near the Laison River, during which Robichaud berates a young radio operator named Private Baron over his lack of combat participation. Tension builds between the two, and Baron insists that he is not a coward. Robichaud dismisses him and assigns him to act as radio operator for a Polish unit. Robichaud proceeds to clear a town to rescue a captured Canadian tank crew, but rather than withdraw with the rescued servicemen he decides to assist in capturing the whole town. After a King Tiger tank appears, the men plant demolition charges in a German ammunition dump to destroy the tank, but when Callard tries to defuse a defective charge it explodes. Robichaud and Cole are wounded, and Sergeant Callard is killed. A saddened Robichaud decides to nominate Callard for the Victoria Cross and promote Cole to corporal. They then start moving reinforcements through the town to help the Polish defending Hill 262.
The Polish campaign revolves around Cpl. Bohater, a tank driver in the Polish 1st Armored Division. Bohater participates in a sweep across the French countryside, engaging German armor. The Polish later move into position at the base of Hill 262, which is assaulted by the remnants of the German 7th army desperate to escape the Falaise Pocket. Bohater and his crew defend the hill against German tanks, but eventually their tank is damaged and the crew abandons it. They join in the battle alongside the Polish infantry units and other tank crews, holding off the German attack. The Polish continue to take heavy casualties and, waiting for Canadian reinforcements, start to retreat up the Mace through pockets of German-infested trenches. The Canadian radio operator, Pte. Baron, arrives to call in artillery and is killed by a stray shot after refusing to retreat from an overrun position. Ulan scavenges his radio, which is used again to call for artillery strikes. In the final minutes of the level, Major Jachowicz commands Bohater to defend the hill against the advancing German troops. He defends the other side of the hill and finally, as green flares illuminate the skies, the Canadian infantry arrives to save the day for the Poles on Hill 262.
In addition to the single-player campaign, Call of Duty 3 features a wide range of multiplayer modes for players to participate in - each team allowing up to 24 on the PS3 and the Xbox 360, and 16 for the PS2 and Xbox in a single match. This is only in the online mode. All team game modes feature the soldiers of the Allied nations versus those of the Axis. Multiplayer features are absent from the Wii edition.
As with many other Xbox 360 games, Call of Duty 3 divides its multiplayer aspect into Player and Ranked matches. Player matches allow players to invite other players into their games, but do not contribute points toward the leader board or unlock achievements. Ranked matches pit the player with and against teams of random players, and contribute towards player points and allow players to unlock achievements.
While the Xbox 360 supports up to four players on the same console (splitscreen mode and player matches), the PS3 is currently only able to support one player online at a time.
The game features six game modes, five of which are team based, and one individual:
- Battle: A traditional Deathmatch-style game-play - the only individual game mode. The score at which the game ends depends on the number of players, and decisions of the game host, but is by default set to 20, the more killed, the better. A certain number of kills gets players a promotion, i.e. to corporal, who gets a smoke grenade and one additional frag grenade.
- Team Battle: Two teams (Allies and Axis) battle, the only objective being to eliminate the opposing team. The score at which the game ends depends on the number of players, and decisions of the game host, but is by default set to 100.
- War: There are several fixed flags around the map (either five flags or three, depending on the choice of map) and teams must gain control of one before moving onto the next. Allies and Axis start with equal numbers of flags and a neutral flagpoint in the center. The team who takes all flagpoints first wins. In the event of a tie, the team that held the neutral flag the longest wins.
- Capture the Flag (CTF): Each team has a flag at their base. Teams must infiltrate the enemy base and bring the enemy flag back to their own base. Generally, the first team to capture the enemy's flag 5 times is victorious. In the event of a tie, the team with most kills will be the winner.
- Single CTF: Teams spawn on either side of the map. Flag spawns in center. Objective is to successfully take the flag to the opposing team's base. Generally, the first team to take the flag to the enemy base 5 times is victorious.
- Headquarters: A radio spawns at a random location on the map - teams must possess the radio. The team who successfully possesses the radio establishes a base there. Teams must either defend or attack the base. The team who established a base at the radio gains a point for each second they remain in control of the base - if the opposing team destroys the base, they gain ten points. Normally, the first team to 300 points wins.
The soundtrack for Call of Duty 3 was composed by Joel Goldsmith. The soundtrack is available as a Wal-Mart exclusive. However, four of the 20 tracks are online at Joel Goldsmith's website.
- "New Call of Duty 3 screens & info", PAL Gaming Network, August 3, 2006, retrieved November 2, 2006.
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