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Dec. 10, 2006
Call of Duty 3 - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
28/11/2006ActivisionTreyarch1, 2-16 MA15+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
55KBDolby PLIIYesNoNoneNo

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PS2 graphics are pretty nice.
With Electronic Arts' Medal of Honor games seeming to go from bad to worse, and the delay until 2007 for their latest effort, gamers are left with Call of Duty as one of their only options for WWII First Person Shooters this year. Fortunately Call of Duty 3 belongs to one of the most exciting, most polished, FPS series' in recent years. Given that this will quite possibly be the last in the series on the current generation (that's our speculation - nothing has been even hinted by Activision) we take a look to see if the developers Treyarch are going to go out with a bang!

Developed by Treyarch (the same company that worked on the previous PS2 title Call of Duty 2: Big Red One) the game takes place during the Normandy Breakout in 1944 and covers 88 days in the lead up to the liberation of Paris. Indeed this was the campaign that made the liberation of Paris possible, and brought the allies a step closer to Berlin. Throughout the game players take the role of four ordinary allied soldiers from the American, British, Canadian and Polish armies as they enter a variety of combat zones.

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Effects, such as fires, look great.
Call of Duty 3 is basically a First Person Shooter, although there are some other gameplay elements thrown in for good measure. Throughout the game you'll see a variety of cut-scenes which set the tone of the game perfectly. The voice acting is impressive and while it doesn't completely suck you into the storyline and characters it's done well enough. The game is split up into 14 missions with the majority seeing you run through the levels picking off enemies to make it from one objective to the next. The levels offer multiple paths and while the levels are massive in terms of size this branching makes them seem quite large. The soldiers are equipped with a wide range of authentically re-created weapons including rifles, pistols, grenades and machine guns.

The actual gameplay is almost an exact copy of last years game, with a couple of small additions. Firstly Call of Duty 3 now includes some close quarters hand to hand combat which is essentially reliant on a series of button presses (using the L1 and R1 buttons) to determine your success, or failure. It's also possible to throw grenades back at enemies - if you're quick enough. If you're not quick enough you can expect a rather painful death! Finally you'll find some other levels where you can drive around in Jeeps, or mount the machine guns.

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Yep, you can hoon around in a tank.
We mentioned earlier that Call of Duty 3 included different styles of gameplay, and this is particularly true when you join the Polish Army as you'll be put smack bang in the middle of a tank division. This isn't an ultra-technical recreation of driving around in a tank during the war, but it provides quite a bit of entertainment.

Multi-player is also supported in Call of Duty 3. While next-generation consoles support 24-player the XBox and PS2 version supports up to 16-players online which is impressive for the aging workhorse. Naturally the game modes themselves include favourites such as Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Team Battle, as well as a few others to keep you entertained such as Headquarters. One of the great things about the multi-player in Call of Duty 3 is that you can select what class of soldier you will be include riflemen, infantry, scouts or medic. The multi-player game also include vehicles (tanks or motorcycles with sidecars) for multiple occupants - one person can be driving and another on the machine gun for instance.

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In the heat of battle.
One of the few problems I have with this game is the length. The single player campaign can be completed in 10-15 hours and the game is a bit too easy on the standard difficulty setting (experienced gamers should set it up a notch). You will die often, but the frequency of checkpoints ensures you won't be going back too far on the restarts. Also disappointing is the fact that there is no split-screen mode in the game. Thankfully, and perhaps realising the current generation is slowly losing it's sheen, Activision have released the game on PS2 in Australia for only $AU69.95 making it quite a bargain.

Graphically Treyarch have pushed the Playstation 2 quite hard with this title. The amount of detail in the levels is impressive, however it's the number of soldiers running around and effects such as explosions, fires and so on which really makes this game stand out above so many others. Where the game does struggle a little is with the frame rate which occasionally drops a few frames while there's occasionally the awkward animation or graphical glitch with body parts through walls and so on. Ultimately none of this really detracts greatly from the overall experience.

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Firing on enemies below.
Audio in Call of Duty 3 is quite superb. As with previous games the speech is a highlight. It's not only in the cut scenes but also during the battles when you'll hear radio chatter, soldiers calling out and even enemy soldiers on patrol. Composer Joel Goldsmith worked on the music score for this game, and with the assistance of the Slovak Symphony Orchestra it really gives the game a touch of quality in the audio. Round this off with Dolby Pro Logic II support and you have one very solid audio experience.

Call of Duty 3 really is a kick-ass game on the Playstation 2, and includes all the components of the XBox 360 and PS3 versions, albeit with reduced visual quality. This is quite possibly the last in the series we'll see on current generation hardware, but if you're not planning on upgrading soon there's no excuse not to get Call of Duty 3 on the PS2. Activision continue to milk more power out of the system with every new title, and the overall result is one of the best First Person Shooters on the system since its release. If you like this genre then there is really no reason to ignore this game. Fantastic.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSLively battlefields, great effects and overall great presentation.
SOUNDHook this up to a decent sound system prepare to be blown away.
GAMEPLAYSome good variety in the gameplay, solid multi-player as well.
VALUENot an overly long game, but there's quite a bit of replay value as well.
OVERALLCall of Duty 3 is the best in the series on the PS2 to date. Graphics and audio are excellent, and the gameplay is engrossing. A worthy addition to your collection this year.

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