Call of Duty 3

Published by Activision, Developed by -

Genres: Historic / FPS (2 players)

US release date: Nov 19th, 2006 | EU release date: Dec 8th, 2006

Call of Duty 3 review

Does great control make up for lacklustre graphics?

Ginger Bloke wrote this game review.

Review written by
Ginger Bloke

We all know the story. As soon as we mention to our 360-owning "friends" that we've bought Call of Duty 3 on the Wii, we receive THAT lecture. The one about poor graphics compared to their beefy console.

It's a shame really, as I'm sure a lot of people will avoid this title purely based on poor graphics. On the other hand, I think if we stop comparing a Wii game against a 360 game, CoD3 on the Wii is hardly ugly, and for me personally the control method certainly warranted a purchase.

Call of Duty 3 screenshotBack to basics: The game is of course a World War II saga, and in this case tells the tale of various Allied forces converging on the German army in France, bottling them up and effectively turning the tide of the War. The story is told well through cut-scenes and in-game conversations, similar to other CoD games.

The last game in the series I played was CoD2 on the PC and I loved it to bits. For me, the big selling point was the combination of tight control and atmospheric gameplay, which proved to be incredibly immersive. I'm happy to say nothing has been lost on the Wii, and I'm edging towards thinking that the experience is even more realistic and involving.

In terms of control, which must surely be the biggest question on your mind, there is a slight learning curve, maybe 15 minutes in total. After this you'll find yourself forgetting you're doing anything new and innovative, and just shooting naturally as if you were holding a light gun. The main gameplay mode controls very tightly, and definitely adds to the realism. My only gripe is about grenade actions being assigned to the D pad, which is a little tough to reach, but it's a very small gripe.

Call of Duty 3 screenshotContinuing the immersive experience is the sound. The game runs in lovely Prologic II surround, and on my home cinema system sounded fantastic. You hear bullets zip around you, clips clunk and click on the Wiimote speaker, and explosions resound around the room. In short, the sound in this game is sometimes disturbingly realistic, spoilt only by a few glitches where sound will sometimes stutter, which is a shame.

Graphically, of course we're missing some of the polish from the 360 version, but you're still looking at a pretty realistic game. While fancy water effects might have been taken out, the meat of what makes CoD great, like the destructible environments are all still there. Bullets rip into walls, tanks blow buildings apart and explosions take out satisfying amounts of the enemy.

Interestingly, CoD3 on the Wii features some new gameplay additions, almost mini-games, which make use of the motion-sensing controller. Some of these have been implemented better than others.

In particular, the driving levels, where you hold the Wiimote and nunchuk as if they were a steering wheel, work very well indeed, as do the tank levels. Driving with the nunchuk stick and turning the Wiimote to aim the turret is an intuitive and satisfying experience.

More mediocre are tasks like planting explosives and hand-to-hand fights with Germans, which are somewhat laborious. They're not encountered very often though, and do provide an occasional respite from the main gunfights. And of course there are a couple of ridiculous tasks, like paddling a canoe across a river, which isn't fun, serves no real purpose in the game and really interrupts the flow of the action.

I guess we've seen this on a lot of Wii launch games. Just because something can be done on the Wii, doesn't mean it should be done. If it's not fun, leave it out - please!

Unfortunately for Wii owners, the biggest omission from the Wii version of CoD3 is multiplayer - in short, you'll be getting nothing. So once you've completed the main mission, which really doesn't take all that long, all you're rewarded with are some videos of veterans telling their tales of Chambois and the Falaise Gap. There is a harder difficulty level to work through, but nothing different once you've played through the game once.

On the whole though I would recommend CoD3 to WWII or FPS fans, on the basis that its control is very tight and the experience is still extremely immersive on Wii, despite graphical shortcomings. Great fun, while it lasts.


Gameplay: Gameplay score: 8

Graphics: Graphics score: 6

Sound: Sound score: 8

Lifespan: Lifespan score: 6

User comments


Jason Pilcher said:

Good review, but I'll give this game a miss.


wiiman said:

The greatstory line and gameplay makes up for the multiplayer. The graphics were fine. I really don't care that much for graphics.


Gonzo said:

I don't care what anybody says, I'm getting this game.


Alex Barnfield said:

Does anyone else get control glitches in this game? I've played 6 of the launch titles, all have no control problems including Red Steel so it's not a faulty controller. But in certain areas of CoD3 where it's particularly frantic my motion and rotation get locked.


Gonzo said:

I didn't know COD3 had glitches. I didn't even know the Wii had glitches so far.


Lagdo said:

It's a good game but it gets very hard in last few chapters.

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Wyatt said:

My friend gave me the exact same talk about graphics, hopefully the gameplay will show him up. I have the game now all I need is my Wii.


keith said:

I really enjoyed this game, the graphics are good, controls a little off but overall a must have for any FPS lover.

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Dave said:

Best game for Wii. Hard at first. But gets amazing by the end!


wiiboy101 said:

I hate the game. Frame rate slowdown, controller slow down, pop up graphics and a slightly upgraded ps2 graphics engine. This game could have been so much better on wii than it is.


Zack said:

Thought the game was awesome. The controls I liked, they worked really well. Sweet game.


Snickerdoodle said:

This game is not next generation. It feels very much like it was ported over from the ps2. The texture maps for the most part are quite low quality with lots of blurred pixels. A lot of the game models also look very low poly and crudely put together. The AI of the enemy soldiers is also quite lacking and collision detection looks a little off at times. The control system does get a little sticky at times but not enough to be a pain. The gameplay is ok though, standard stuff. As a fan of this type of game, I would have purchased it even with all the bad reviews, and be disappointed with it, as I am. Not the worse game in the world, but you won't be in awe.


Will said:

Alex- yeah, I and my friend have experienced the control-locking glitch. It seems to happen in any intense parts of the game and totally ruins it. I definitely wouldn't buy this game if I knew about that bug beforehand.


Gonzo said:

Yea, those graphics look like Ps2 graphics. Maybe, people who have this game could get AV cables to make the graphics more crisp.


Fantata said:

This game is very poor as is the COD franchise. LACK OF next gen graphics show it up for what it is - a very poor restricted FPS. How this game could get such a high score and Red Steel gets a much lower score only confirms that your reviewers only like games that are not challenging. Red Steel is tough but rewarding as its controls draw you in, get it not this. COD is buggy, controls add nothing and are just strapped on. Spongebob Squarepants is a better game. Never mind this daft review. Maybe Activision pay better backhanders.


mr wii said:

I disagree with you fantata. I think the COD franchise is quite good. The game is also ok.


Wastedyuthe said:

I personally love it. Although it is a port of the PS2 version (and it shows), the graphics are still very good. It is definitely more intense than MoH for the Wii, and has better AI. Control is great too, apart from when it lags in busy situations, which is unforgivable and almost ruins the game (that's lazy programming if ever I saw it). Great otherwise and a good blast. Better than Medal of Honour.


vanillaface 117 said:

I personally think the COD series was good for the first 5 games, now it's kind of getting old. How many times are they going to make a WWII series? It's very repetitive.


D3menTa said:

Well I can first start off by saying that this was an ok review. CoD2 on the pc, by far, (if you had a decent machine with dx9) would kick the shit out of any of these console CoD3 ports. Anyone in their right mind would agree with that. I mean hell I have been running games at higher resolutions before 360 or ps3 dropped. So I will keep my pc for that, since anyone with real money knows the pc is the way to go for graphics. Try $3000 just to play some games on a pc and the $600 for a ps3 is just peanuts. I bought a Wii at launch and I do like it somewhat, wish there was more games to choose from, but that is ok. It is still a "fun" console. Emphasis on the word fun. I don't know about most people, but I am very disappointed in CoD3 for the Wii. The controls are cool and have more of a learning curve than "15" minutes thank you very much on that review. Try about an hour and then after that you can also figure out that you can pwn anyone in this game by running up to them and punting their ass with the butt of your gun. I feel let down by the publisher for this though. Nothing to do with the Wii at all. I liked red steel, that had some cool controls to it and a lot better graphics than this pile of poop. But the game in its whole was ok, odd missions but back to the AI, both on your side and enemy, sucks.


Eltea said:

Actually, the control glitches were a real pain. Overall it's a nice and immersive game, with decent graphics. Take into account that a Wii isn't nextgen hardware wise.


Game Veteran 2 said:

As a fan of Call of Duty I have really high expectations for the third one, especially on the Wii. I played Call of Duty 1 and 2 and for a time I feared the series would get boring cause the gameplay is pretty much the same but when the Wii controller was announced I immediately realized the controller's FPS potential. But unfortunately I never got the game yet because my savings just didn't have enough. I know COD may lack graphics on the Wii but I don't mind.


matrixsurround said:

There was no wii-mote speaker sound like the review said. The big N was keeping the speaker a secret at the time this game was made, so sorry. NO awesome sound here, but it is still pretty good with Dolby Prologic II. This review had to be written by a fanboy. I thought the game was alright, but there were graphic glitches. Like when an enemy is dead on the floor, his shadow showed on the ceiling. There was other little stuff too. For the first 15 minutes or so the aiming feels like you're using a wavey mouse thingy on a computer. That is if you're not used to it by now by playing similar games like red steel, which I personally thought was a better game (as far as graphics and controls that is). The controls worked great for aiming, but don't think for a second that you are going to pick up an enemy grenade with the nunchuck and throw it back at them. It's hard to throw one of your own. To play, it's best to leave this option on the controls at default. Even with the grenade function at default, throwing or picking up grenades with the Plus and minus buttons was just plain stupid. Clearly these buttons were not made for this type of game. That goes for the direction pad too. Using these buttons while aiming and shooting will cause severe carpel tunnel syndrome. What was Nintendo thinking? The Wii mote should've been designed a little different for first person shooters. Using other buttons for call of duty other than the A and B (trigger) takes a lot of getting used to. Excellent story, keeping you on your toes for the short 8 to 10 hours until you beat it. Beating it on hard is well, hard. Especially the last level which is next to impossible (not impossible because I did it). What? No multiplayer! THE HELL you SAY?! Yes again the big N keeping another aspect of the great Wii a secret because they want to be the first to put out a multiplayer online game like mario strikers charged or pokemon.


Wii Man2 said:

I wish people would have second thoughts about this game because I own it and I've beaten it too, it's a wicked game with great graphics.


Matrixsurround said:

Don't get me wrong, I liked it too. And graphics were good. But I expected better. I was just mentioning the glitches. I compared them to playstation 2 and they were dang near identical. I'm basically trying to say that call of duty 3 for the Wii is nothing more than a ps2 port with some quickly thrown together Wii controls. The game is far too short. No online multiplayer, so when you beat it there is nothing more. When I buy a game I expect more than 8 or 10 hours out of it. When you beat it, well that's it. A good renter though. If you're used to the controls from playing other fps by now, I suggest playing it on hard to start off with.


warndu said:

About the glitches, I get the same in busy scenes. Is there anything we can do? Does the company acknowledge it sucks?


Zee said:

I have had the control glitches in two places- both where the battle was intense.


TimbleTown said:

I wanted to enjoy the game so much, but the pop up during the tank driving is horrific; controls sticking leaving me to be shot to pieces, drive into a hedge, or have the rest of my platoon screaming "C'mon!" at me when I was too busy running around in circles cause me to HATE this game. When it's good it's great, any other times it's unplayable.


Tabasco said:

I love the COD3, and the graphics are not that bad. On a few occasions, I'll just start spinning around though, and aiming a gun is next to impossible with it jumping around. What can be done about these glitches? Has anyone found a way to straighten it out during game play? Other than those moments, I have totally enjoyed playing it.


Damon said:

This game is good except for the hand to hand fights, they're ridiculously tough and made me stop playing a lot.


Son Ninja said:

I hate comparing this version to the X-Box 360 and PS3 versions in terms of graphics because it does lack a lot of it, but in terms of gameplay it definitely delivers and feels much different than the two visual versions. While having a pretty movie-like version is good, I rather a version that exceeds in new gameplay and the Wii version of CoD3 is that. Now no multiplayer mode, blame that on Activision and their lazy developers.

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John said:

I'm on a level where I'm supposed to sniper from a house (one with no exit since I can't go out the way I came in) and the men keep yelling fall out. It's frustrating because I can't jump out of the friggin house! What? Before this I thought it was a great game, now I'm confused.

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