Monday, December 11, 2006
Good: Audio, some control functions
Bad: Occasional glitches, slightly odd controls
Why, why, why: Can't you skip cutscenes?
Since Red Steel failed to adequately sell the concept of Wii first-person shooters, gamers are probably looking elsewhere for hope. Call of Duty 3 certainly features better controls than Ubisoft's disappointment, but it's a hard sell considering that the 360 version is noticeably superior.
Featuring the same bounding-box style of control as Red Steel, you can aim within an invisible area, and turn when you move the pointer outside of that range. It's actually far more responsive than I expected, but things aren't perfect. I tend to naturally hold my Wii-mote tilted slightly to the right, and this caused my character to lean in that direction. This feature is fine when you're peeking out from corners, but isn't quite as useful when it causes me to walk extremely slow while my character leans.
Other motion-activated functions include switching weapons (nunchuk to the side), reloading (nunchuk up), throwing grenades (nunchuk down), and melee attacks (thrusting the remote forward). All of these functions work just fine, but you'll occasionally find yourself activating them on accident.
It's amazing how many authentic battles from World War II are included in the COD series. Rather than going with the standard D-Day battles we've seen a million times before, COD3 throws you in the middle of many lesser-known skirmishes as the Allies march towards Paris.
The narrative isn't particularly interesting, and you'll shift characters and countries quite a bit. Perhaps the most infuriating aspect of the entire title is the fact that you can not under any circumstance skip cutscenes or dialogue segments. It would be understandable if you had to watch them the first time only, but that isn't the case. Even if you've watched every single cutscene in the game, you'll have to watch them every single time you start a mission.
Core gameplay is almost identical to Call of Duty 2, but there are a few additions to keep it varied. From time to time, Nazi soldiers will attack you at close range, initiating a minigames of sorts that requires you to tear the gun from his hands and knock him out. On the Wii version, you actually push the nunchuk and Wiimote back and forth to fight them off, and then make a swiping motion to hit them with the butt of the gun. Certain instances of this will be more cinematic, as one features you knocking an enemy off of a water tower and then climbing back up to safety. These instances only pop up a few times throughout the campaign, and don't really add anything substantial to the gameplay experience.
Unfortunately, the most entertaining aspect from the 360 version is nowhere to be found on the Wii. There is no online play of any description, and it's sorely missed after playing tense and exciting Capture the Flag battles on Xbox Live.
The 360 version features beautiful hi-def water effects and massively detailed battle scenes. As one would expect, this Wii version is markedly inferior in this department. Battles are still hectic and intense, but the level of detail is multiple notches down from its HD brethren. Thankfully, the excellent audio and battle sound effects make their way to the Wii without much loss of quality.
Call of Duty 3 is still a good game on the Wii, but I honestly can't recommend this over the 360 version. This game works just fine with the standard dual-analog setup, and motion control doesn't make up for the lack of online play.
First Play: 8.0
Replay Value: 6.5