Bad Controls And No Online Play Make Call Of Duty 3 Even Worse
Had it not been for the promise of the newfangled Wii motion controls, Call of Duty 3 would've made for one of the most monumental and absorbing launch releases on the Nintendo Wii. The amount of quality teeming from the picturesque and refined substance of CoD 3's gameplay is almost palpable to say the least. It isn't difficult to see why it has been such a success otherwise on Xbox 360, PS3 and even PC.
Call of Duty 3, is the first entry of the core CoD series to reach the Nintendo systems. While the Gamecube had seen CoD spin-off titles in the form of Finest Hour and Big Red One, neither game quite revolutionised the World War II FPS genre like Infinity Ward did back in 2003 with CoD on PC. Finest Hour didn't particularly offer anything new with uninspired designs. And as for Big Red One, it was somewhat riddled with inexcusable bugs which often made it impossible to even move further on in the game.
Yet unlike the CoD emulations of Finest Hour and Big Red One, Call of Duty 3 on Nintendo Wii is instead the very thing itself, HD visuals aside anyway. CoD 3 is set following D-Day and in the mist of the Normandy invasion. You switch roles as British, Canadian, American and Polish forces taking back France all the way to the Chamois and liberating the French from Nazi occupation.
On Nintendo Wii, the actual core gameplay of Call of Duty remains much the same as it is on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, with of course the differences rather lying in the game's controls.
While the generic movement and commands are performed digitally (e.g. C to jump, Z to crouch, B to fire), CoD 3 relies on gestures to reload/switch your weapons and perform melee commands with a swing of the nunchuck in various directions. Call of Duty runs as a usual first person shooter with second world war concepts, but it stands out due to its reliance on tactical combat and teamplay alongside your companions on the battlefield. This helps it mimic the genuine thing almost flawlessly as if you're a soldier too.
Like Red Steel, the Wiimote's motion capabilities serve as the aiming mechanic for pointing where to shoot and navigate CoD 3's camera around the levels. For the most part, this layout works adequately as you duck for cover and out-do your German opponents throughout the game. There are no health bars now either, so simply escaping the firefight until you've regained your focus. Precise shots are a little fiddly but with a hold of A, you can lock on to your target and carefully get that instant-kill headshot you're after. What's more fiddly though are the button mashing minigames, which have suitably been swapped to motion specific gestures instead. It sounds all well and fine except the gestures have to be PERFECT in order for them to work correctly.
This ultimately makes the simple task of arming a bomb or winning a German in a fight of brawn and mettle much harder than it should be, they're unbelievably laggy and unresponsive. You will be close to throwing the nunchuck out of the window when you're trying to pull the clip out of the bomb or breaking the Wiimote in half as all your dynamism is forced into the remote.
Although nothing compares to driving the jeep during the British missions. Not only do you have to hold the nunchuck and Wiimote as if they perform as a steering wheel but it doesn't even work.
Infact, it is actually easier if you don't use the motion controls in such a way predominantly, almost as if it was a complete joke for the developers to include it at all. Fundamentally the gimmicky controls such as driving the tank and the quick time events such as bomb planting are what stops Call of Duty 3 from being as captivating as it should be. It turns Call of Duty 3 from a moderately enjoyable experience to a suddenly frustrating turn of events.
But Call of Duty 3's bugs don't end there, as whenever the game sees even the slightest of slowdown, the motion controls suddenly become unresponsive which makes the game completely unplayable on occasion and there are also some awful invisible walls on some levels on CoD 3. There is no compromise for either of these problems on Nintendo Wii. Once again Nintendo is also given the short end of the stick with the lack of multiplayer. There is still absolutely no splitscreen or online competitive play which is an incredible disappointment. The lack of multiplayer has been a major fault with all the CoD games on Nintendo consoles since Finest Hour.
On the flipside, Call of Duty 3 has astounding presentation qualities on Wii with smoothly operated in-game cut-scenes and sequences during play. These are all voiced professionally even if the characters are perhaps some of the worst stereotypes in video gaming history (next to Punch-Out maybe) and are borderline racist. Unfortunately, you jump that much between forces in the game you don't have long to bond or relate to the characters either (unlike Big Red One on Gamecube) and they're not particularly memorable by any means either.
The music and sound effects are Hollywood grade in CoD 3 with tentative orchestral beats matching the ambience of the fighting during play. Most of CoD 3 is without the benefit of music, neither ambient nor dramatic. Yet Call of Duty 3 is a regrettably exiguous release with fourteen chapters clocking in on an average of thirty minutes to complete each. CoD 3 equals to around seven hours of gameplay in total.
So wrapping this up, Call of Duty 3 is an amazing release on Wii, let down by the unfortunate temptations of exploiting the Wii's motion controls for unresponsive and laggy quick time events. It feels like a rushed release, despite some high quality visuals, sounds and presentation. And when the controls completely breakdown following a bout of slowdown, you'll find it hard not to atleast feel atleast a bit displeasing