Just when you thought it was safe to hang up your M-1, Activison and Treyarch have teamed up to bring us Call of Duty 3. The war is far from over folks. New gameplay mechanics and enhanced visuals, as well as improved AI (that always seems like a staple for new games, doesn't it?) will make this console only tour the best yet.
It seems that Treyarch has taken the battle chaos of Call of Duty 2 and expanded upon it. Now there is even more going on around the player than ever before. Tracers light up the night, surfaces react realistically to bullets, explosions scorch surfaces, even grass will flatten as it is walked on! Thanks to the power of the Xbox 360, several times as many characters can be on the screen at once. Just imagine the possibility of turning a corner and running head first into a platoon of Nazis – Han Solo style. Activision also has promised branching mission paths to avoid having the gameplay be too linear. New features have been added to keep the pressure on the player, like a new system for planting explosives.
Instead of just pressing the A button to set your bomb, you'll actually have to arm and plant it. I have not actually seen this in action, but my first impression is similar to that of arming the remote bomb in Perfect Dark Zero. Players may find themselves actually rowing a boat instead of riding shotgun, picking off Nazis in a rail like shooting gallery (not to say that that isn't fun). These Battle Actions will enhance gameplay by giving players the chance to advance the game without always having to fire a rifle at someone.
Joining the Allies this time around are the Polish Resistance and Canadian armies. Players will take on the role of a soldier from each country, as usual. The different perspectives really give a nice glimpse of the war through another set of eyes.
While taking a look around the battlefield, one thing really stands out now, and that is the AI. Axis and Allied intelligence has been tweaked so that the two sides will act even more like respective teams. Characters will hide behind cover, and commanders will move troops around for better advantages and retreat when necessary. Don't think that hiding behind a tree stump will protect you all day though. Soft targets like wood will eventually be chipped away to nothing as they take more damage and enemies will use this to their advantage. I'm thinking tanks just might be a little bit more formidable now that walls can't stop a shell dead in its tracks.
In a RTCW twist, multiplayer will feature specific character classes; each with their own abilities. These class characters will earn points for using their skills, which will add to their kill counts. All the classic game modes are still there; Team Battle, Capture the Flag and even a new single flag CTF mode will be included. There is a heavier focus on vehicles this time around and with up to 24 players, things shouldn't get boring
Call of Duty 3 is shaping up to be a really nice advancement of the long running WWII franchise that has been so popular for the last few years. It is currently scheduled for a Fall 2006 release.
More as it comes, folks!