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"Call of Duty 3"

12/5/06

After dragging through the "Call of Duty: Finest Hour" game made for Xbox, I wanted to really make sure I was sold on buying another "COD" game for the system.  The reviews for "Call of Duty 3" on Xbox 360 were generous so I figured, hey, why not drop $60 on another WWII game?

This time, the setting is France, and as one of four Allied soldiers trying to take out the Nazis late in the war, you have the chance to once again work with your squadmates to take down those swastika-loving bastards.  The single-player campaign is so-so, with enemy intelligence that borders on the truly stupid...a number of times, this seems to rub off on your computer-controlled teammates, who spend a lot of time NOT killing Nazis.  (Which is great, especially if you love spending time getting shot at.)  The missions are normally not too difficult on Normal settings; the weapon selection is nothing to write home about but the smoke grenades are well done and certainly add strategy to the whole shebang.  But, the single-player game overall is quick (I beat it without much difficulty in two nights) and does feature some great in-game cut scenes.  The graphics are (naturally) stunning, and the music is also well done.

Where "Call of Duty" really becomes a problem is with its multiplayer functionality.  From a couple of friends who bought "Call of Duty 2" last year, and from reviews I read when the game came out, the multiplayer component of "COD2" was absolutely atrocious.  Games would cut in and out, if not dropped altogether; the lobby setup was dogshit; there weren't nearly enough players on maps that were built for 24 people but only had 10-12 people show up; in general, it appeared that "COD2" was a rush job, plain and simple.

So, what if I told you that they have fixed only a couple of those problems for this year's release?  Getting into a multiplayer game in "COD3" right now is nothing short of a joke; my friend Ross did some reading up on this and determined that if he made some changes to his internet/router setup, there's a possibility that his life would be a little easier in terms of getting into a game, but by no means was it a guarantee.  I chose not to make these changes (mainly because all of my other Xbox and Xbox 360 games work fine online) and therefore, I spent about an hour trying to get into ANY online game before I finally gave up.  Successive nights have not been better; yesterday, I got into a game for the first time, a 24-person killathon that was so hectic I'm still not sure what happened.  It seems like if you can get into a game--much like winning the lottery--"COD3" is fairly sweet, but I wouldn't know it, because I'm not willing to make the investment.

Where does that leave the game?  I'm probably going to put it up on eBay before the year is out, to try and recoup my $60 purchase price.  If only I was rich...

Rating:  Rental

 

Feedback?  Comments?  Salma Hayek's digits?  justin@bellviewmovies.com

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either half.com or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09