Call of duty 3 (COD3) was released a couple of weeks ago for the xbox 360 and was perhaps the most anticipated game for the system after the mighty gears of war(GOW). Unfortunately COD3 was released in the same week as GOW so inevitably reviewers would have to compare the games to each other rather than just comparing COD3 to its COD2.
This reviewer is not even going to bother with gears of war because he hasn't played it yet . with a minor gaming budget I had to opt for one of the two and CoD2 had been so good I had to go for what i was certain would be a sure thing .
first impressions:
treyarch ? who's treyarch? where's infinity ward ? huh? they didn't make it ? damn .. oh well. I skipped the intro and went straight to the multilayer . this isnt a single player review because I havnt played the single player yet . I'm just not interested in the single player mode because a) humans make better targets and b) there is no engaging story in these types of games , its just shooting from one checkpoint to the next. in all the time I had COD2 i never played the single player missions after I had finished the game once , why would I when multilayer is so good ?
The first thing that strikes You about COD3 is the way it looks . its not a huge departure from COD2 but everything looks...just a bit more real, life like , as if they've injected a little bit of DNA in to everything . the other thing that hits you and impresses straight off the bat is the way that the background blurs when u aren't looking at it . its the same as when u look at a near object and whatever further away goes out of focus... this is a very nice touch and is still impressive when i play it now , simple and effective . over all a big graphical improvement with all the trees , weeds and plants. thumbs up. and the sound is the same if not better .
now then on to the game play . reviewers have said that the weapons function the same as they did in COD2 , and I'm here to tell you they don't . minor differences in ever single weapon but only a COD2 veteran would notice. the car took a bit of getting used to , it looks different and is it less accurate ? or is it that the maps are so big that the soldiers are further away now? I don't know... but after a bit of practice it does start to feel the same . i haven't really practised with the sniper because its for wimps as everybody knows . OK, maybe not so much anymore , but in COD2 anyone who was a sniper was either a noob to the game or just a bad player. here the sniper seems to fit better in to the game because the maps are so huge and it does make the game feel much more like a war .
here lies my biggest grips with the game . the maps, although big don't seem to have the same attention payed to them as COD 2. in COD2 every map was fun to play . the buildings were actually USED. people went inside them and threw grenades in. we actually ran into and out of buildings and they were as much a part of the game as the streets and roads. there was a 'cat and mouse' feel about the game . peopel used to hole up inside a building and the other team would try and rush them . no such fun here. the level where this neglect of design is most apparent is poison. in this vast map the designers decided to clump most of the buildings in the centre . basically the streets in this little grouping are almost empty . players just skirt around the sides with tanks or rifles and hardly anyone goes into the rooms here, because if you do you will rarely find a target. you will not be running through the rooms chasing people here... its just a deadplace . very disappointing .
aside from this , which is my major irk with the game , the improvements are many . more players , 24 . time will tell if this is a good thing or bad. at first I couldn't get into the games because in a busy i was getting shot left right and centre, but as time goes by and the weapons and maps become familiar i can say that it is improving and some levels are great. the village les oures and the dam are great levels. poison , although flawed is also a great map. the bunker level played at night ( i forget its name ) is a huge improvement on alhamein , which i think was everyone's least favourite level in COD2.
the Thompson is as great as ever but i haven't tested any new guns other than the ones from COD2. they all feel different , but i guess they just have to be learned again . the addition of vehicles is very welcome , however i do think the tanks spawn a bit too fast .
the added ranks within game is great too. medics, support etc, they all give the game a sense of comaradary and im sure they will be back in COD4.
closing comments :

so, my verdict ? its an improvement in many ways but it has taken a step back in the pure game play fun . and that's basically my thoughts . 2 steps forward and one step back . but its not a huge step back , just a half step. In COD2 you could play 10 games and 7 or 8 would be engaging , focused , and fun , but that has dropped to maybe 4 or 5 out of ten , partly because of the huge maps and silly spawn points. some time you die and have to run all the back to the action only to die agan and do the same thing again . I hope infinity ward to the business with COD4 and design better maps , which are the only reason theis game isn't as good as COD2.

score : COD2: 9/10 , COD: 3 8.6