Call of Duty 3
|Call of Duty 3|
Call of Duty 3 cover art
|Series||Call of Duty|
|Release date(s)||Xbox 360, Xbox & PlayStation 2
Call of Duty 3 is a 2006 first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. It is the third major installment in the Call of Duty video game series. It was released for all seventh-generation home consoles, the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. It was also released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
This game was a launch title for the PlayStation 3 and Wii in North America, Europe and Australia. It was also the only major Call of Duty installment not to be released for personal computer platforms and the only numerical sequel to date to have been a console-exclusive game alongside Call of Duty 2: Big Red One and Call of Duty: Finest Hour. It was also the second installment in the Call of Duty series to be developed by Treyarch after Big Red One.
The single player is modeled after the Normandy breakout, where the British, Canadian, Polish, American, and French Resistance forces pushed into the village of Chambois, France, also known as the Falaise Gap. Unlike most other games in the Call of Duty series, the events in Call of Duty 3 are based on a single combined campaign, with the player being switched between the five armed forces - US Army, British SAS, French Resistance, Canadian Army, and Polish Armour Division - and their respective characters for each leg of the story. There are 14 campaign missions in total, with cinematic to link between each one. Each mission also contains various action sequences where players have to input button commands, whether arming a bomb, or fighting off a melee ambush. In addition, some missions also include multiple choices in routes to completing an objective.
In addition to the single-player campaign, Call of Duty 3 features a wide range of multiplayer modes for players to participate in - each team allowing up to 24 on the PS3 and the Xbox 360, and 16 for the PS2 and Xbox in a single match. This is only in the online mode. All team game modes feature the soldiers of the Allied nations versus those of the Axis. Multiplayer features are absent from the Wii edition.
It is the first game in the Call of Duty series to introduce two different game modes. The "Normalized" mode was added to allow console players a way to adjust to the smaller kill box of Call of Duty, its expansion United Offensive, and Call of Duty 2.
On the Xbox 360, Call of Duty 3 divides its multiplayer aspect into Player and Ranked matches. Player matches allow players to invite other players into their games, but do not contribute points toward the leader board or unlock Achievements. Ranked matches put the player with and against teams of random players, and contribute towards player points and allow players to unlock Achievements.
In the American story, the game begins a month after the D-Day invasion, with the player taking control of Private Nichols, recently arrived in France and eventually attached to the 29th Infantry Division, working alongside Corporal Mike Dixon, Private Leroy Huxley (voiced by Benjamin Diskin), and the squad's CO, Sergeant Frank McCullin. Nichols and his squad participate in the successful capture of Saint-Lô, picking up a radio operator during the conflict - Private First Class Salvatore Guzzo - who immediately gets on the wrong side of McCullin during the fighting. After the battle, the squad is folded into the 90th Infantry Division and sent to secure the wooded area of Saint-Germain-Sur-Seves, where intense hedgerow fighting took place. Soon after, the 90th assaults the town of Mayenne, as part of an operation to capture and secure a heavily guarded bridge in the town, with Huxley tasked with defusing aerial bombs planted on it to stop the American advance. When Huxley is wounded just before he can step onto the bridge, McCullin steps in to do the job knowing the type of bomb being used, but is killed in the process shortly after dealing with the last bomb.
Dixon soon assumes command of the squad and is promoted to sergeant. The squad soon become tasked with clearing out Forêt d'Ecouves so 2nd Battalion can move through, along with finding missing engineers, where towards the end of the mission, Nichols helps to clear a major roadblock with a mortar. The squad then participates in clearing out a nearby suburbs with a vital crossroads, where during the assault, Dixon is wounded but survives. After taking a shortcut through some sewers, they find the crossroads and secure it, with the help of a few Sherman tank divisions. After the assault, Dixon takes a radio call and informs his squad with news about the success of the Canadian and Polish forces in the north, and that the Falaise Gap plan is being implemented, to trap the Germans between the Allies, with them as the stopping power against any retreat by Axis forces at their next destination.
Following successful work by the Canadians, Polish, and British troops, the unit finds themselves defending the town of Chambois from Axis forces trying to run through the Falaise Gap. While the squad hold position against a fierce assault, they soon become heavily out-gunned and flee to a rally point at a church, with the Germans in pursuit. The squad continue to fall back while Guzzo calls in air support against heavy German emplacements, before the squad are sent to the other side of town to assist in defending against more troops, but Guzzo is wounded while setting up flares. Dixon and Nichols come to his aid and extract him to relative safety. However, while treating Guzzo, Dixon is shot in the back and dies a few moments later. Guzzo, who had been often difficult while attempting to back off from fighting, gains resolve from Dixon's last words, and takes command of the squad. The squad soon begin giving much needed support to Baker Company and begin reclaiming the town, before preparing to take on one final assault. The squad and the surviving soldiers soon move to make one last stand to hold off the Germans, utilizing whatever equipment on hand to deal with enemy troops and tanks. Their efforts are successful when reinforcements finally arrive to sweep the last of the German resistance in the region into full surrender.
Two days later in Chambois, Guzzo is promoted to Sergeant, whilst Huxley and Nichols are promoted to Corporal, following the surrender of the surviving German forces to the Americans. With new men in their squad, they continue to march into France as the Allied forces finally liberate Paris and gain access to Europe, ending the Battle of Normandy.
During the British and French campaign, the player controls Sergeant James Doyle, a member of the British Special Air Service (and a returning character from Call of Duty: United Offensive), working alongside SAS members, Corporal Keith, and Major Ingram (another Call of Duty: United Offensive character) and members of the Maquis Resistance, including their leader Pierre LaRoche, a French SAS agent, Isabelle DuFontaine, and a man only known as Marcel and a trusted member of the Maquis.
Hoping to add pressure to the German forces as they are engaged by Allied troops in the region, the British deploy an SAS squad, led by Ingram, behind enemy lines to link up with a local resistance cell in the area, and cut off their supply lines. Though the parachute drop is complicated when several 88 mm guns shoots down the squad's Handley Page Halifax, the squad manage to bail out, along with their equipment before the plane breaks apart. Soon after making contact with LeRoche, leader of the Maquis, SAS and French Resistance fighters recover one of the SAS jeeps and drive to meet other members, before attacking an German anti-aircraft position, the same one that shot them down, while rescuing a resistance member, Marcel, who provides them with important plans after the escape from more troops.
The French Resistance and SAS use these to help them try to destroy a German-held fuel plant to cripple enemy armour in the region, but while escaping during its destruction, Ingram is captured, causing tensions to rise between Keith and Marcel, the former accusing the latter of collaborating with the Germans. Against the advice of the Resistance, Keith and Doyle attempt to locate Ingram, reluctantly aided by LaRoche and Isabelle. Soon after rescuing Ingram on the outskirts of a village, French and British fighters attempt to stop the executions of captured Resistance fighters, rushing to save as many as they can, before holding out against a German assault. In the process, the Resistance loses Isabelle, who is killed after planting an explosive charge on an armored car. Although Marcel is hard hit by her loss, Keith honours her sacrifice and reconciles with him. The remaining French Resistance pockets and the British Commandos soon group up and move out to gather with the Allies as they take the fight into the rest of Europe.
The Canadian aspect of the campaign involves members of the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division. It is centered on Private Cole, who is led by World War I veteran Lieutenant Jean-Guy Robichaud, a proud man with an often haphazard style of leadership, often making assaults and completing objectives beyond his assigned mission at the risk of his own men. Robichaud commands a platoon in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, aided by his right-hand man, Sergeant Callard, squad member Pvt, Peterson, and the squad's radio operator, Pvt. Leslie Baron.
The platoon begins initially with advancing on a ridge held by German forces in a night-time operation, before capturing an industrial area and successfully defending it from a large German counter-attack after blocking off a few access points to ease their defenses. While the Polish 1st Armored Division guards their western flank, the unit soon clears a forest near the Laison River of several anti-tank positions and a motor pool, during which Robichaud berates Baron over his lack of combat participation. Tension builds between the two, and Baron insists that he is not a coward despite protecting the platoon's radio, to which Robichaud dismisses him shortly before their next mission, and assigns him to act as radio operator for a Polish armored unit needing urgent aid; Baron is later killed in action.
Robichaud soon proceeds to clear a town to rescue a captured Canadian tank crew, but rather than withdraw with the rescued servicemen he decides to assist in capturing the whole town, knowing the Polish need aid as soon as possible. After a King Tiger tank appears, the men plant demolition charges in a German ammunition dump in a basement, to destroy the tank. However, one of the fuses proves defective, and Callard manually detonates it, sacrificing himself in the process to save the others. Robichaud and Cole are wounded by the blast, but survive, where a saddened Robichaud decides to nominate the fallen Callard for the Victoria Cross and promote Cole (and presumably Peterson) to corporal. They then soon start helping to move more Canadian reinforcements through the town to aid the Polish struggling to defend Hill 262.
The Polish campaign revolves around Cpl. "Bohater" Wojciech, a tank driver in the Polish 1st Armored Division hunting more German tanks in revenge to the occupation of the homeland of his crew members, including Major Jachowicz, Corporal Rudinski, Sergeant Kowalski and Pte. Ulan. While aiding the Canadian and British forces in the area, Jachowicz's crew participates in a sweep across the French countryside, engaging German armor. Bohater and the rest of his tank crew eventually track down and destroy an infamous Tiger II tank, commanded by a German Tank Captain known as Richter (possibly based in part on the real SS tank ace Michael Wittman). The Poles later move out to capture Mount Ormel, also known as Hill 262 (which Jachowicz nicknames "The Mace"), and then setup into defensive positions at the base of the hill, forced to endure a heavy assault by the remnants of the German 7th army desperate to escape the Falaise Pocket.
Bohater and his crew defend the hill against several German tanks, but eventually their tank is damaged as many German infantry units overrun their position, forcing the crew to abandon it. They join in the battle alongside fellow Polish infantry units and other tank crews, holding off the German offensive. The Poles continue to take heavy casualties, including both Corporal Rudinski and Sergeant Kowalski, while waiting for Canadian reinforcements, and start to retreat up the Mace through pockets of German-infested trenches. The Canadian radio operator, Pte. Baron, soon arrives to call in artillery support. When a German advance forces the Polish troops to fall back in the Mace, Baron argues with them, refusing to retreat since he is tired of being called a coward. He is shot and killed by the Germans, and Ulan scavenges his radio, which he uses to call for artillery strikes. In the final stand against the German counterattack, Jachowicz commands Bohater and the surviving soldiers to defend the hill against the advancing German troops. He defends the other side of the hill and finally, as green flares illuminate the skies, the Royal Canadian Air Force commence bombing runs on the German troops and armor. Reinforcements then arrive to aid the Poles on Hill 262. After the victory, Lieutenant Robichaud, fresh from his earlier battle, arrives and talks with Jachowicz over his fallen comrades, in which Robichaud commends the Major for his men's excellent job at defending the hill, while Jachowicz hopes to return their bodies to his homeland after the war. The men soon talk about the Germans, and about their remaining escape route: Chambois.
Three map packs were released for the Xbox 360 multiplayer game on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The first, "Champs", was released as a free download on January 11, 2007 and contained a single self-titled map. The "Valor" map pack contained five new maps: Crossing, Ironclad, La Bourgade, Stalag 23, and Wildwood. The pack was released on January 27, 2007 for 800 MP ($10). The final map pack, "Bravo", contained five new maps of which two were remade from Call of Duty: United Offensive: Gare Centrale, Marseilles, Aller Haut, Seine River, and Rimling. The pack was released on May 31, 2007 for 800 MP. The price of the map packs was later reduced to 400 MP ($5) each.
Call of Duty 3 was officially unveiled by Activision shortly before E3 2006. It was also revealed that Treyarch would be developing the title which was set to release later that year. The game would be running on Treyarch's own internal engine, NGL.
Reviews and awards
Call of Duty 3 had generally favorable reviews, with the Xbox release holding a 83 out of 100 score on Metacritic, while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 hold 82 out of 100, and the PlayStation 3 with 80 out of 100. The Wii release was viewed much less favorably, with a score of 69 out of 100. IGN gave a score of 8.8, while GameSpot gave an 8.2. The game won various awards from publications for best shooter and sound design. Institutes such as The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences awarded the game for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design in 2007.
Upon release, Call of Duty 3 was one of the best selling titles of November 2006 in the United States. The game debuted at #3 on UK charts and dropped off the top 10 list by February 2007. By the end of 2006, the game had sold approximately 1.1 million units in the US according to NPD Group. By February 3, 2007 total sales in the United States were 2 million units. By November 2013, the game had sold 7.2 million copies worldwide.
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