Since when did war get so damned serious in gaming? Remember the good old days when war started with a declaration of how much fun it was? Those were simple times when realistic weapons physics simply didn't exist and you just held in fire and went. Call of Duty 3 is about as far from those carefree days as you can get with essentially 3 war films going on as you fight through one of the toughest FPS games since Timesplitters 2 was attempted on the hardest setting. However it does share one similarity with Cannon Fodder (the game that made war so much fun) and that is one of innovation. Cannon Fodder was the first squad based war game and CoD3 on the Wii is the first war game to try it's hand at using the Wiimote. However hopes are riding high on this after Red Steel's mixed reaction showed that perhaps the transition to "new gen" for FPS games may not be as smooth as we all thought. Can the leading WW2 game lead the way? Let us see...
The start to CoD 3 is frankly scary. If you have a decent home entertainment set up then you will get one hell of an adrenaline rush. You see, it all starts off in a relatively calm manner. Music playing softly, some guys making bets and even some witty banter... it's less "Saving Private Ryan" and more "M*A*S*H". It then turns a bit nasty as you are shelled; suddenly the old CoD style kicks in as you are dragged to safety before being plunged headlong into a frantic battle in a graveyard. Bodies fly everywhere, your vision blurs and the noise of your gun is interrupted only by the ring of tinnitus in your ear. This is it, first time to get really up close and personal with war thanks to the Wiimote...erm...if only it were to be a good experience.
When Nintendo showed off the Wii anyone who knew anything meaningful about gaming knew that things would change. The accuracy of an analogue stick was gone and inherent human error would have to be factored into games. Things like heartbeat, breathing and natural hand tremors would start to have an effect on gaming and ergo some games would become very tough to play. CoD 3 is sadly one of these games. Anyone who has played the series will know that accuracy is key, if you can pull off headshots from miles away with your standard rifle then the levels will start to move that bit quicker. Not in an abnormally easy way but simply that skill has its reward.
Previously (and on the 360 version) this meant lining up your cross-hairs with a tiny head and pushing the trigger....pretty simple thanks to the accuracy afforded by the analogue as you just nudge it towards the target. With the Wiimote you have to point, hold and shoot. With the aforementioned problems of being a human and having a heartbeat and the need to breathe...well...it becomes pretty much impossible on high difficulty levels. That's not to say it's possible on low difficulty levels, just that it happens (usually down to luck) and even when it does you have no feeling of fulfilment.
It feels like the developers hadn't played with a Wii for a great deal of time before doing this control structure as it's so full of little problems that ruin the game. For instance you have the grenade woes. To access grenades (a vital part of any good soldiers arsenal) you push on the d-pad. Doing this invariably means moving the Wiimote, thus adjusting your aim and finally meaning that when you do throw your grenade (by a flick of the nunchuck) that it will not be on target. The anger felt as you see a grenade hit off of a piece of scenery and land at your feet purely down to poor controls is quite spectacular. Even things like the vehicle levels (which thanks to their rarity manage to be quite fun) are ruined by fiddly controls. You hold the Wiimote and Nunchuck up like it's a big steering wheel and use it this way. It's temperamental and usually ends up with you slamming into both sides of the road in driving that would've given the Nazi's hope that the war was not lost. You then have the set piece sections which involve doing Wario Ware-esque drummings with the controls to wrestle a Nazi to the ground. Those are fun but tiring and there is a major chance of slamming the controls together (rest in piece Wiimote...).
Alas the problems continue into even the most basic of gameplay mechanics. Once more the Nintendo version fails to have even split screen multiplayer. This is getting beyond a joke now, fair enough if there is no online play (to be honest we're used to that now) but there is no excuse not to have some split screen fun. Hell even just single player with bots would prolong the life of the game. It's just plain lazy and screams "this is a late port" just like the rest of the game. Even look at the graphics, considering it's a game that is used to show off HD gaming on the 360 you'd think an effort would be made to make it look half decent on the Wii. It is possible to have nice looking games on Wii (Zelda, Red Steel, Madden) but these are looking like original Xbox quality. Utterly shameful and frankly no excuse for such pathetic graphics in a game that is just begging for an atmospheric look.
Word on the grapevine is that the next CoD will not involve WW2, and it's very sad to see the standard bearer for the last Great War have such a lacklustre end of Nintendo consoles. We reviewed CoD: Big Red One a while back and it was superb fun, looked amazing and could stand proud next to the other platforms. Is the jump to the innovative Wii resulting in lazy ports and developers not viewing the console with the respect Nintendo and the fans crave? It's certainly possible, just one look at the rate Ubi Soft are firing ports out and you'll see that the Wii is turning into the console of ports at an alarming rate. The annoying thing is CoD 3 on Wii could've been avoided by a simple look at gaming in general on it. Anything involving speed and accuracy no longer works on Nintendo consoles. Red Steel has gained a small level of success as it's a much slower paced FPS and has more in the way of close quarters combat instead of long distance shooting. CoD as a series centres on frantic gameplay and long range sniping without the sniper scope... now if a game journalist can see this then how the hell did this get out of R&D? Simply speaking if you have to buy this then get another version, buying the Wii version will encourage publishers and developers to think that we will put up with this kind of rubbish.
Impossible with the Wiimote. Simple as that.
Xbox standard with very poor character models and numerous graphic glitches littering the game. Hard to be engrossed in war when you are terrified by your buddies' poorly drawn faces.
The only shining beacon for the game is sound. Voice acting is typically over the top but it's the effects that pushes it over the edge. Whistling shells, ringing in your ears for shellshock and screaming Nazi's in the set piece sections are only made better by the fantastic soundtrack. Once more CoD shows people how to do sound in games.
You could blow through it in about 3-4 days with veteran mode taking an age thanks to poor controls. The lack of multiplayer kills of any replay value though.
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We'll try to make this as blunt as possible to send a message out there that this kind of lazy rubbish won't go without criticism simply because it has the Wiimote shoehorned in. This game is torture to play with the Wiimote, looks pathetic and lacks even stripped down versions of features that other platforms have. We know there is a good game underneath all of this, it's just a pity we need to boot up the 360 to play it.
Wow, wasn't expecting that critical a review. From what I've played of it I thought the control was decent after the standard 'few minutes to get into it' period...I was crap at it on my first go, then jumping out from behind corners and head shotting on my second. Agree on the graphics front, though.
Ouch. Haven't played it so I can't judge myself and all the reviews say something different. Bit like marmite this one. Love/hate.
Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...
I seem to often find your reviews way too harsh (unless I'm getting you mixed up with someone else), almost every other review has been mostly positive, with the control scheme praised for the most part.
The whole point of the control is point, hold shoot - that's generally how guns work, and how the wiimote works.
This is the first review I've come across thats scored it so low...
Seems to get around 6 - 7 everywhere else.
Thought i heard that this was the best shooter on the Wii, more so than Red Steel.
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I thought this was meant to be half-decent...seems to have left a bad taste in your mouth, though, John!
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Red Steel got a 7/10 and was by a different reviewer - me. I'm wanting to play this more in depth now to see what I think of it, as from what I've played the control was alright. Next on the rental list!
I heard this is the only Wii FPS so far that's got the controls right...
It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.
I will agree that not many reviews tally up with mines, however eurogamer seem to tally up with my review. and janet, yeah that's how guns work but you have a certain weight to a gun that you can use to help aim. The wiimote is light and VERY sensitive to natural human movement.
As for being "retarded", utterly charming stuff.
Oh and as for controls, they are right in terms of they don't do the Redsteel "let's turn you in circles" but they are still far from passable.
I'm gonna go with..... your a dumb ass.
thats all i can say
cod for wii had fantastic controls. sure the graphics aren't that great.. but who cares. its not the graphics that make the game.. its the game play. which in cod3 its amazing. you probably masturbated to much before you played and your hand was worn out.
Uncalled for. If he didn't like the controls, it's his opinion, it isn't a field day for people to call him names.
And my friends wondered why I backed out of journalistic pursuits. If you feel so strongly about a game that you deem it necessary to insult those who review it honestly then you need to go out and get a life.
I must say I completely disagree with your sentiments in the review. I found it to be only a matter of time before getting used to the controls, and it's certainly not 'impossible'. Have you had similar problems with other FPS games? It might ( perhaps ) be something to do with the environment in which you're playing the game affecting the sensor bar? That's incredibly spurious but who knows.
There's definitely no reason at all to be rude. It's the opinion of the reviewer - it's not that difficult to disagree politely.
Oh, and as a side note - I personally wouldn't worry about being insulted by illiterate cretins like 'brianxbang.' :D
I dont know about COD3 but Red steel had none of the control problems you mentioned here, breathing and heart rate had no effect on the controls in Red steel, it must be that long range fighting you speak of then.
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"I must say I completely disagree with your sentiments in the review. I found it to be only a matter of time before getting used to the controls, and it's certainly not 'impossible'. Have you had similar problems with other FPS games? It might ( perhaps ) be something to do with the environment in which you're playing the game affecting the sensor bar? That's incredibly spurious but who knows. "
Nah, my accuracy is fine in other games. It's deffo just in CoD 3.
I agree with it, I bought it on release and found it was unplayable. The control system is severely flawed and poorly implemented.
"Previously (and on the 360 version) this meant lining up your cross-hairs with a tiny head and pushing the trigger
Meh... I gotta agree to be honest. Although I feel the game is good, the controls are really buggy, and as mentioned there isn't any excuse for such poor graphics when you compare it to other games on the Wii. The real flaw that I found with the game is that the controls would randomly cut out (nothing to do with the console) and I'd find myself being shot without being able to do anything. It's a shoddy port, unforunately, but enjoyable nontheless. Worth renting just to see what the Wii holds for the future of FPS.
Rational Reviewer (guest) 09.01.2010 13:40#23
The console FPS games have auto-aim/aim-assist aside from the TF2 ports. I'm not making this up, but as a matter of fact. You could remove the auto-aim/aim-assist in many titles, but many have opted to force auto-aim/aim-assist and remove the option as a means to make the game easier or cut costs. The Wiimote allowed more intuitive control using realistic hand and arm motions instead of the thumb which was designed for grasping objects (evolutionary biology). Of course, if a gamer has been playing with thumbsticks his whole life he would never be able to use the hand and arm combination to fire and aim a gun in real life nor play games that utilize such measures. I'm just saying that your hate for the game stems from your control preference and having grown up OR spent the most time playing FPS games that use thumbsticks. As such, you really shouldn't put a game down so low because of your only preference. It would be the same as me giving a 1/10 to a standard outer space vertical shoot-em-up because I found the use of joystick with left-to-right movement unrealistic to a simulation of piloting the spaceship in a first-person perspective.