Call of Duty has quickly jumped from being well-respected to a juggernaut. As of July, Call of Duty 2 was the most popular 360 game on Xbox Live, and there's a lot more scrutiny on the sequel. Activison isn't shying away from the piercing eyes, however. The company invited us to Paris, France to get our hands on the single and multiplayer - despite technical glitches and the threat of all-consuming jetlag ruining the experience.
The good news is that these were mere distractions. Though Call of Duty 3 wasn't exactly ready for prime time when we got our hands on it, it's clear that the guys working on it are committed to bettering last year's model. With 24 player multi, new game modes, better graphics and more intense firefights, they're well on their way to doing so. In the words of Hank Kiersey, the COD military advisor, "... these developers are very impressive in their passion for authenticity."
Real attention is being paid to the multiplayer game. We got a chance to play a few different modes, along with a big enough group of people to see whether they were worth it. The straight up deathmatch is nothing new; the map we played on was a bombed-out Paris neighborhood that had plenty of windows to take potshots from, rubble to duck behind and confusing twists and turns to ambush your enemies in. It's basically the same sort of thing we've been seeing from the Call of Duty series since the beginning, back when it only existed on PCs, and you won't be too surprised by it.