Call of Duty 3

The section we saw followed the US infantry, beginning in the back of truck with a motion captured exchange between some soldiers. Suddenly all hell breaks loose as heavy artillery fire flips the truck, spilling the squad on to the road.

Once the team had regrouped the next move was to lead to an assault on a church. This begins with a lift up over a wall by another soldier and ends with a new introduction to the series: the Battle Action sequence. These are scripted moments of action that require certain button pushes to be completed, in a similar vein to the interactive cutscenes in Resi 4.

The one we saw was activated as a German soldier pounced on our soldier at close quarters and we had to pump the trigger buttons in order to wrestle him off. These Battle Action sequences occur throughout the game and won't just feature melee attacks.

Above: The tank's metallic surface catches the daylight - and the walls cast realistic shadows

Other than this, gameplay remains largely the same but it's the quality of the graphics that leaves you in no doubt that this is a next-gen game. As soon as your character is shimmied over the wall there's so much on-screen activity that it's almost impossible to take in: clusters of troops diving in and out of cover, chunks of rock being blasted out from gravestones and incoming artillery fire thumping into the dirt, filling the air with dust and debris. It's a continual bombardment of the senses, one that is designed to recreate the confusion and mayhem of the battlefield.

One scripted event that stood out was the sight of a plane smashing into the church's bell tower. The sound and sight was spectacular but the repercussions were subtler than you'd think. The collision resulted in the bell dropping through the tower and the impact on the floor produced a cloud of dust that could be seen billowing from the base of the building.