Call of Duty 3 - impressions

Call of Duty 2 is undeniably hot right now. Months after it became the 360's top launch title, it's still the number one game on Xbox Live. Can lighting strike twice? We know 360 gamers are hoping it can. But the PlayStation 3's release is also coming up and the situation is, in many ways, similar. If you're planning to buy one of those beasts, you're no doubt already wondering - what games am I going to pick up? The undying appeal of the World War II shooter, a series you're pretty sure you can rely on, the online play you want to experience out of the box... it's a pretty simple decision to go for Call of Duty 3, right?

It's not quite as simple to make the game, however, and that's where Activision and Treyarch, the game's developer, are right now. Things are looking good, but nothing is a sure bet. That's why Activision was keen to give us a look into the game - and we have to say we're cautiously optimistic. By already being on the second next-gen iteration just a year out from the 360's launch, Activision is polishing a formula that's already proven engaging enough to make most people forget innovation.

To showcase the game, Activision threw a party in Paris, France on the eve of the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of that city from Nazi forces during World War II. Press were invited to enjoy a night of authentic '40s ambience in a former brothel frequented by German SS - complete with ladies in skimpy attire and actors dressed as soldiers putting the moves on them. Jazz was played, smoke curled toward the ceiling, and flyers declaring "Paris Libere!" were tossed out by the handful.