Call of Duty 3 - impressions

Though the ambience was undeniably amusing, more relevant was the talk given by Hank Kiersey, a retired Lt. Colonel from the US Army, WWII aficionado, and military advisor on the Call of Duty series. Though he seemed almost more excited about the saucy French ladies in see-through garments than the game, he did offer some insight into Activision's plans for Call of Duty 3.

The battle the game draws from - Falaise Gap, which saw an international coalition capture thousands of German soldiers - wasn't the first that Kiersey would have suggested, but after digging into the history, he realized it's a supremely relevant one. In his words, it's a "largely unknown battle" but one that was "central to the defeat of the Germans."

From his perspective - not as a gamer, but more of a history junkie - the games give us the opportunity to preserve a record of some of the most important moments of the 20th century, and pass them on down to people who aren't really paying attention: gamers. While doing research on the game, he gathered the stories of elderly veterans - some of whom had never confided their battlefield tales in anyone before now.

Once Hank was done with the historical angle, Activision's executive producer Marcus Iremonger came out to shed some light on Call of Duty 3 for the gamers. A demo of the 360 version showed off the game's graphics and core gameplay: the running, the shooting, the carefully-scripted action the series is well known for. The rain beat down; the soldiers looked wet and dirty, the sky crackled with thunder as a tank rolled past waves of German soldiers.

We didn't get our hands on the game at this point - no, an expert played and made sure everything went swimmingly - it was exactly the sort of drama-drenched gameplay that has made Call of Duty the name in WWII hyperrealism. The key phrase, according to Iremonger, is "fury of combat" - and as the level moved along quick-march, there was a definite sense of drama and struggle in the demo. After it concluded, Kiersey wryly commented, "it will make a weak man soil himself." You can draw your own conclusion.