Call of Duty 3
More of the same but not in a bad way
Last year around this time, we were frothing at the mouth over Call of Duty 2. But now, a year older and a little wiser, we expect more out of our Xbox 360 than some jazzy-looking smoke bombs. Fortunately, Call of Duty 3 adds just enough new features to bring us back for more.
Call of Duty 3 is still the same straight-arrow, scripted, game-on-rails its predecessor was but developer Treyarch has refined this new iteration to such an extent that you'll barely notice the lack of freedom. You'll still find yourself facing a never-ending onslaught of Nazi forces that won't relent until you make a mad dash into their midst (enabling your allies to move up), but this time you've got an even more gorgeous environment to do it in.
Above: The weather effects are lovely and really give the impression of rain hitting puddles
Nowhere is the staggering attractiveness of the game more apparent than in the second level. Commando crawling through the mud and rivulets of a rural France, we were captivated by the rain effects that created devastatingly beautiful creeks for us to slog through.
Granted, most of the game involves retaking Nazi occupied France, so a lot of the environment ends up being bombed-out houses, but it's the little environmental treats that really show off Call of Duty 3's best graphics.