When it comes to the subject of World War II shooters you'll often hear people ludicrously claim that they're just like fighting in a real war. Of course, sitting on a sofa with a mug of cocoa at your side is nothing like being on the frontline, knee-deep in the mud with bullets whistling around your ears, knowing that one hit could mean instant death. In a game you can always switch off.
And yet that's hard to remember when you're dropped into the very first mission of Call Of Duty 3. This is the most panic-ridden we've felt in a war (well, a 'war') since being landed on the beaches in Medal Of Honor. However, once you'd got over the initial fear in Medal Of Honor you realised that it was all for show - you could hear the bullets but none of them were hitting you, leaving you free to amble up the beach and take the German positions.
Here you can see the flash of gunfire and hear the thud of bullets ripping through your armour, but there's so much going on you can't see the enemy. Where do you go? Who are you shooting at? How did we survive? Who knows, but it's a thrilling start to the latest game in the best war series ever and the pace never lets up.
After this harrowing intro you're moving with your team through derelict houses and barns, gunning down Germans, taking cover behind tanks as the enemy swarm towards you, shooting from every angle and fighting off Nazi soldiers with your bare hands. And the Remote makes the whole experience better than ever. While holding the controller doesn't exactly make you feel like you're carrying a weighty rifle it does add a certain drama that you can't get from a pad, and it makes you feel more than a little vulnerable when you peer around from your cover and find yourself pointing it at a tank. Which is, of course, how it should be.
There are also some new action events that make great use of the Remote. In one scene, for instance, a German will jump on you, forcing his rifle down on your neck. On other consoles you have to press buttons as they appear on screen like in a dancing game but on the Wii you grab the Remote and Nunchuk and move them back and forth as if you're trying to wrestle the rifle from his hands. Once you've brushed him off you swipe the Remote to club him in the face with the butt of your weapon. It's brilliant.
If it all just sounds like flashy, big-budget presentation, Call Of Duty 3 has a bit more to it than that. First mission aside you really have to think about what you're doing, making sure you stick with your team-mates when on the offensive and remembering to stick close to cover so you can reload. The Germans are canny too, lobbing your own grenades back at you and, for the first time in the series, they'll retreat when under heavy fire and find a better position to take cover.
With this and Red Steel released on launch day it would seem like you'd have a difficult choice to make, but what stops this from being an essential shooter is the lack of a multiplayer mode. On other consoles COD3 has a 24-player online mode, and while we accept that there won't be any online games at Wii launch there could have been a split-screen mode. The idea of protecting a real friend would have added to the realism.
Still, while the lack of multiplayer options knocks off a few points, as a single-player WWII shooter Call Of Duty 3 is as good as it gets. It's believable, exciting and it looks fantastic. So while we wouldn't claim it's like fighting in a real war it is every bit as thrilling as the best war movies, only here you're the hero.