The third installment of the series that's changed the face of gaming has arrived. In a holiday season that is packed with strong releases that could steal it's thunder, does Modern Warfare 3 have what it takes to keep its top spot or is the engine finally running out of steam when it needs it most? With a new survival mode, full social network integration and the same multiplayer madness that fans around the world know and love, Modern Warfare 3 delivers an experience that deserves to be packaged with the epic culmination of the story arc. And while this sounds like the kind of game that would be worth your money, it's still similar enough to previous installments that it's only barely recommendable to everyone. But it still is.
If you've played any Call of Duty game in the past 4 years, then you are probably well aware of the kind of high octane story telling that this series brings to the table. For those who are not, Modern Warfare 3 follows this tradition by throwing you headlong into the fray, at top speed and does not let off from beginning to end. If you aren't in the middle of a fire fight under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower or a war torn London then you are witnessing some of the most gripping cinematics in games or film.
Of course, how else could you frame World War 3? Doing anything less would be an injustice to the kind of global scale the series is known for. And you will be spending plenty of time around the world. You will be hitting almost every major city in the world in search of the man who orchestrated it all, Makarov. You will still get to spend time with everyone's favorites "Soap" McTavish and Captain Price but you will also be able to jump into the shoes of elite Special Forces from around the world. While the engine isn't nearly as powerful and detailed as Battlefield's Frostbite 2, it is plenty powerful enough to put you in awe of the destruction taking place. In some ways, the lack of focus in perfect detail allows for a little bit more artistic freedom in things like using lighting to set the mood.
The story itself is just as grand as ever but with the story arc coming to a close, less room is left for the sweeping surprises from the first and particularly the second games. However, don't take this to mean there aren't any, just nothing (yet) that will throw the story line into a tailspin.
Spec Ops makes a return but this time with the bonus a survival mode (and be honest, those were your favorite missions from MW2). The original mission style Spec Ops from Modern Warfare 2 returns allowing you to try to achieve certain missions sometimes of an unusual nature. All of these missions take place in areas you visited during the campaign but allow you to do things outside the story or perhaps to the role of the enemy instead. Any fan of Modern Warfare 2's Spec Ops should feel right at home. The survival mode is the really interesting part. You can play this mode with only one friend and you can play on any Multiplayer map in the game. At first you may think that only having one companion is taking a step back from the Zombies mode from World at War and Black Ops but it makes the stakes far greater. I should first point out, though, that this isn't meant to be like Zombies so expect a different, more strategic tone.
In essence, this is an endless survival mode where the only way out is to die. There end the similarities with Zombies. The lower team size means that you will have to pay very close attention to your teammate. If they die, you will be alone and very likely on your way to joining them so make sure to watch their back and doubly sure to help them if they get downed.
This game mode borrows a page out of the Horde 2.0 handbook by giving you far more options than just weapons to throw your cash at. You won't find anything as drastically Tower Defense as razor wire but you will be able to buy up to two auto-turrets, air support, or AI controlled reinforcements. You, of course, can also buy weapons and ammo but it's rather unnecessary unless you are really attached to a particular weapon. You only start off with a pistol but enemies will of course be bringing you large supplies of weapons and ammo in the near future which really limits the improvement you get from buying newer weapons and/or ammo.
This is by far the biggest improvement in this game and one of the reasons why I wouldn't just shrug it off as just another Call of Duty game. It adds a tense level of cooperation that you don't generally see in the series and can in some ways almost feel like an entirely different game built using the same engine. But don't fret, it is certain to keep your adrenaline pumping just as well as any other game mode.
If you are like many gamers, the campaign is what originally brought you to Modern Warfare but the Multiplayer is why you stayed. This installment will be no different. The core of the multiplayer is still here. You make your class with your favorite load-out, you spawn, run around and try to find enemies to kill. All your favorite game modes are still around and then some. What has really changed is the customization of kill streaks.
Before, it used to be that if you managed to kill x number of enemies without dying, you were rewarded with some form of kill streak and you could pick and choose which kill streaks you wanted to use. Both aspects of this have changed. There is no longer just one list of kill streaks (now called Point Streaks) from which to choose but three, Assault, Support, and Specialist. Assault is the list that most Call of Duty vets will be most comfortable with and encompasses the various kill generating streaks like gunships and attack dogs. Support includes streaks that your entire team can benefit from like the Counter UAV as well as body armor that you can drop on the ground and share with your team. Specialist is completely new and allows you to gain additional perks for your point streaks instead of one time use streaks from the other two lists. And how you collect point streaks is a little different too. If you go with Support, any support action like getting an assist will contribute to your streak and death doesn't immediately destroy your streak allowing for the support class to be more consistent. The separating of Assault and Support haven't really changed gameplay in any significant way beyond how you generate points towards them but the Specialist class could be particularly interesting/devastating in the hands of a very good player. Unfortunately, we haven't hit the point where it's possible to see that yet.
There are a couple of new game modes worth mentioning. Kill Confirmed is a new game type that involves killing your enemies and then collecting their dog tags. In this mode, only collecting enemy dog tags will contribute to your score. This means that camping is only a good tactic if you're doing it in support of another player who is collecting tags because otherwise the kills will go to waste. If you get a kill and you aren't fast enough, the enemy team can retrieve the dog tags of their fallen comrades (you can do the same for yours) to "deny" your kill. In other words, it removes the tags from the map, keeping you from scoring them.
The other new interesting game type is Team Defender. Whenever the first kill is scored in the match, the person killed drops a flag. The team who holds that flag receives twice as many points per kill as the team that does not. This causes an interesting mix of objective and team deathmatch game play where you want to try to get the flag so you can gain more points but you have to do so while being much more efficient than the other team, lest you give the other team a huge score lead. Most other new game modes have already been done and are based on modes from other games such as Drop Zone which requires you to hold a drop zone to get bonuses like care packages which is similar to Halo's Invasion Slayer. I could go into greater depth on these but they have all been included into the game for good reason. Both Gun Game and One in the Chamber make a come back from Black Ops and Infection and Team Juggernaut join Drop Zone as borrowed game types.
Lastly, there are weapon proficiencies which allow you to actually become better with each weapon. You will level up with your use of any given weapon allowing you to do things like reduce recoil or loss of accuracy when you're shot. This allows for a greater fine tuning of your classes and compliment perk choices nicely.
While I could go into great depth on things like perks, attachments and changes in how weapons act, it would be rather futile to do so. How things are balanced is a matter of taste but I do think I can safely say that Infinity Ward has listened and adjusted things based on feedback for the most part. Otherwise, the core gameplay is the same. You are still picking weapons, attachments, streaks, and perks and you are still running and gunning
This is important enough to get a category for itself. There isn't a significant amount to actually say about this because it's all a matter of how you use it but it's still incredible. Modern Warfare 3 supports integrated social network functions.
First of note is Call of Duty Elite which is a service run by Infinity Ward in two flavors, free and premium. It will be a resource for checking all of your stats online, meeting up with players, forming clans, and taking on clan missions. Beyond that, it will also be host to instructional or informational videos from professional gamers about the different facets of the game, hopefully giving you a greater edge. To help you get an idea of how you play, they've included heat maps so you can figure out where you get most of your kills and deaths on any given map.
Beyond that, you'll find integration with Facebook that allows you to interact with your friends there. The most important part of this is that it essentially allows you to create a secondary friends list for the game that uses your friends on facebook. I think that once the game gains traction, it will make it exceedingly easy to find people to play and it's a move that a I sincerely hope other developers catch on to.
Graphics and Sound
Modern Warfare 3 is the crispest, best looking game in the series yet. The effect look great with water spraying all over and adding a sheen to character models. Trees look fuller, buildings reach into the sky and rocks litter the streets. The textures, proportions, and wire frames of character models are superb and the animations are far superior to Modern Warfare two. It isn't the most exceptional in terms of pure graphical prowess but conveys feeling with a depth you'd expect from the Modern Warfare series and is still rather impressive considering it keeps a steady 60 frames per second.
The epic, moving scores of the previous games coupled with great new sound effects amplify every aspect of the game. Every gun sounds deadlier, every mission feels grander, and everywhere you go sounds like it's about to fall apart. I am a firm believer that a good sound track can make or break a game and I'm happy to say that in this area, the game succeeds very well. Occasionally the music comes over a little too strong, making you aware of its presence rather than staying in the background providing an unconscious ambiance but on the whole, it excels at making you worry about what's coming without tipping you off completely.
Some people might call this unfair but after have five installments in just over four years, I think it bears mentioning if simply because you have every right to let this affect your buying decision. The gameplay is still great fun but it still hasn't changed in any significant way. In fact, if you took this game and a previous game in the series it gave it to someone who has not played a Call of Duty game before, I suspect you'd be hard pressed for them to figure out which one was the newer version with anything less than 100 hours of gameplay time. Yes, the game has been improved but it's really only been improved in nuances. With that said, it's still exceptionally fun.
It's fun and the story has a conclusion. Spec Ops is enough of a departure from Zombies that I would expect it to be wholly satisfying for those who prefer co-op to the exclusion of Multiplayer. While I would still be skeptical of buying this if you have Black Ops already, it would still be worth getting for how much fun you can have with your friends. And if you are considering making this your first Call of Duty purchase, I can whole heartedly recommend it but under one condition. You should play Modern Warfare 1 and 2 first because the story, while functional on its own, isn't nearly as coherent without the background of the previous two. And you can probably pick them up used online for pretty cheap.
I'll be giving this game a 1.0 deduction mostly just for the age of the game. I would like to give it a larger deduction because in some ways I feel cheated by the lack of change but at the same time, it really is just too much fun for me to give it a lower score. But despite the fact that the game has been done before, I can't say that the fun has diminished, merely the number of hours I'll be playing it.
DIFFERENT YEAR ANOTHER GOOD COD
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
Another year.. yes of course there is another COD but there isn't anything wrong with that necessarily. It uses the same formula with some changes and tweaks. Don't fix what ain't broken. Yea its the same thing so its still a fun game one of the best FPS games i ever played. It most defiantly better then black ops. The 20 DLC drops are for COD Elite and its only 5 Content packs for everyone else so its still around $60. Elite gets a map or two at a time everyone else gets it all at once. The Campaign now is really good the The second best COD campaign ( i liked MW2 just a little bit better). There is still some annoyances like re spawning enemies but still small complaint. Spec ops is amazing the missions are good not great though not as fun as MW2. The survival mode is amazing though even though i wish it was 4 player. The multi player is fun as even no more COD points ( THANK GOODNESS). This is a game worth buying if you are an FPS fan this or BF3 but i wouldnt do BF3 unless you have a good PC. So go buy this and elite you wont be disappointed
Modern Warfare 3: Review
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Been there, done that"
Between the Call of Duty fanboys and the Battlefield fanboys, there have been a lot of hatred towards each other. Unless you are like me and have played both franchises, I find both of them equal, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
After playing this addition in the Call of Duty franchise, I came to realize that I'm getting tired of playing the same type of game over and over again. I used to be a huge Call of Duty fan back in the day(Modern Warfare 1), but it seems to me like Activision and Infinity Ward are milking the franchise.
MW3 has some good things going for it though. There is a solid enough campaign that comes to a conclusion. The only thing I found quite funny about this campaign let alone any other Call of Duty campaign is that there will be certain cinematic moments in the story in which your character is on the ground dazed and is struggling to get up. This is fine if something really bad happens, other than that, it just gets old. And yes if you are wondering, the campaign is about the same length as any other Call of Duty campaign. Although I found the story mire entertaining than Battlefield 3's story.
MW3 also has multiplayer(which you all know) that has many new features. One feature that I really liked was the weapon progression. The more kills you get with that weapon, the more attachments you get, as well as skins. Also they added several other game modes like kill confirmed, or team defender. Also they have a Prestige shop in which you can use Prestige credits(credits you get when you prestige in other call of duty games). One thing I found really frustrating was the amount of people in the game maps. After playing Battlefield 3 multiplayer for awhile, it seemed a little weird going into MW3 because I was so not used to the small maps, plus the small number of people..
Spec-Ops is probably the most satisfying aspect of MW3. With co-op based missions, as well as a new feature known as Survival mode (kind of like gears of wars horde mode), it makes spec-ops more exciting.
With this game ending Modern Warfare's story, I'm kinda glad that its over. The only problem is what Infinity Ward will think of next. Although you also have Activision as well. I think Modern Warfare has a better story than Battlefield, but Battlefield has better multiplayer.
If you are a fan of Call of Duty you probably have this game, if you don't its worth a buy.
Though not in any way a bad game, not a step forward at all.
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Been there, done that"
Call of Duty seems to have taken the gaming world by storm, but its popularity might be its ultimate down fall in the end. Activision is making these companies release 1 Call of Duty a year, and that is a mistake because developers dont have enough time to devote to one game before they have to work on the DLC and than the next game soon after.
Gameplay: The gameplay is solid, but there isnt much there that wasnt already close to perfect in MW2. There arent alot of new guns and its strange that they didnt add a bigger variety of weapons.8/10
Maps: The maps are...average at best. There are a few maps a prefer over others, but a HUUUGE step back from MW and MW2 maps. Black Ops had HORRIBLE maps in my opinion and you can tell Treyarch helped design these as well, I would take Highrise, Rust, Scrapyard, Terminal or any MW2 map over any of these. 3/10
Sound: The sound is as good as it has ever been, great explosion effects and all. 8/10
Graphics: Not as good, though they arent bad graphics they are the same ones we have been seeing since 2006, the engine has not changed and until it does neither will the graphics. Again, I dont hate them, but i am tired of them. 3/10
Campaign: wasnt very interesting to me, I spent a good 3 hours on it, got bored and quit to multiplayer, thats why we all play. 5/10
Multiplayer: The multiplayer can be fun. It can be a 10/10 at times...unfortunantly most of the time it is full of campers and "noob tubers" that overrun the games, 90% of the time they arent the better team, they just know where to hide. I know me and my friends can beat almost anyone if we camp, but why sit in one spot all day? Thank you campers for ruining these great games. 4/10
Overall MW3 does nothing to set itself apart, the one good thing I liked from Black Ops they took out (Gambling matches =P) the maps are terribly designed, but the gameplay is solid and it makes for a fun month or 2. Prepare to get camped ALOT and for people to snipe and noob tube while talking crap
Another year, another Call of Duty game. Modern Warfare 3, yet again does little to change up it's formula
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Been there, done that"
When Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare hit, it was quite the game. It added so much to the Call of Duty series and probably revolutionized a franchise. Fast forward 4 years and 4 games later, the series still cannot break away from it's Modern Warfare roots, and is basically a yearly update to a nearly 5 year old formula. Like the Madden series, Call of Duty adds very little to its annual best-seller. Are the developers just greedy for money cause they know people will buy it regardless, or they simply put of idea for the franchise to go in a different direction? Activision, when will you finally leave your comfort zone?
So are we to assume that Modern Warfare 3 is a completely horrible game? Not really, but it's getting very close. I believe the series is coming to its end, but not by Activision's eyes. Games like Battlefield have added so much more immersion to their game play, while Call of Duty stays, literally, the same. MW3 is no exception. If you've played Modern Warfare 2, MW3 will feel like a "copy-and-paste" job with a few tweaks.
The norm in today's shooters seem to focus heavily on Multiplayer, and leaving the Campaign mode to rot in a corner. Who plays the campaign, nowadays in First Person Shooters anyway? A lot more than people think. Activision, without fault, has given us a short campaign. Surprisingly though, MW3's campaign was kind of fun, if not over-the-top. I haven't followed the story of the Modern Warfare series, but MW3 ties up the loose ends from the last game. The war on terror has hit home and the game will have you fighting on the streets of New York as you see crumbling buildings and explosions all around you. Your enemy is a terrorist called Makarov and you see familiar faces from past games like Soap and Captain Price. The game does not let up on the action and puts in some very crazy action sequences like fighting on a plane that's about to crash-feeling the turbulence and zero-gravity, to barreling down a Subway in a truck full speed dodging oncoming trains. MW3 put you in some hectic, but farfetched, situations. You will also travel from a handful of different locations from Berlin, Africa to Paris even as you try to uncover the location of Makarov and finally put an end to his mayhem. The last sequence is actually quite exciting as finally hammer the last nail into the coffin of the story, things end in a relatively good note. I enjoyed the story for what it is, though there are much better out there, but it was still quite enjoyable for a CoD game.
Even with those moments of pure thrill the game suffers from the run-of-the-mill Call of Duty formula. Most of the game has ducking from cover, killing a dozen or so enemies, moving forward-following your Squadmate with the "Follow" icon, take cover, rinse and repeat. It hasn't changed since 2007 and it's the same 4 years later. There are moments were you need to shoot enemies off the back of car of giving air support to your squad on the ground in an AC-130, but these moments are to few and far between. After it's said in done you will easily complete the campaign within 5-6 hours depending on difficulty(My playtime was 5 Hours and 50 Minutes on "Hardened" difficulty) The game has no real side-areas or detours, you just follow the area to your next destination. There is no real point in playing through the campaign again unless you want to net all the achievements or find all the hidden intel(intel collectibles have been in every game). Lack of Co-op for the Campaign is a sure low-blow from the guys at Activision and hasn't been implemented in the series since World at War. Bummer.
Spec ops mode has made a comeback and is relatively the same. You and 1 other person tackle missions to try and get the highest rank and attain 3 Star ratings on each. One included feature is survival mode, which plays like Horde mode from a ton of games before it, in where you fight off waves of enemies and earn cash per kill. The cash is then used to purchase different killstreaks and equipments to held you fend off the increasingly difficult waves. This is a nice addition, however I have one major gripe. Why is it only two players? Both the Spec ops Missions and Survival would have benefited from having four players able to work together, and to me this is one of the biggest oversights in the game. Another missed opportunity from Activision.
Mostly everyone who buys any CoD title is in it for the competitive multiplayer, and MW3 does not disappoint...if you are one those people who do not like change. MW3's Multiplayer outings remain, for the most part, unchanged since 2007, except for a few minor things. From what I played matches had little to no connection issues or glitches. The game has all of its popular modes back such as death match, headquarters, domination and capture the flag, as well as its Hardcore variations. If you've played any Call of Duty, then this will be familiar ground which can be a good thing, but for me it's relatively bad. There aren't enough changes to warrant a whole new game for it, and anything they added could have been done as a DLC update.
If your a fan of customization from past games, MW3 brings them back, allowing a person to make a number of custom classes, dependent on their play style. You pick your Primary and secondary weapons, perks, and equipment and kill streaks. MW3 offers up familiar weapons as well as some new ones as well as new perks. Perks that people hated, like last stand, have been axed finally and now are only available through a death streak.
Another welcomed addition to the multiplayer is the improved kill streak system. Kill streaks are no longer super cheap, but still effective nonetheless, and are now in three categories. Assault, which is the normal "get kills without dying," no longer has the almighty "Nuke" and also has some balanced kill streaks that won't immediately ensure victory to whomever gets them. Support, which gives kill streaks that help out your time in various ways. The difference is that the kill streak awards are still rewarded even if you die but managed to get the required amount of kill necessary for the kill streak. Obviously these are much weaker than assault, but are still useful if used in the right situations. And lastly there is Commander, which gives you different perks and can literally make you a force to be reckoned with in one-on-one battles. It's a nice addition, but it took them 4 games to finally realize Kill streaks were over powered.
The prestige system also has been worked upon, making it worth prestige-ing as you unlock everything in the multiplayer. Whenever you prestige it allows you to start all over at "level 1" but gain some new titles and emblems. Mostly for bragging rights and people with no lives before, now when you prestige you get one token that can used in the Prestige store. Here you can buy a few things such as Double XP, The ability to take any weapon with you for your next prestige, and extra custom class slots. So now it isn't a hassle when you prestige and start all over and gives a little more incentive to do so. MW3 also is there first game to use Call of Duty Elite. This service allows for some intimate stat-tracking and Clan emblem customization options. They offer a free one and one with a yearly price tag of $50, which guarantees you all the upcoming DLC. I haven't even dabbled on this feature, so I cannot comment on it.
The game comes with 16 maps on the disc, but Infinity Ward has already announced 4 Map packs prior to the game's release. This is just annoying, because DLC should be something worked on after the game's initial release and already 20 maps(5 maps per pack) have been taken out of the game, so someone will have to purchase all of them to get the full experience. Typical Game developer/publisher greed at its finest. And if the past games DLC is any indicator, this will be an extra $15 a pop.
When it's all said and done Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is too much of a familiar thing. While playing it you will feel that you have played this before, because you have. MW3 is relatively the same and unchanged since it's First Modern Warfare roots, and at $60 it is a very tough sell to those who have played Black ops or MW2 before it. Luckily I was able to snag it for around $20, but if I had paid full-price, I wouldn't be able to forgive its many faults and my score would've reflected upon that. If you own any of the Call of Duty games do not bother with MW3 because you will feel cheated, unless you really want to know how the story unfold from the past games. I recommend only to those who have not touched a Call of Duty game in a long time or have never played the series at all.