Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

WAR CONSUMES THE EARTH

Developer: Infinity Ward
Genre: First Person Shooter
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Compatability (PS3): 1GB Minimum Space | DUALSHOCK 3 Vibration Function | HD 720p | Network Players 2-16 | Co-Op 1-2
Compatability (Xbox 360): 5MB Minimum Space | HDTV 720p / 1080i / 1080p | Online Multiplayer 2-16 | Co-Op 1-2
Rating: 7.5

The most lucrative video game franchise is back again. As the biggest name in modern gaming, Call of Duty has become a loved/loathed title that almost everyone has played at least once. This is Infinity Ward’s third time around the modern warfare block, making you hope that they have mastered the art of development. It is a game that has used the same engine for the majority of its sequels, making for a tried and true formula. Is that the best approach to drag in more and more gamers (and money), or is experimentation needed?

Another year, for quite a while, usually will mean another Call of Duty. Infinity Ward had major success with Modern Warfare 3’s predecessors, bringing in critical praise as well as many dedicated fans. The first Modern Warfare game created a first person shooter revolution, straying from the World War II era of games and becoming something quite special. Before it, there were only a few multiplayer games that were actually good; Halo, for example. Its single player campaign, while short, had an adrenaline-fueled story that brought it to a new level. Modern Warfare 2, while not as good of a game in my opinion, improved on this formula and drove the series to become the multiplayer juggernaut it is today. Modern Warfare 3 is exactly like Modern Warfare 2 in a number of ways. While improving the experience once again, the improvements are relatively minor, making it hard for me to justify its sixty dollar price tag. There are many things good and bad, like with every game, but in my mind the bad slightly outweighs the good.

Does this look familiar?

Single-player campaign is back yet again in the form of a direct sequel. We left Soap in a hairy situation and we return to break the suspense. While known to some gamers as the “eight hour tutorial”, it is a fun and heart-pounding experience which is great in its own right. The campaign, sadly, is mostly made up of fast-paced shoot-then-move battle sequences. While that may sound like a good thing, these firefights get excruciatingly boring after the first couple of them, and I found myself wishing for them to be over within the first two hours or so. There are of course, cinematic large-scale explosions that help to break up the oddly slow pacing. This helps but spending thirty minutes killing hundreds of people just to do some small objective becomes so meticulously boring that I was itching for the credits. The story is effectively wrapped up here, but not to the extent that makes me feel fully satisfied. You may enjoy it more than I did but don’t go in expecting a complex story or multiple plot-twists.

Multiplayer is the real draw in for millions of people. Everyone knows what to expect when engaging in a multiplayer match: camping, run’n’gunning, killstreaks, twelve year old’s screaming profanities on their microphones, etc. Modern Warfare 3 is no different. While essentially the exact same experience as the prequel, there are some notable changes. Killstreaks are more elaborate this time around, featuring three different Strike Packages that you can pick and choose from. Assault is the basic package, using essentially the same killstreaks as was only available in Modern Warfare 2. Support is a class that tailors to more team-based gameplay. This class offers pointstreaks instead, allowing you to die but still build up to some perks that help the whole team thrive. Specialist is catered primarily to the lone wolf, giving your character chosen perks that make you harder to kill. While this is a major change and allows for some tactical choices, most players will opt for the assault class anyways. The map design is also better, offering up some maps that will be enjoyed for millions of matches. Kill Confirmed is the new mode that offers up a fresh idea for the series, even though it has been used differently many times before. In this game mode you must collect player’s dog tags, and try to collect your teammates dog tags before your enemy can. It is a fun mode that encourages team work and is a welcomed addition to multiplayer. The rest of the changes are mostly cosmetic, offering up guns that feel merely re-skinned, and gameplay that works exactly the same. While better in some cases, there is a reason why gamers have called Modern Warfare 3 the “sixty dollar map pack”. It is no innovation and definitely gets boring after a while. It is still a fun experience, however, with plenty of unlocks and modes to be enjoyed.

The game does have some nice scenery.

Spec Ops is now tethered to the new Survival mode, both of which offer great co-op experiences. This is where the game shines in my opinion, offering a great variety of fun sequences that is best played with a friend. Spec Ops is virtually unchanged and is still a fun mode to come back to time and time again. While the difference between each match is a little greyer than before, they all offer up loads of fun. Survival mode is Infinity Ward’s response to the wildly popular Zombies mode of Treyarch’s Call of Duty games. Survival mode is where your team, or just you, is pitted against waves and waves of bad guys. You start with a pistol, and gain currency via kills to buy anything from a shotgun to an attack helicopter. The waves get progressively more difficult and throw in the occasional attack dogs to come at you. Eventually you encounter Juggernauts and Riot Shield teams, and it becomes a desperate fight to survive. While not as addicting as Zombies was, it is a hell of a time with friends and offers up multiple maps to try your hand at.

Not much has changed here. Call of Duty is still Call of Duty. Same engine, same gameplay, same plastic-sounding guns, same experience. However, if you love Call of Duty you have no reason not to buy this game, besides price. While sixty dollars is a hefty price tag, it is a fair price to some. The additions may be scarce, and the game may seem to only serve as a cash rake, but Infinity Ward still put time and thought into this game. While Spec Ops is a blast as it lasts, the campaign is underwhelming and the multiplayer is lackluster. While another one goes into the books, and millions of dollars are generated, I ask for more. I would love to see something outside of the box, something that doesn’t play it safe, and something that can usher in a new generation of first person shooters. Sadly, Modern Warfare 3 does not do that. It’s good, but nothing can really set itself apart, making it hard to tell the difference between the game and its predecessor.

Reviewed by thomasaisbell – December 1, 2011

Graphics
Similar to previous Modern Warfares, the latest game from Infinity Ward still has some nice textures and visuals to look at.
 
Sound
Voice acting is pretty good and the sound effects were maybe improved a bit from Modern Warfare 2. Maybe.
 
Fun
This game is no surprise and yes, maybe nothing new. But still the game offers some of the best multiplayer action around. Addictive.
 
Final Score

 

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Responses

  1. Good Review! Love the star Raing also hehe… and very well written .. Keep it up 😉


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