twenty + seven =

fourteen − 3 =

Another year, another Call of Duty. Many gamers are getting sick of Call of Duty year after year. Some are beginning to think Call of Duty is or will die because of a new game being released each year, just like Guitar Hero. Of course, the sales numbers show otherwise. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 has sold millions of copies worldwide already. I believe they even broke their own record for the biggest entertainment launch in world history.

There has been a lot of controversy over the past two years with this title. Infinity Ward, the developer behind Modern Warfare 2, pretty much fell apart. A huge majority of the staff left to form their own development team under a different publisher. Meanwhile, Modern Warfare 3 was far from being finished. The remnants of Infinity Ward worked with Sledgehammer games to create and complete the Campaign and Spec Ops Mode. Multiplayer was worked on by a third development team called Raven Software. I didn’t know how it would turn out with these three teams scrambling together to create a game that was supposed to be a third part in a series. Well, I thoroughly played the game and I’m here to tell you my impressions.

Campaign

Yes, well all know that first person shooters shouldn’t really be played just for the Campaign. Exceptions in my own opinion are to the Halo and Gears of War (TPS) franchise. But, as you may notice, this is Modern Warfare 3. This is the third part of the Modern Warfare campaign story. I was really curious to see if they would wrap up the story, or if they’d throw another cliffhanger and keep milking it.

The campaign in Modern Warfare 3 actually did conclude. Am I saying there won’t be a Modern Warfare 4? Absolutely not. Still, it seems like the story has been resolved. The story picks up right after the events of Modern Warfare 2. Unfortunately, you don’t get to play as Soap again. This time, you play as one of Nikolai’s Russian soldiers, Yuri. You’re not only playing as the old disavowed Task Force 141 in the campaign, but you also get to play as a new US squad known as “Delta Squad.” You take the role of a character known as “Frost.” The US is still battling the Russian soldiers around the United States, but now the Russia army is pushing into Europe. It’s a whole World War III atmosphere, all started by Makarov in Modern Warfare 2. That’s the basic set up, but does the story play out?

Modern Warfare 2’s story wasn’t exactly the best there was, but it was enthralling. There were a few questions left over that I was hoping Modern Warfare 3 would answer. Instead, I was left with even more questions and little to nothing resolved. This story was a major disappointment filled with whats and whys. They tried cheap story telling tactics to try and build drama, but they fell flat due to the circumstances or plain lack of character development. This is easily the worst of the three Modern Warfare stories. But, as I said, at least they wrapped up the story! I won’t comment on anything specific since I know many people still haven’t played through it. It has been two weeks, but most people jumped on the multiplayer first, which is where the fun is to be had.

A little note on the Campaign. Modern Warfare 3 features intel again. They have you looking for 48 different pieces of intel, which are just laptops scattered throughout the missions. This is one of the stupidest things video game developers ever came up with! Many games have been adding useless pieces of junk to look for to keep you playing, but nobody wants to keep playing FPS campaigns over and over, especially if the intel doesn’t serve any purpose other than earning achievements or trophies. It’s very out of place in a Call of Duty game because they involve lots of fast paced action and big explosions. You hear your team saying things like “Come on we got to get the fuck out of here!” Meanwhile, a timer is counting down and explosions are going off around you, but you have to stop and search for little laptops!

Spec Ops

Spec Ops Mode returns from Modern Warfare 2 with a twist. You still get the old missions for Spec Ops, but this time there’s a Survival mode along with it. Some thought this would be the thing to keep Modern Warfare 3 fresh. There’s even a separate ranking system for Spec Ops alone. For those of you who don’t know, Spec Ops is the co-op mode in Modern Warfare 3. You can play alone or with one other friend online or split screen. Thankfully they added a search feature when playing online.

Mission Mode is the same as Modern Warfare 2. You get to play through certain parts of the campaign alone or with two players. Sometimes you get to play as the enemies, and sometimes you have a new objective. They’re almost always areas from the campaign that haven’t been altered one bit. One has to wonder why they didn’t just add co-op to campaigns like Treyarch has in the past! There are twenty missions in total.

Survival Mode is the newest edition to Modern Warfare 3. It’s kind of like Firefight in Halo or Horde Mode in Gears of War. Some thought it would be like a re-skinned zombies mode, but it’s far from it. You can choose one of 20 maps, each from the multiplayer. You fight against endless waves of soldiers, juggernauts, suicide bombers, chemical soldiers, helicopters, and dogs. The higher the wave, the tougher the enemy. You will even come to a point, before wave 15, where you face enemies that have such thick armor, they won’t be killed by a knife melee attack. Each kill will earn you XP and money. Use the money to buy weapons, equipment, and air support from the three different armories set around the map.

As you can tell, this is very different from Zombies, but not nearly as fun. Many people enjoyed zombies because it felt like a truly different feature from Call of Duty. It was like a game inside of a game. Spec Ops Survival may be fun to some, but if you want to play against endless waves of enemies without getting too frustrated over the mass amount of super strong soldiers, you may want to jump on multiplayer instead.

Spec Ops is definitely fun for those who play offline only, but one would think that’s an insanely small number. As I keep saying, Multiplayer is always the go to mode in First Person Shooters.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer is the main attraction to any Call of Duty game – or shooter game for that matter. There was a lot of discussion about Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer before the game came out. Many people were wondering if it’d be just like Modern Warfare 2 in game play terms. Others were wondering if we’d run into problems that would never be fixed, like Modern Warfare 2. So how’s multiplayer?

I’m sorry to say, Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer is a lot like Modern Warfare 2. Don’t get frightened right away, because Modern Warfare 3 is more like a fixed version of Modern Warfare 2. You can’t exactly blame Infinity Ward for not fixing Modern Warfare 2, given the state of things when Modern Warfare 2 went to hell. They did fix all the problems in the beginning of the game’s release, but eventually the game fell apart and many believed it was the worst multiplayer next to Call of Duty 3. At least you can play with two players on the same console in online multiplayer!

The majority of the Multiplayer is the same as MW2, but with a few new features. There are two new game modes called Kill Confirmed and Team Defender. Both are objective matches, but Kill Confirmed is a lot more like an objective / team deathmatch hybrid. It promotes running and gunning instead of camping and killing. You get points for killing an enemy, but then you must collect their dog tags to earn a point towards your team’s score. Team Defender is a bit like Oddball in Halo. You must capture a flag that spawns after the first kill, then kill people around the flag holder to earn points towards the score. This can promote a lot of camping.

Many of the guns are the same, but with different names. A few new pieces of equipment have been added such as the Trophy System and EMP Grenade. Perks are more balanced out to keep the fun times going. Kill streaks are the biggest change in Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer. Kill streaks are now split up into three categories called “Strike Packages.” Not only that, but you can add to your streak by playing objective matches! This is why they are sometimes called “Poinstreaks.”

The three Strike Packages are Assault, Support, and Specialist. Specialist gives you three new perks in addition to your original three perks at 2, 4, and 6 pointstreaks. At the 8ths, you get all perks. Assault is basically like your older kill streaks, but only kill streaks that can hurt the other team (except the UAV) is in this category. Support kill streaks are mainly kill streaks that help your team instead of hurting the other team. These kill streaks never reset! You can die over and over but keep your streak still going. Some people, including myself, wonder about the balance of these new strike packages.

So far, a few glitches have been found. Infinite kill streaks, easy boosting, and even going under the map. You would think the development teams would have learned from the past mistakes with their bad game developing, but they keep making the same mistakes over and over. And after World at War, they gave up on public betas!

On another note, a few guns and attachments seem to have weapon product placement on them. There are a few weapons with the Remington and Colt names on them, while the Holographic Sight has EOTech on it. Then you can get Double XP for the multiplayer from codes on Doritos and Mountain Dew. Not only that, but there’s a massive amount of Modern Warfare name brand accessories for big money. Little ear buds can run you about 90 dollars! Unfortunately, there are still no dedicated servers. The developers said it would be too expensive to use them, which is kind of ironic. If you’re close to the game’s host, you should do fine. If not, I hope you have faster the light reflexes to shoot someone who’s probably seen you for 2 seconds while it looks like he just walked around the corner. This is all pretty embarrassing since the actual game specs have hardly changed over all these years. And that’s the next area of discussion!

Specs

As the years passed, many games have updated their engines or completely overhauled them. Call of Duty seems to be the only one that has stayed stagnant for the most part. It’s a little annoying, given the massive amounts of money they keep making.

Since Call of Duty 2, the only differences they’ve made to the engine were slight graphical enhancements (textures) and the ability to shoot through walls. It’s true that weapon and character textures look amazing, especially with the frame rate always staying and 60 hz, but when a lot of the environment is mixed with PS2-like graphics or textures, then the overall appeal is definitely lessened. The graphics in MW3 are 100% the same as MW2, but it seems the sound has been the same for years.

The sound is definitely nothing to write home about. As I stated earlier, it seems the sound has been the same for years. The explosions, the hurt sounds, and the sounds when being fired upon are the same as always. The actual weapon sounds when firing a weapon yourself are pretty bad too. I was very happy when Treyarch made a few weapons sound like an actual weapon in Black Ops. I actually wrote to them on that very matter saying how the guns should sound like a minor explosion, since they do. Weapons like the M14 and M1911 had brand new sounds that were great. However, in Modern Warfare 3, the weapons sounds either exactly the same as MW2, or they sound worse off. Some of the weapons sound like they’re firing staples or something. A very annoying example is the MP412. It’s a .357 Magnum that sounds cheaper than a staple gun. If we’re talking about footsteps, you can hear those clearly. So clearly, some players love putting on headphones to hear when any enemy comes near them. So there’s always an upside to all downsides.

The actual feel of the game is extremely smooth. We all know this game isn’t built for realism. The movement is so smooth that it seems like you’re sliding on the ground rather than walking. Sometime the character models actually do slide around instead of moving their legs. Blame the dated engine for that.

There’s not much else you can say about the game’s engine other than they really need to look to the future.

Conclusion

In the end, Modern Warfare 3 is just another Call of Duty. Many people, including myself, don’t think it’s worth the 60 dollar price tag. It’s almost like a fixed version of Modern Warfare 2 for multiplayer, while the campaign is one big WTF? Spec Ops is alright if you have no online play, but if you do, it’s always best to play online, even if you have two people on the same console!

Infinity Ward, or whoever may be on the franchise in the future, definitely needs to step their game up and update a lot of stuff if they want to stay on top for a long time to come. I heard some of the developers say “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Well I’m here to say that not only is some of it broken, but some of it is just outright dated. You may not want to fix your VCR that’s not broken, but you’d probably rather want to watch blu rays.

I give Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 a 3.5 for lack of innovation and dated software. It’s still very user friendly and has nice graphics in many areas, but a lot of areas look really bad. How can you tell if graphics need an overall? When the water looks cheap. Water is the easiest thing to development in a video game, yet the water in MW3 is PS2 like. Yes, the whole money issue is embarrassing, but it’s more of a different area of discussion. This is the game’s review, not the development team’s money issues. It’s great for people with or without online capabilities.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review
3.5Overall Score
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