Time Enforcer Anubis here with another review!
The highly anticipated conclusion to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare saga is finally here, in the form of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. While the story picks up where Modern Warfare 2 left off, the gameplay has an even bigger torch to carry, having to follow up to both Call of Duty: Black Ops, the previous game in the franchise, and Modern Warfare 2.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a first-person shooter for the 360, PS3, and PC, developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games, and published by Activision. The game follows the story of the former Taskforce 141 (The main protagonist group from MW2) operatives following the trail of terrorist leader Vladimir Makarov in an effort to stop him before he can get his hands on nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, US Special Forces operate to defeat the Russian invasion of American soil and eliminate other threats in other parts of the world.
The campaign is short, a little less than five hours long. Though by this point, that’s par for the course as far as the CoD franchise goes, it’s a little disappointing to see that there still hasn’t been much effort put to lengthening the campaign. However, though short, the campaign is enjoyable to play. While the story jumps around a bit, there’s a good variety of missions, and, similar to the previous Modern Warfare games, the player jumps between several characters throughout the course of the campaign.
Spec Ops makes its return to the CoD franchise in Modern Warfare 3, and it’s a great deal bigger and better than it was in MW2. Spec Ops takes two forms in MW3: Spec Ops missions, which are short missions, each centered on a specific objective, and Survival, which is a take on the staple “wave survival” type of FPS gameplay. MW3’s Spec Ops mode also incorporates a leveling system, much like in multiplayer, which unlocks various weapons, equipment, and abilities for the player to use in Survival as they play and complete objectives.
Being the newest addition to the franchise, Survival mode has a lot to live up to. Fortunately, it both meets and exceeds expectations. Up to two players hold off against endless waves of enemies, increasing in difficulty. Kills reward players with cash, which can be used to buy weapons, ammo, equipment, and support such as airstrikes and AI allies to help against the waves of enemies. It’s incredibly fun to play, even alone, and does a lot for the replay value of the game as a whole.
The ubiquitous CoD multiplayer is back in MW3, and it’s gotten several improvements since MW2 and Black Ops. While the gameplay at its core hasn’t changed much, the mechanics surrounding it have. A big change has been made to how killstreaks work. In previous games, getting a streak of skills without dying unlocked special rewards in-game, like airstrikes and UAV flyovers. In Modern Warfare 3, killstreaks have changed to “pointstreaks,” and scoring kills isn’t the only way to count toward streak rewards. In addition, there are three pointstreak “packages” to choose from. The Assault package is much like killstreaks of the past, rewarding the player with attack-oriented rewards as they gain points without dying. The Support package plays a bit differently. Points in the support package persist through death, but the rewards are more oriented toward helping the player’s teammates, rather than attacking the other team. The Specialist package is quite different. It rewards players for getting streaks of kills by bestowing a new character perk for every other kill, until the player has them all, or until they are killed, resetting the perks back to normal.
Leveling in similar to that of older CoD games, with the exception of weaponry. Weapons level as the player uses them, unlocking attachments and weapon perks, such as decreasing the recoil or reducing the flinch when the player gets hit. The class creation is mostly the same, with the exception of having to choose a pointstreak package, and most of the gametypes are the same, with the exception of a few new variants.
Being a big-name, AAA title, the graphics look great, with detailed models and textures and very smooth animation that simply refuses to lose framerate. The controls are tight and responsive, and there are no glaring faults that break the player’s immersion. The game as a whole looks and feels very polished.
Modern Warfare 3 is a great follow-up to Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops. For those who enjoyed MW2, MW3 is bigger and better, but still feels very familiar. For those who liked Black Ops, the story isn’t quite as in-focus, but the multiplayer is still great. The Spec Ops modes are perfect for people like me, who were disappointed by the Zombies mode in Black Ops. While the campaign is short, the rest of the game makes up for it in a big way. Fans of the Call of Duty franchise will no doubt love Modern Warfare 3. For those who like FPS games, but have yet to try out a Modern Warfare game, Modern Warfare 3 is the best game yet to jump on board with.
‘Till next time!
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This review was based on the PS3 version of the game.