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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Same sh*t different day
It feels kind of redundant to review a game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 no matter how big this franchise has become. Except for maybe a couple of tweaks, this is essentially the same Call of Duty you played last year, the year before that and so on. The adrenaline pumping single player is polished, exciting and short but you already knew that. The multiplayer is fast paced, deep and addictive. Guess what, you knew that too. So should you buy this game? Yes, if you’re a fan who will never get tired of Activision’s successful formula. On the other hand, if you never liked this series to begin with, Modern Warfare 3 definitely won’t change your mind.
Who doesn't like set pieces?
The single player kicks off right after the events of Modern Warfare 2. Players join Soap McTavish, Captain Price and a bunch of new recruits as they race around the clock to stop the evil Makarov who’s hell bent on starting World War III. Players who’ve stuck with this series since Modern Warfare will get some sort of closure as the story comes full circle with a satisfying ending. There are also quite a few nods to previous games that were appreciated.
On Video: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
As far as gameplay goes, you know the drill all too well. In every level you’ll encounter waves of respawning enemies till you trigger an invisible event marker or complete your objective. You’ll constantly be assaulted by set-pieces some of which even after three games (three Modern Warfare games i.e.) are downright impressive. Modern Warfare 3 is a painfully short game but there’s rarely a dull moment. I’ll give them that. Sure you’ll have a few minutes of boring shoot outs where you simply duck in one place and shoot the brain dead enemies baying for your blood but for most of the time, the game moves at an enjoyable pace. You’ll experience a slight respite from all the relentless shooting with a few stealth segments but before you start feeling like Sam Fisher, the poop hits the fan and its guns blazing till the end of the level.
Through the fire and the flames
After the five hour single player campaign (you expected more?) you can head online for some co-op via the game’s Spec Ops mode introduced in Modern Warfare 2, tackle the all new Survival mode or get lost into the game’s biggest draw, its competitive side. Versus play works like older games where you level up, unlock cooler weapons, customize them, choose your perks, killstreaks and go to town on your enemies. Unfortunately most of the maps present in this game are really small making your lifespan very short. After coming out from a game like Battlefield 3 where team work is essential to success, Modern Warfare 3’s lone wolf attitude felt a bit off. Plus the game’s become too fast paced for its own good with encounters ending in the blink of an eye. And since maps are so small, spawn points are haywire and once enemies start stacking their killstreaks against your team, prepare to die a lot. Still if you’re a fan of the game’s uber fast paced combat, you’ll enjoy what MW3 throws at you.
Spec ops as well as Survival can be tackled alone if you don’t have anyone to party up with. Survival is standard horde mode fare where you’ll face waves of increasingly tougher enemies and before every new wave starts you’ll get a chance to stock up on ammo, explosives, weapons and so on. It’s not a revolutionary concept but it’s quite enjoyable especially if you’re playing with a bunch of friends. Spec Ops is a more structured bunch of missions with some even being inspired by the simple player campaign. Your goal in each mission could vary so some could be mere ‘stay alive’ quests while others may have you dashing toward your goal against the clock. All the XP you earn in both these modes translates to your competitive profile as well so if you feel you’re getting your ass handed to you online, play a little co-op and head back to the battlefield with better perks.
Death from above
As enjoyable as the game’s online component is, it’s severely hampered by Activision’s anal decision to roll back to their highly frustrating matchmaking system. This is fine if you’re playing with people from the same region but in most cases you won’t, making bullet lag a real issue. The PC version has the option to toggle both matchmaking and dedicated server support but it seems dedicated servers only support unranked matches which means you won’t be able to earn XP or level up in those games.
Visually MW3 looks obsolete since this is pretty much the same engine Infinity Ward used for Modern Warfare albeit with a few tweaks. Lighting effects still are pretty impressive and there were certain sections of the game where I did appreciate its looks but for most of the time, I constantly felt I was playing a five year old game. Besides the dated visual, presentation is pretty solid with stable frame rates through all the intense action, some improved sound effects for weapons and a pretty cinematic score.
What seems to be the problem here?
This review may seem a bit jaded but that’s because I’m really starting to get tired of the whole “more of the same mentality” most sequels have been throwing our way in recent times. I don’t expect revolutionary changes in sequels but playing through a game that’s a carbon copy of its prequels can get boring real fast no matter how polished the experience is. There is no doubt that MW3 is the highest selling FPS on the planet but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. Buy it only if you’re a fan of the series.
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