As a big fan of Call of duty, I was looking forward to the latest in the series. Whilst the rest of the world seemed to write off MW3 before the game had even come out, I had high hopes for a game I was sure would have me coming back again and again. As I witnessed the big leap in gameplay from Call of duty 4 to Modern Warfare 2 and the not-so big but still substantial leap to Black ops, I was eager to see what new surprises Infinity ward & Sledgehammer games had in store for me. What new innovations would silence those non believers and have me tallying up that embarrassingly high amount of online playtime. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case...
Firstly I`ll talk about the campaign. The campaign is exactly what you`ll have come to expect from the MW2 & Black ops campaigns. Which is probably the worst thing about it. Its all way too familiar. You "lead" your squad of about 3 members from point A to point B, trigger some sort of action sequence and repeat. While its not awful, the gameplay works and the scale of the levels are much bigger (and occasionally impressive) than the previous MW, things are just too samey and repetitive. The single player ends far too abruptly with a huge anti-climax that was just plain lazy. People who are expecting a campaign as atmospheric and lengthy as World at war or CoD4 will be disappointed, as I completed the campaign on the hardest difficulty on my first play-through in a measly 6 hours. Sadly the MW3 campaign follows the same trend as the last two installments, and its something you may want to complete once, but never a second time.
Spec ops, along with multiplayer and campaign, is one of the three things to choose from MW3 on the title screen. Surprisingly, its also the best of the three. Its the only part of the game that seems to have truly been improved. 4 missions are available from the get go, and more become available as you level up. These missions involve things such as setting up bombs in a certain time limit, rescuing hostages and defending specific areas. These missions provide short, frantic bursts of gameplay that when played with a friend (Preferably over headset) can be some of the most fun you`ll have in MW3. An added feature is the new survival mode, which is Infinity wards answer to Treyarchs "zombies". You team up with a partner and attempt to survive as many waves as you can. The game provides you with purchasable guns, explosives, sentry guns, perks & killstreaks, to defend you from the never ending hoard of varied enemies like C4 armed attack dogs, juggernauts and poisonous gas wielding soldiers. The gameplay is very fast paced and the game barely lets you catch your breath before sending out more helicopters filled with attackers. Like the missions it provides an accelerated and hectic experience, with a lot of replay value, add that to the impressive list of 14 playable maps and Special Ops makes for one thing in Modern warfare 3 worth returning to.
Obviously, the online multiplayer is the main focus of the game. Its the reason people like myself, bought the game. The multiplayer has made little to no improvements since MW2 and some steps back from Black ops. Why no wager matches? Why no Customisable emblems? Why no Dynamic maps? such as Launch which featured a Rocket taking off, leaving all playings underneath it burnt to a crisp. As well as WMD which had a train racing by in the background. I just could not understand why Infinity ward would not include all the things that made Black ops such a hit, and just add more. Instead I was welcomed with boring and bland maps, that all seem to feel like close quarter mazes. Snipers are better than ever but the maps only offer the odd medium length hallway instead of long open areas which made sniping so fun in the previous ones.
Perks are pretty much the same but with a few differences, luckily commando and one man army have gone (Its worth noting the game also has improved hit detection since the last game) but none of them particularly add much to the experience. Pro perks are way too easy to get, It took me about an hours worth of gameplay to get a pro perk without me even trying. Where as with perks before I was forced to try new things, such as capturing ten flags in Black ops to get marathon Pro & having to destroy 40 enemy killstreaks in Mw2 to get Cold blooded Pro. Though I was glad to see the shotguns were a primary instead of a secondary weapon, I was unhappy to see a lot of guns and their reload animations ported straight from MW2. As if the guns themselves were not bad enough, a lot of the emblems and Titles were just repeated lines and images with a slightly different concept. For example, the wargasm title is back only with a different picture, and the anarchy symbol is instead of being on a plain background,
on a t-shirt for some reason.
Modes are almost all the same besides Team defender and kill confirmed. Team defender is by far the best new mode as it promotes team play, something CoD is famous for abandoning. Kill confirmed is decent but is really just a tweaked version of team deathmatch, & you`ll find yourself heading over to sabotage, Search & destroy and demolition after a couple of matches. However its always nice to see a new mode.
New killstreaks have been added but again, most are the same. Some are innovative and interesting like the ability to become a Juggernaut and hand out protective vests for your team mates, thought most are just variations of things you will have come to expect such as the chopper gunners and AC130`s. It is possible to have some fun mixing and matching your weapons and classes as the core solid gameplay is still intact, but things just feel way too familiar.
Modern warfare 3 isn't a bad game, its possible to have a good time with a buddy in special ops & perhaps new comers could get something out of the multiplayer. But it just isn't the innovative game the franchise and fans deserve. Certainly not the worst game of 2011, but definitely the most disappointing.