Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – The PS3 Attitude Review
When it comes to the video game industry, the Call of Duty franchise reigns supreme, specifically the Modern Warfare series. How many other games can say they’ve sold millions of copies in a single day or had the biggest launch in entertainment history? Yeah, not many.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 continues to hunt for Russian Ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov in its main single-player campaign and further enhances its already top-notch multiplayer experience. Has the gameplay changed enough over the last iteration, or does the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” saying still ring true?
Modern Warfare 3 is split into three main categories; Single-player, Multiplayer, and Special Ops. The single-player campaign continues the story from where Modern Warfare 2 concluded as Captain Price and John “Soap” MacTavish attempt to put an end to Makarov’s destructive reign of terror. As most gamers are now familiar with, Multiplayer pits you against the world as you level up your soldier and unlock numerous weapons, equipment, and other enhancements. Special Ops returns with more challenges, as well as a new Survival mode that pits you against waves of enemy soldiers. With three distinct methods of gameplay, Modern Warfare 3 ensures there is something for every FPS enthusiast.
The storyline of the Modern Warfare franchise has mostly been a forgettable one, with larger than life set pieces taking precedence over dialogue and plot development. Unfortunately, not much has changed with the third installment. You’ll traverse the entire globe, from the United States to Germany, Paris, London, and even Sierra Leone. The environments are varied, and you can’t help but take it all in, visually speaking. There are plenty of fantastic looking landscape moments such as the New York skyline and the Eiffel Tower. Main characters Soap and Price return as well as multiple new additions, including ex-Spetsnaz Yuri and Delta Force agent Frost. Over the course of the single-player campaign, you’ll play as all of these characters and more over various chapters.
The problem with this is that you never really feel an attachment with any of the characters. Since you’re only with them for a mission or two before you switch to someone else, you don’t know the man behind the gun. For us, it’s just another soldier. The story itself doesn’t help much either. With so much going on all at once, it’s difficult to fully understand the confusing plot.
That being said, there’s not much of a need to. Because everything happens so quickly, there’s no time to wrap your head around the story before you’re whisked away to the next mission. Right from the beginning, you’re thrown head first into conflict, and it only escalates from there. There are more explosions and buildings falling down than in Michael Bay’s Transformers film. It’s a constant adrenaline rush that’ll last for about four to six hours, depending on your skill level.
The single-player campaign is short, no doubt, but for the entertainment the game provides, it’s plenty satisfying. You don’t play Modern Warfare 3 for realistic war scenarios that place you within the heat of battle. There are other games for that. You play Modern Warfare 3 to mow down enemy after enemy with your machine gun and send entire buildings crumbling to the ground. As a result, the game delivers. For a game like this, bigger really is better.
Perhaps the biggest draw about the Call of Duty franchise is the multiplayer. While other multiplayer games may only have a small, dedicated fanbase, you’ll have no trouble finding a match in Modern Warfare 3. The main difficulty, however, will be finding people who are on equal levels as you, especially in the beginning.
Multiplayer in Modern Warfare 3 is basically the same premise as previous games; engage in numerous modes of gameplay against enemy players and level up both your character and weapons by completing objectives and gaining experience points. While you do have access to a few preset classes, typically the lower level you are, the less powerful your weapon selection is. Unless you’re one of the top level players making the transfer from Modern Warfare 2, prepare to find yourself at the wrong end of a barrel a lot, at least until you get to the higher levels.
Where the multiplayer aspect succeeds most is that it keeps players coming back for more. There’s so much to unlock and explore that you’ll only scratch the surface of what’s available after a few hours. Modern Warfare 3 introduces new modes, new weapons, perks, and strike packages. Finding the one that works best for you is definitely going to take time and experimentation.
To help you with your game, Activision has released the new Call of Duty: Elite service that connects your account and provides you with tons of stats and feedback as well as weapon pairing suggestions, etc. Much of it is free, but you can also purchase a yearly subscription for access to even more services within it. Even when you’re not playing Modern Warfare 3, you can still customize and strategize your classes, maps, videos, etc. from a computer. The game has now become a 24/7 affair.
The final piece of the Modern Warfare 3 puzzle is Special Ops. Like in previous games, you can take on a variety of missions and challenges, either solo or with a partner, to a certain number of stars depending on the difficulty level selected in the beginning. These challenges cover the entire spectrum of the game and force you to learn each weapon or playstyle that you might not consciously pick.
The other portion of Special Ops is the new Survival mode. Sort of like the zombie maps, Survival mode pits you (and a partner if you like) against wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies. At the end of each wave, you’re given money based on your performance which you can then use to purchase new weapons, armor, or airstrikes. Personally, Survival mode is my favorite thing about Modern Warfare 3. Trying to beat your previously best wave is always a challenge and with multiple maps to select from, hours upon hours can be gone in a flash.
As you earn more stars and level up your Special Ops profile, more missions, weapons, etc. become available. That’s one of the reoccurring themes of Modern Warfare 3; the more you play, the more you unlock. If you’re someone who likes to simply jump into a game and have everything available to you from the start, look elsewhere. While you can breeze through the single-player campaign in a few hours, the other modes will keep you occupied for weeks or even months to come.
By now, gamers should know what they’re getting into with the Modern Warfare series. While Modern Warfare 3 may add nothing new that’s mind-blowing, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games continue to do what they do best; make entertaining games to play. When it comes to getting the biggest bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong with Modern Warfare 3.