|Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3|
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 10:00
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) is the 8th game in the highly successful Call of Duty series. Once again the developers stuck to what made the series successful – a short campaign and a finely tuned multiplayer.
The events of MW3 pick up after the previous game, with Russia and America on the brink of a full scale war. You play a number of characters from trying to stop the “ultranationalist”, Makarov from tipping the scales towards World War 3.
The game maintains a frenetic pace while moving through a number of beautifully reconstructed landscapes in midst of turmoil – from Paris to the tubes of London and planes of Sierra Leone. Unfortunately, the gameplay isn’t significantly different from MW2 - changes to the graphics, weapons and combat are minor and outside of the story, this could have been DLC for MW2.
As with the previous game, the writers attempt a few emotional moments in the game and unfortunately they fall flat. An American father playing with his daughter as a dirty bomb goes off in Paris comes across as being too contrived, particularly after you see hundreds of innocent civilians slaughtered over the course of the game. However, the conclusion of the overall arc was very satisfying and I enjoyed finally finishing the story.
Changes to the multiplayer significantly improve the online experience. In addition to leveling your character, you can now also level weapons – allowing you to further customise your class and focus your skills. Also, the KillStreak system has been completely revised to allow you to request support or specialist packages as an alternative to offensive strike packages. As a relative MW noob, I found these changes improved the balance of the game and as a weaker member of the team, I was able to contribute more significantly.
New game modes are well executed. In Kill Confirmed you have to collect the dog tags of a fallen enemy to register the kill. This forces you to work as a team because you can defend points by collecting the dog tags from a fallen comrade before an enemy does. In Team Defender you have to hold onto a flag, while in Survival you and a friend face off against wave after waves of enemies. Finally, the Spec Ops mode makes a return with a number of challenging 2 man co-operative missions.
One of the most significant improvements is online match making - finding other South African players is much easier. Unfortunately, lag is still a significant issue and even though is an improvement over MW2, still affects online performance. A new addition, the Call of Duty Elite system allows you to hyper-analyse statistics and maps. This is perfect for the more obsessive gamers wanting to improve their gameplay.
Overall, the single player is far too short and even though it concludes the MW storyline, it is not strong enough to stand on its own. However, changes to the multiplayer gameplay refined the online experience. Even though the combat is largely the same, the multiplayer is addictive and the best competitive gameplay available.
Pros: Brilliant multiplayer gameplay; balanced gameplay for weaker team members; new kill streak system.
Cons: Short campaign; single and multiplayer combat is almost exactly the same as MW2; minor in-game glitches; emotional plot points don’t work.
Time to completion (campaign): 7 hrs
Achievement difficulty: 8/10
Contact: BT Games - www.btgames.co.za
Weird fact: MW3 made ~$400m in the first 24 hours – that’s almost R40 000 a second, the biggest entertainment release of all time
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