Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 3 [PC]
November 28, 2011
Like the stress I feel over work projects during Q4; a new Call of Duty game being on the shelves each year is just as predictable. If there’s one thing Activision have worked out, it’s how to delegate to ensure that they have their big title game on their big title shelf ready for the 99% to rock in and score a copy.
However this year DICE finally delivered on Battlefield 3, which means there’s been an all-out fight for airspace and gamers to pick one over the other. While I in my awesome game developer chair can afford both, you may be wondering what one you should choose. Well stay tuned as not only is there going to be reviews for Call of Duty and Battlefield 3 (the former you’re about to read), but also the combo comparison duel of Battlecall : Field of Duty (thanks Cracked) to see why you should pick one over the other.
But enough self-indulgence. It’s COD-time.
Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 3 follows on from it’s 2 predecessors (Modern Warfare, and Modern Warfare 2) in style-of-gameplay, storyline, and a fair few other aspects as well. The epic saga of reclusive super-villain Russian patriots and their US/UK super-covert hero-esque counterparts continues in the seas of world war 3. Playing through the campaign we get to see several familiar faces of players that each of the previous games kept trying to “suggest” that they were dead. Evidently they must of been wearing John McClane’s bloodied wife-beater because they seem to not be able to die. However saying that there’s only a few characters who manage to keep coming back with a vengeance. All your other friends who you get fondly attached to end up dying in either really stupid ways like an ambush and you don’t have time to really reflect, or in heroic “time for me to sacrifice myself so you can keep trying to catch Makarov” moments. I know it’s been something to expect from the series now, but even still with squad member names like “Truck” and “Sandman” how can you not grow attached.
When it comes to ambushes, it seems I can’t keep away from them. Lead evil do-er Makarov seems to know every move I do before I do it, which begs the question how does he know everything I’m going to do since no one in the unit is partial to his cause. There was one point when I was hiding in a clocktower with a sniper rifle when I got taunted by my disturbed nemesis then realised I was surrounded by explosives then had to jump out of it before it exploded.
Hang on, didn’t this exact same thing happen in Batman : Arkham City. Perhaps if we were in Hill Valley someone will give a flyer to Makarov to “save the clocktower” and he’ll use that to help him power his Delorean back to the future. Maybe then I can understand how he knows what i’m going to do before I do it.
And what goes hand in hand with ambuses; explosions. Every five minutes something is exploding and suddenly I black out and find i’m on the ground again, tinnitus buzzing around in my head while I stare at my hands thinking how resilient my gloves are. This isn’t being nit picky here, it happens far too many times to go unnoticed.
Apart from those two major annoyances, the campaign is pretty cookie-cutter of previous Modern Warfare titles. Shooting enemies in a desert area, shooting enemies in a snow area, shooting enemies in a jungle. There’s a couple of exceptions I actually approve of, the addition of you sometimes being the one looking out for the squads instead of always being in the squads adds a nice new perspective to the campaign. Also when delving into the backstory of some of the characters, it showcases previous locations and events that occurred in prior titles which is a great tie-in and quite nostalgic if you’ve played the previous games.
And following on from the previous titles, the ending leaves a weird aftertaste you’re not too sure about. After Makarov, our Russian mastermind terrorist, manages to evade you yet again; it cuts to the next “scene”/”level” where suddenly you’ve cornered him in a building. After hours and hours of getting so close, suddenly I’ve caught him with no explanation at all. It’s like the developers got tired of making levels, wanting to go to multiplayer, and so they just said, yeah in this level you’ve found him, no fiddly missions to get the information, you just found him, even though in previous missions you determined almost no one ever knows where he is.
When all is set and done though, you can’t go past some of the theatrics, like sitting down after all is said and done, surrounded by corpses, and just enjoying a cigar for a few minutes. How did you survive, must be because you have Balls of Steel.
Which then leads you into Spec Ops. It’s back and better than ever. Now including the option to do specific missions or play Survival where you play with a friend to defend against wave after wave of ever more difficult enemy onslaughts. This has it’s own ranking system, and all your equipment, guns etc, are all bought in a counter-strike style buy time at the start of each round/wave. It’s also played across all the multiplayer maps, meaning some sweet practice for Multiplayer to get used to the maps, or an opportunity to show how much you’ve played online by using all the best spots. Unlocks include everything from Claymores and Sentries, to Riot Squads and Air Strikes. Worth playing, very fun, try it out.
Now multiplayer is where you’ll find everyone actually plays the game. Quite literally it was almost a month before I realised I probably should play the Campaign before I reviewed the game. Multiplayer in Modern Warfare 3 is almost identical to previous titles. For PC players they’ve reverted back to the matchmaking system only it sorta works better than Modern Warfare 2, though there’s some dedicated host options built in but unsure if that’s just for LAN. It’s all much more comparable to Modern Warfare 2 than Black Ops, so those liking the new cash system in Black Ops will be disappointed. There’s no custom emblems, no putting your clan tag on guns. A new addition is the ability to add some modifications to your weapon as you gain proficiency with it; everything from making it more stable to being able to run faster with it out, do more damage with it to swapping to it quicker.
Perks have been tweaked but majority of the ones from yesteryear are there. There’s more killstreaks but they have been broken up into 3 classes. Assault: where all your killstreaks are to basically earn you more kills, Support: where your killstreaks purely benefit the performance of your team, and Specialist: where you can unlock an additional 3 perks with the potential to unlock every perk. If you want to rank up quickly you wait until you unlock this then you use it, throw Hardline on one of your main perks and in 7 kills you’ve unlocked every perk. This feels like such an advantage it’s almost illegal. You can’t be heard, you aim quicker, run quicker, pick up extra ammo all the time, can eat bullets and explosions for breakfast. This is where those players who spend so much time getting Pro version of every perk, suddenly become invinsible.
While there’s some new equipment added, none is significant enough to warrant mentioning, you want to know you look it up. You can now vote on 1 of 2 possible maps as you sit in the lobby, so you don’t end up always playing Nuketown by accident because the server got jammed on it. You can finally edit your custom classes while sitting in lobby, thank you it’s back. Final thing they added was when you prestige instead of gaining an advantage from it somehow, you can choose what it goes towards; increase the amount of custom classes you have; or give yourself your own personal Double XP weekend; the power is yours.
Needless to say if your a Call of Duty fan this will be yet another one to add to the collection. If you’re thinking about joining into the craze for the multiplayer then you won’t be disappointed, if you’re in it for the campaign and story then go buy Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 as it’ll all make much more sense after you’ve played through both of them first.
All in all Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 3 feels like every other Call of Duty game. It doesn’t try to hard to be something it’s not, it puts a few new things out there to see how you’ll react whether you will like it or hate it. When it comes down to it you already know if you’re a fan boy/girl or not, and if you were considering purchasing it you’ve already ordered it so you can give it to yourself for Christmas Day. Surprise, oh wait no it’s another ambush…
Storyline – 3/5 (Continues on from the last game but with less intrigue, took half the game to find something I actually wanted to find out about)
Gameplay – 3.5/5 (It’s like every other Call of Duty title, which means it’s just an average COD game, makes up for it with Spec Ops mode)
Presentation – 4/5 (It makes use of some clever story telling techniques and while some find themselves in the gamplay, multiplayer looks like every other COD game)