Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

This game picks up right after the events of MW2 as we find a gravely wounded Soap,¬†Nikolai, and Price on the run from Makarov’s soldiers after the trio has killed the traitor General Sheppard. At the same time the U.S. is defending its home turf from invading Russian forces as World War III has erupted. Will the U.S. forces turn the tide? Can Price and his disavowed Task Force 141 prove their innocence and redeem themselves by hunting down and bringing Makarov to justice? These are the main questions that will be answered during your time with the campaign.

Task Force 141

The campaign, much like all any Call of Duty campaign, will follow multiple story lines that run parallel to one another. This is a tried and true formula and as the saying goes “If it aint broke don’t fix it”. The controls are as tight as ever and the graphics and sound are as good as they have ever been if not better. One of my favorite changes in the game is the way that a Flash Bang grenade explodes. When it goes off it makes a strobe light effect and causes some really cool lighting effects. The game is filled with small things like this that have only added to the experience. On top of that the action is at a fever pitch and I felt a real sense of urgency in some of the missions. More often then not it was the missions that involved Capt. Price and Task Force 141. At the same time this is one complaint I have about the game. IW has managed to make me not even care about the fact that a fictional WWIII is taking place on U.S. soil. I found these portions of the story to be the weakest and couldn’t wait to resume the Task Force 141 story line. Don’t get me wrong, the overall story is a good one and has its fair share of OMG moments but the real star here is Capt. Price and his story arc. But in the end everything is wrapped up nicely and is definitely worth playing though.

WWIII has hit NYC!

Call of Duty’s multi-player component has long dominated the online gaming landscape and this title will be no different. For the most part the game is a rinse and repeat experience and starts to feel a little to familiar. But there have been a few small changes that help to keep things fresh. The introduction of a few new game modes, the best being a fresh take on Team Deathmatch called Kill Confirmed, and the introduction of Point Streaks which takes the place of Kill Streaks. Kill Confirmed plays the same as a standard Team Deathmatch but with a twist. When an enemy dies they will drop a Dog Tag. The object of the game is to collect more Dog Tags then the other team. The action is intense and often plays like a game of Mario Kart or Pac Man with guns and explosives.

The old Kill Streak model has been replaced with a Point Streak model. It works the same but now you will earn points that count towards your reward. You can now gain points by doing things other then killing. Capturing or returning a flag in CTF will get you a point as will capturing a beacon in Domination or HQ. I’d like to say this is ground breaking stuff but THQ implemented this with Homefront. So while its not original it works really well and gives folks who aren’t stone cold killers a chance to be rewarded for how they play the game. There’s a few other new additions but mostly its in the form of new rewards.

The gameplay is fast and furious as always and delivers in terms of controls and graphics. But that is to be expected with a Call of Duty title. If there’s something to complain about though its that some of the maps are just way to small for most of the objective game types. Its not to bad if you are playing a standard 6 vs 6 match but trying to play a game of Domination on one of the smaller maps with 9 vs 9 can turn into an unruly mess where you can expect to spawn right in front of an enemy or into the line of fire. Oh, and the shotguns in the game are way to powerful and have way to much range. Expect to die via auto shotty head shot from 60 yards away. So. Damn. Frustrating. As good and as tight as the MP is, it is starting to feel a little familiar. With a new Call of Duty title coming out every year it may be time to change things up a bit or take some time off.

Paris will never be the same.

Call of duty: Modern Warfare 2 introduced us to the co-op mode know as Spec-Ops. Here you and a friend will participate in a series of mini missions. You see….that’s just the problem. They are mini missions. It appears that they have nothing to do with one another and often they feel like something that was left on the cutting room floor. There are some good missions in there but for as many that are good you have the ones that you can forget in a hurry. I really wish they would hurry up and include co-op play in the main campaign. It’s not like there are any solo missions in the campaigns. You are always playing as part of a small squad. So just do it already. Either that or give us some kind of side story that can be played as co-op. Along with the Spec-Ops missions players will also get a crack at a new mode called Survival. Its a pretty basic Horde mode game type where you and only 1 friends have to fend off waves on incoming attackers. There’s really not much else to say about it mainly because it is pretty forgettable. Gears of War 3 has Horde Mode and Beast Mode, Halo has Firefight, and they both do it 1,000,000,000 times better. Its fun to play for a minute or two but I just don’t see anything special here. Especially since you can only play it with 1 of your buddies.

Oh look. Wave 19 is cleared! Meeeeeeeh.

Modern Warfare 3 is a good package as is to be expected and has more hits then misses. But the franchise better be careful before it consumes itself.

Game Details:

Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision
Reviewed Platform: Xbox 360
Singleplayer 9
Multiplayer 8
Replayability 8
Graphics 10
Audio 10
Overall 9