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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 game review

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 game review

And then there were three
It’s a different year but is it a different game? Depending on your view the answer could really be yes or no. Modern Warfare 3 is finally on shelves and no doubt news has already reached your ears of its outrageous sales figures. More importantly, are those figures justified? The short answer is yes. Modern Warfare 3 is, put simply, a very good game. As much as people may love to hate it, there is a reason why the game is so popular. The answer is easy; the Call of Duty series has an extremely addictive and rewarding multiplayer. Without wanting to devalue the Single player experience which is, in its own right a big improvement over its predecessor, it is the multiplayer which draws in literally millions of players.
But before any mention of improved Kill streak mechanics or which gun is better than the other, the single player campaign really does deserve some attention. Set immediately after MW2’s closing moments the game begins with Captain Price’s fervent voice barking to Nikolai about getting now heavily wounded ‘Soap’ MacTavish to a doctor. Now on the run and wanted fugitives after killing the traitorous Commander Shepherd hours before, we are given control of new boy Yuri to help Price and co. escape Makarov’s approaching forces. No sooner do we inject Soap with a dose of adrenaline are we ambushed from what literally seems like every direction. It’s hard to express in words, it really is, but the sheer scope and scale of some of the set-pieces is breath taking.
As soon as Makarov’s men storm the building the pace of the game rarely ever stops. Every conflict you find yourself in becomes a memorable one. This is reinforced significantly by the new gadgets you have at your disposal. The opening level set in India has Price and his team hurriedly trying to reach an extraction point and, faced with unsurpassable numbers Price orders us to use the Assault Drone to clear the way. Essentially a lethal remote controlled car the weaponry and gadgets on offer feel extremely satisfying to use. The recoil and kick of the guns and plumes of smoke that rise from every grenade really sell the immersion on offer here. Visually, the game is no massive improvement on its predecessor and it seems the engine has been tweaked and tuned rather than upgraded but by no means does the game suffer for it.
The story is a definitive improvement over the last. Price and Soap’s desire for revenge is undoubtedly the real drive of the games narrative with the World War three events a backdrop to their vendetta. The pacing is spot on, with every major conflict in a modern European country the action then shifts to Price and Soap infiltrating the strongholds of African militia to gain Intel on Makarov. As a whole, the single player is a non-stop romp across the world to stop a war and find a wanted terrorist. It’s a narrative that could easily be seen in any number of blockbuster movies but when you get to play in that world it’s a much more satisfying experience and let’s be honest, this being a Call of Duty game you wouldn’t expect any less.
The multiplayer then, as expected, is fantastic. Similar to Treyarch’s Black Ops, Infinity ward and Sledgehammer games have refined more so than reinvented the formula. Gone are outlandish kill streak rewards such as the Nuke and instead replaced with not just more balanced rewards but a better system overall. Players can now choose between three different kill streak reward trees. The Assault tree functions much in the same way as the old system from MW2 where you build up kills for increasingly more powerful rewards and if you die it resets. The Support tree however, continues to build even if you die meaning that if you feel like you’re playing particularly badly you can take comfort in the knowledge that you will get some compensation. The support class, instead of letting you call in attack helicopters gives you abilities such as being able to help your team by giving them added protective armour. Finally, the specialist class rewards you with perks instead of machines of mass destruction. Not even mentioning the weapon proficiencies which allow you to level specific guns it seems IW have placed a much bigger emphasis on customisation this time around which, in a genre which sometimes fails to make its players feel unique is a welcome change. The multiplayer maps appear to have been downsized this time around, assumedly to keep the action fast paced and to reduce the lulls in frenetic game play. However, this isn’t Battlefield 3’s slower paced more considered gunplay and the smaller maps just feel like natural evolution for the arcade shooter.
Spec Ops is also back. Clearly taking notice of Treyarch’s Zombie mode IW and Sledgehammer have undoubtedly taken a note out of their book and made a hybrid meta-game that feels like a cross between the aforementioned Zombies and Epic’s Horde mode. The fun challenges that can be attempted with a friend are also back and in greater number.
Modern warfare 3 then, is a pretty fantastic package. Just like Gears of War 3’s release a few months before it, the content on the disc is generous to say the least. Whether you want to play by yourself and enjoy a blisteringly fast paced story with set pieces that would put Hollywood to shame or put your skills to the test online you won’t be lost for something to do. Unlike previous games in the series I can honestly say that no part of the game stands above the other. Whether it’s co-op, story or multiplayer you prefer all three have clearly been given a lot of attention by the developers and it shows.
9/10

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