Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was one of the most highly anticipated games of 2011, and I am happy to say that it doesn’t disappoint. The Call Of Duty franchise continues to redefine what it means to create an excellent shooter by refining what works and completely dropping what doesn’t. You will hear some folks say that there isn’t a lot of difference between the games from year to year, but I would disagree. A lot of people tend to confuse constant iterative improvement and refinement with not making changes. The truth is that the small things that they continue to improve are ultimately what sets the Call Of Duty franchise in a class of its own. At some point, you have to wonder how long they can they keep this up, but for now when you talk about the best in breed in first person shooters, Call Of Duty is it. PERIOD. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the best game in this franchise by far and I’m about to tell you why.
Single Player Campaign
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 picks up where the events of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 left off, and immediately throws the player into the middle of an epic confrontation – the likes of which they have never seen. As you begin the first mission, you will realize one of the things that makes Call Of Duty so great and what makes it so hard for other shooters to dethrone it. The controls. It was literally as if I had never missed a beat, I immediately dropped back into this zone where my mind thought something and my fingers knew what to do. One of the issues with other shooters is that you have to adjust to the controls, but in Call Of Duty, you can pick it up and go as if you had been playing it all along. This is coming from someone who hasn’t played any Call Of Duty game in months, so you can imagine how folks that have been playing regularly felt.
The action in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will take you on an international game of cat and mouse as you chase Vladamir Makarov. From the crowded slums of Somalia to the much more refined but no less chaotic locales across Europe including London, Paris, and Germany. Over the course of the next several weeks, your actions will prove to be the difference in ending World War III, but it won’t be easy. As you chase him all over the world, Makarov proves on more than one occasion that he is a man who is willing to go as far as he has to in order to advance his agenda.
The game isn’t very long, but Call Of Duty games never are. I managed to finish the singe player campaign in a little over six hours, but it goes to the core of what the developers of the game said a few years ago when it was said that their game was too short. The developers responded by saying that the games will be as long as they need to be and that they wouldn’t artificially lengthen the game. Personally, I respect that position and felt that despite its relatively short length, players will complete it with an extreme sense of satisfaction and won’t mind that it isn’t very long. In fact, the pacing of the game is almost perfect, allowing the player to move with the speed and precision of the best soldiers in the world. Some of the other recent shooters including Battlefield 3 had sections in them that a lot of players felt were difficult for no reason and slowed down gameplay. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 doesn’t really have any of those and makes the player feel like they are really controlling some of the most elite soldiers on the planet. So after completing a short but satisfying single player campaign, players can jump right into a multiplayer that has seen a lot of improvements.
The multiplayer mode in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has been improved on almost all fronts, and for the first time in its history caters to multiple types of players. From the start, the thing that stood out to me was that the gameplay felt much smoother and more stable. The action is fast and furious, but for the most part keeps up with a multitude of chaos with ease. When you are killed, you can respawn almost instantly ensuring that you are never out of the action for more than a second or two which I really appreciate. Players will also notice that they can rank their character up much faster this year, meaning that you will spend a lot less time being frustrated that you keep getting owned by all the folks that are already Lvl 50-80. At this point, I have played about 12 hours and am already at Lvl 42. Don’t worry I plan to increase that a lot over the next few days, but I had to write this review right?
This year the game introduces the concept of multiple strike packages that allows all different types of players to have major contributions to swaying the tide of battle. In past years, the game was really biased to folks with high kill to death ratios, but not this year. There are three Strike Packages: Assault, Support, and Specialist. The Assault package fits the traditional high K/D ratio player with their kill streak resetting after they die. The Support package streak continue on after you die meaning that players who aren’t quite as good at racking up multiple kills without dying can still be a factor over the course of the match. They can also get some of the more devasting killstreaks through being able to quickly get care packages which contain a random killstreak reward. In games like this there will always be some stability issues, but they are definitely improving with each outing. I thought that the multiplayer in Black Ops was solid, but it took Modern Warfare 3’s to get me really excited about it again. The majority of the time the gameplay was smooth and when it wasn’t host migration worked 4 out of 5 times which is better than any of the previous games I have seen.
Call Of Duty Elite
Call Of Duty Elite was heralded as this awesome service that would change the way that we played Call Of Duty games forever, and then the game came out and it didn’t work. Then a week passed and it still didn’t work. It was only a few days ago that I was actually able to launch both the website and the console application for Call Of Duty Elite, and all the stability issues aside … it could be an excellent service, though I still don’t know if it will prove to be worth $50 a year. Elite is filled with every stat you ever wanted to know about yourself or didn’t want to know. No more will you have to listen to folks tell you how much of a beast they are in Call Of Duty. If you have their PSN ID or Gamertag look them up and see for yourself. That is actually kind of the sad part. No longer will you be able to argue with your friends about who’s better. All you have to do is search them out and hit compare, and you can see how you stack up across a multitude of areas.
Now Activision is framing Elite as this social service, but honestly I don’t think that is how people are going to use it. I think they are going to use the information that it provides to dominate the game or at a minimum, improve their play by making adjustments to their classes based on weapon characteristics and gameplay mode. For the first time, you can actually take a look at every single weapon in the game, evaluate its stats, and even read tips that break down its strengths and weaknesses and what combinations of attachments and perks work best with it. I admit that I love data and I am a stat whore so this is like heaven for me. Hell, not only can you analyze your strengths and weaknesses but those of your enemies as well. In every Call Of Duty game until now most of us have run into a guy that was just a beast and seemed like they killed you before you knew what happened. The first thing you always say is, what gun are they using? Now you can use Elite to find out. If you can’t use the info in Call Of Duty Elite to improve your overall gameplay by 25 to 50 percent, then you shouldn’t be playing. All the information I just mentioned is available to everyone as part of the free service, so you guys have no excuses. The only thing wrong with Elite as a core service is that it has been down more than its been up.
It seems like we say this every year, but Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the best game in the franchise to date with an extremely satisfying single player campaign, in addition to a much improved multiplayer experience that for the most part seems to be more stable and friendlier to a wider range of player types. The game of course still has issues with cheaters in the multiplayer component, but the folks at Activison are keeping a keen eye on that this time around and are banning people in droves if they find them cheating. All in all, it’s hard to find anything not to like about Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the developers are definitely listening to fan feedback and making both major and minor changes to the franchise. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is everything fans were hoping for and more, and for that we have no problem with giving it 10 out of 10.