"Duty Calls Again"
The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise is arguably the most popular and best-selling first person shooter video game ever. When the first Xbox came out, the reason to buy it was Halo. When the PS3 came out, Metal Gear Solid was your reason to get it. For the Xbox 360, the Modern Warfare series has become the Xbox seller.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 finds you in the boots of a few different characters from different military outfits from around the world, including the U.S. Delta Force, British S.A.S., and the disavowed Task Force 141, all trying to maintain order whilst a Russian invasion and terrorist attacks are occurring around the world. You will be battling in locations like Paris, London, New York, and Berlin, to name a few. Your endgame is to find Makarov, the mastermind behind it all that has sent the world into a third World War. You will spend the majority of your time playing as the silent Yuri, 141's newest addition, taking commands from Captain Price and Captain Soap. You'll be hearing a lot of "Shoot them!" and "Destroy that!" and "What're you waiting for? Come on!" being yelled as you blindly follow orders and let them do all the cool things like stabbing bad guys' throats and jumping through windows. The campaign mode feels a little short, clocking in around 7-9 hours, but pretty much every minute of those hours is packed with saving the world and hunting Makarov. I honestly think that every helicopter in the MW series has been shot down at some point. I can't remember the last time someone's flight went uninterrupted. There aren't very many lulls in the game, and even then, I really enjoyed the sneaking and stealth portions. The story manages to clear and tie up any loose ends and offers a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
In terms of gameplay, there are great and not-so-great things. I can honestly say that no other game I've ever played has really made me feel a sense of urgency and hustle as much as MW3. It genuinely gave me the feeling that if I didn't run and blow up that pack of four gunmen, the world would explode and everyone would know it's my fault. Everything is fast and tight, as always. I shoot, they fall. I grenade, they explode. There really hasn't been any major game-changers made, and why would there be? Infinity Ward found a formula that worked (and worked well) and stuck to it, for the most part. This is both good and bad. Players seeking that familiarity will be happy to sit down and pick up right where they left off, while those waiting for innovations will be left underwhelmed.
Graphics and movement in Modern Warfare 3 show improvement over previous entries, as expected. Voice acting and sound effects are also top-notch and really make you feel as though you are in the middle of the firefight and taking orders. Gunshots and explosions sound real and the ambiance is stellar. Although there are improvements across the board, nothing here will make you jump up on your couch and point at your television in disbelief.
As expected, the real star of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 experience is the multiplayer. I have encountered many people who have never even touched the campaign and opted to purchase Call of Duty for the online experience alone. The traditional multiplayer (Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, etc) is still there, with a few new additions. I do have to say a few of the maps feel recycled (Black Hawk Down?). I don't know if they did this purposely as an homage or remake, but it needed to be noted. Kill streaks are now divided into Assault, Support, and Specialist Strike Packages. With Assault, your kill sprees earn you things like attack helicopters and Predator missiles. Your killstreak is reset after you die. With the Support package, you earn UAV's, sentry guns, and the like. Your streak continues through your death so they build up over the course of the match. With the Specialist track, you gain extra Perks for every few kills.
My personal favorite is a new mode called "Kill Confirmed", in which after every kill, a set of dog tags appear above the players body. To receive the points for the kill you just had, you or someone on your team needs to retrieve the tags before the other team does, in which case your kill is "denied" and does not count. This really encourages a team cooperation play style and also has spurred a few rounds of everyone running around with riot shields, which is awesomely fun. The Spec Ops is also a fun, quick mission-based and timed mode in which you and a friend relive certain missions of the Modern Warfare trilogy and try to earn points and stars based on how fast and well you completed the missions.
The new Survival mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is also a fun experience. It's reminiscent of Gears of War's Horde mode or CoD: Black Ops' Zombies mode, only Survival mode pits you and a friend against wave after wave of attacking enemies who receive increasingly better weapons and armors. Boss waves with juggernauts and helicopters make sure things don't get too stale. Weapon upgrades, air support, explosives... It's all there for your purchase, since you get money for every kill you get and for every kill spree you go on. There's a lot to be done with this mode and it shows.
Overall, this is a quality buy. You can tell a lot of time and effort was put into making this a memorable and entertaining game. Nothing really was meant to push the boundaries or tread on new ground, and that's ok. The majority of people are buying Modern Warfare 3 for the familiar feeling they've been longing for. It has an insane replay value (you can play online at pretty much any time and have no trouble finding a match), and it gives you a fun, albeit short, campaign to enjoy. The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 experience is like watching the newest Transformers movie: there are tons of explosions, yelling, running, making insane and unbelievable jumps, and you want to absolutely love it but can't muster up anything more than a "That was pretty good."
GameDynamo's Score for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PC)
After beating The Legend of Zelda before he could walk, Truman moved onto bigger and better things, like critiquing video games on the internet and creating cat memes.
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