Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Everyone has talents, some are more useful than others. I for one can stare at a wall for hours without getting bored and can intimidate people by not blinking when I participate in a staring contest. When you want to earn a lot of money, a good plan would be to have a product or idea that's extremely innovative; even so there are always companies out there that seem to defy all common business practises and they reap the benefits of having a large fan base which they acquired by doing some pretty impressive things 'back in the day'. Some examples are Apple and more to the point: Infinity Ward; both companies have been criticized for tweaking old existing formulas but every time either company releases a product, they shatter records. Will Infinity Ward prove me wrong by releasing one of the most earth-shatteringly good games in the history of mankind?

I still remember the first time I played a Call of duty game. It was the unofficial successor to the Medal of Honor franchise and my youthful enthusiasm made me fall in love with this action driven game that - at the time - was among one of the best series out there. It had everything you would want from an action game: excessive explosions, impressive fire fights, immersive storyline and loads of innovation. Ever since I took those steps in the surrounded town of Bastogne, I've always been in love with Call of Duty, and even though I was well aware of the criticism that Infinity Ward received from their - didn't we do this last time? - release called "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" I was convinced that the developer would do everything within their power to prove all the criticisers wrong and deliver one of the most groundbreaking titles of 2011. I was wrong.

The story in Modern Warfare 3 starts where its predecessor left off: The Russian republic has invaded the United States of America and if the story were to be told in the form of a road trip, everyone would be heading towards World War three; an exciting place for action enthusiasts, but judging from the amount of dead civilians you find laying around in this game, not many people share this enthusiasm. While the concept of a third World War opens up a whole bunch of interesting stories and plot twists, this game prefers the absurd! The entire war is started by a man with a lot of time and dedication and the war is eventually ended by an equally small number. I didn't feel completely sorry when the game ended after a mere four hours - partly because of the migraine this game caused - but also because of some plot twists the writers put in this story. Armies appearing out of literally nowhere and conquering entire chunks of the world make me question the validity of the story.

The action in this game is overwhelming to say the least; if things aren't exploding or about to explode, then it's safe to say that you're not doing as the game told you. At times it felt like I was inside the head of a fourteen year old where the only cure to losing someone's attention is blowing up more things. It does deliver on what is advertised as - not only do you get to replay the most memorable experiences from the previous Call of Duty games - you will also get to see major landmarks reduced to a pile of scrap! If your adrenaline levels aren't through the roof by the time you are finished with the final boss fight then I think it's time to visit a doctor. Most of the game consists out of your character clearing rooms or open spaces from bad guys, in this case, Russians. Now and then you get to experience movie-like chases and adrenaline fuelled rides in helicopters which made this franchise what it is today: The fact that you get to replay everything from the previous games again, is also Modern Warfare 3's biggest flaw

I have sought long and hard for new and innovative ideas but they were nowhere to be found; Everything I experienced in this game has happened before in the previous instalments, only this time you will get to see it all again in a different setting. At one point I thought that I had found something new - a sandstorm - but then I remembered that you did a mission in Modern Warfare 2 that involved a snowstorm. At first I didn't really mind seeing all these interactive moments again, but when it's the fourth time I get to do something which is an exact copy from one of its predecessors you just want to go up to the developers and say what were you guys working on all this time? The graphics?

That brings us to the visual aspect of the game. While it is still one of the better looking games out there, the graphics have not aged well. After having played Battlefield 3 I can honestly say that this game doesn't even come close visually. A lot of the textures and sprites look blurry and seem to be unchanged from Modern Warfare 2. The engine does its best to impress you and it delivers stunning scenes, but in the video game industry, standing still graphics wise is the equivalent of taking a few steps back. The same applies to the models and animations; absolutely nothing is wrong with them. When you have one of the biggest budgets available to developers and arguably the biggest reputation to defend, I expect more from you than seeing copies from a game we've played years ago.

The multiplayer builds on the trusted formula: You start off with basic kits and you only have a few game modes available, as you progress by killing more opponents or completing objectives you unlock new weapons, gadgets and game-modes. The rate at which new gear and modes gets unlocked has been meticulously tested and that's why you never really feel like you're 'grinding' just to get that next unlock. You get to fight each other in the places where the single player campaign took place and the mapmakers decided that the maps looked too peaceful so they turned as good as every level into a scene from a Michael Bay movie.

While this is still a good game, we can't get around the fact that sadly enough large portions of it are obvious copies from its predecessors. Instead of shooting up bad guys from an AC-130 in a rural area, you get to shoot them from an AC-130 in an urban area. Instead of being chased by helicopters and trucks on a highway, you get chased in a city, and the similarities go on and on. As good as everything from both the online and single player experience, this still looks and feels like a copy from the older Call of Duties and while you can have fun with all this, this game should not be breaking any records. If you want to spend your money on an action game, buy Modern Warfare 2 instead, it's a lot cheaper and you get the same experience. I genuinely hoped that this game would blow me away in a positive sense but instead it left me wondering what the developers were doing for two years.

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Kjell Baetslé: kjell@GameBanana.com

Comments

  • HylianWolf avatar
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    3 years ago:

    i agree with your review 100%

    the only thing that impressed me was a few new voice actors (they got William Fichtner aka Sanderson from Blackhawk Down) and a few other famous voices. other than that, i was pretty much wtf at the lack of new things in the game. yay new guns, but for the most part, its all reused animations from all the rest of the games, no attempt to make new MP5, USP, M16, M4, AK, or any other CoD mainstays to have new animations. the only new animations i saw are all the new guns, even then they arent all that great. MW3? MW-disappointment...

    the only game mode i find even remotely entertaining is the "new" spec-ops mode Survival (which is suspiciously like Mad Moxxy's Underdome Riot, that one game mode from GoW3, ect ect.

    the new weapons, like i said are mostly rehashed guns from all the other games, save for a new few whose anims aren't even half as good as ones found on this site by BrainCollector, Mr. Brightside, IIopn, HyperMetal, Mantua, Inter, or Winzipification, to name a few. a few of the models seemed to elicit a reaction like "wtf?". example: the new M4 has a decent look to it, but they made the magazine like an extended 'Nam style 20 rounder when the M16 has the standard curved STANAG mag. Infinity Ward has made me question whether or not they are even capable of making decent games anymore.

    that is all, just wanted to share my input.

    last minute thing...MW3 killed more playable characters than any other game i've played, regardless if they've been in combat or not. just found that a bit over-the-top, like they wanted to make a game with the biggest body count than the rest...

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    3 years ago:

    Allthough what I have to say to the others is that its a compeditive market. So we must decide who we stand with. Here you have Crysis 2 and the Cryengine. Developed after years. Not same feeling as Crysis 1 and Cryengine 2 but its good!

    Battlefield 3. Not same as BF2 which I feel is alittle bad, and unlike BFBC2 at the same time. Frostbite 2 engine, developed over the years.

    MW3: As much copied from MW2 as possible. I can see developers sparing time by copying the AK-47 animations to an AK-74/AKS-74U but copying it over 3 games? Re-Compiling it like crap and doing nothing? No thanks. Same goes for sound and graphics. What they did? Steal from Treyarch. All the updates done to MW2s engine was done by Treyarch like the only thing they added: Ambient occulsion. Moreover if you listen its the same sounds firing an M4 outside, inside, big landscape or whatever. They change in Crysis 2 and BF3.

    Simply put youll run out of things to blow up unless you reload the map, youll have the same crappy AI following you, stalking you, aimbotting and wallhacking you. And shortcuts? Instead of building a hard-core mode with several new stuff they just lowered the health to about 30%. Meh.

    When you make a game, do it cuz you have a team of dedicated guys willing to have money and intergrate with the community for a product they want. Bungie-style. You can say over Halo games they kept some animations and engines, but Reach doesnt play Halo 3 engine and Halo 3 doesnt play Halo 2 engine. And they allways fixed it and updated it. IW had 2 or so updates on MW2 yet there were COUNTLESS glitches. No effort.

    They purely made MW3 for the money. And the fan-base loves its little MW drug refill. At most I can say this deserves a 4/10 for acually copying from a breaking game back in the days. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. That is the true MW.

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    I remember the Name...
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    3 years ago:

    Hi!

    Good writing, though I don't agree with your rating and some points you mentioned. The sound rating is toooo low! Can you name a game with 9 or 10 pts for sound? I'm into sound design for years now and must say, this is TOP! Also in Crisis2 and BF3. Even better than in most Hollywood-film-productions. Also your Graphic and Gameplay rating is too low, man! What's the problem?

    The comparison to BF3 is problematic. Why?

    Many gamers do that and the studios know that this is done. It's better to see them separately as two individual products. Be 'happy' to get sth like this, or just leave it! These are just two games of the genre. Who tells us to compare all the time? Who tells us to judge? It's our EGO. Of course, BF3 was out earlier, so Infinity Ward had to take shortages, probably not to be too late 'on the market'. Millions of players would critisize if the game would delay like Stalker/DukeNukem, for instance. It's a competition. They all work hard there and are experienced top professionals. Aren't they? I have worked with developers several times and it is simply impossible to juggle all ideas and improvement recommendations. You have to compromise. It's too easy to sit there and write a review and lower others works.^^ It's the wrong mix of taste and objective watching/writing. Why not focus on improvements?

    Me and my friends, we are over 35 now and have maybe spent too much of lifetime with pc-games. You laugh? Me too.

    So let me add some things we don't like about the CoD series

    It's that linear action scripting! We can't stand this any more! As Europeans we are used to think and act on our own decisions. I mean, this is the typical way of americanism, where you reach points (in a game) and have no other choice than to do what is expected from you, to succeed. Is there no other possible solution? This makes me feel like a dummy. Young teen and twen-players are probably not aware of this. Permanent respawning enemies, teammates that shoot inaccurate and don't get killed so easyly - always the same. Russian paratroopers and Speznaz who die like flies.^^ That's so stupid and a common to all CoD releases! Why? Do we need always someone in the background to tell us what is allowed or not? how fast may I go? Do I break rules? Bohemia Interactive has in this particluar point a different, more opened policy (Arma).

    What's that policy behind Infinity Ward games: The American soldier is the best in the world?! Pfff, LOL! Simply wrong!

    The Action is constantly too heavy! It makes me tired, it sucks to much of my energy!

    I like the detailed look, extraordninary sounds and awsome motion-capturings, the model-, weapon- and map-design! The effects are now fantastic (like in BF3 and Crysis2)! World realism seems very authentic except the scripted stuff. I'm not the only one who thinks like that. On the other hand, the excellently acted/spoken commands and actions involve you so well into the game, that together with the created attmosphere, you get a very intense "being there and being important" feeling, like I haven't felt before in any EgoShooter-Singleplayer.

    Some last speculative considerations:

    Splatter effects, close up killing cameras, modern tactical movements and widespread, detailed knoweledge about weapon systems have now reached a questionable degree.

    • How is this influencing the younger, male player generation?
    • Which people enjoy these things?
    • What is the long term effect on the psychic?
    • What happens to the U.S., if there is a (violent) uprising one day in near future?
    • Who is responsible for this?
    • When do we say: "STOP! It's enough!"

    And if all this was intended for the last years, for what reason? Which intelligence/force is behind that manipulation? Think about it and watch yourself!

    Greets from a controversial gamer

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    3 years ago:

    Modern Warfare 3 Is an Amazing Game, but as Colt said, It hasnt got the Action from Modern Warfare 2, were you could be pursuited by choppers and stuff like that. Story Mode from MW3 was just intense because it had moments that would let the player sad and it actually ended the Story Line. The game deserves a solid 7/10. I bought this game for the Story Line, Multiplayer is the same as MW2 and Special Ops is better, with a new perspective.

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    3 years ago:

    "If you've never played Call of Duty before, this will be the most intense thing you've ever experienced"

    lulwut

    I've experienced more intensity on Windows 98 >_> (Quake ftw)

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    3 years ago:

    The game is not so good like MW2 the Killstreaks are hillarious and i dont feel like it make so much fun. MW2 i think is better. But even if the graphics suck the smoothness is awesome, also the story. Cause its a trilogy since modern warfare so it must be this setting and envoiremnt. Only if the next cod will be the same shit, i think cod will die sometime-

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    3 years ago:

    Go figure, Call of Duty brings back the same campaign elements to the table right? I mention this in an argument over why Call of Duty is a poor game, and the fanboy I appear to be speaking with is quick to deny it. It's rather funny to watch actually. I was teamed up on by 4 different CoD fanboys because of this.

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    3 years ago:

    On the scale from 1 to 10,I'd give MW3 a solid 8.Regardless of their current patches,they still sort out one issue,but either one remains left behind or another one pops out,like certain map glitching spots,infinite stealth bombers and connection issues.

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    3 years ago:

    Posted by teh strelok is not infinity wards complete fault that this game is pretty much the same mw2, activision has ordered them to make a call of duty game per year, which leaves them without enough time and just spam

    There are five studios working on the Call of duty franchise at the moment. Infinity ward is one of the bigger ones and they release a new COD roughly every two years. But yes, Activision is certainly pushing them.

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    3 years ago:

    is not infinity wards complete fault that this game is pretty much the same mw2, activision has ordered them to make a call of duty game per year, which leaves them without enough time and just spam

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Pros & Cons

Pros
  • If you've never played call of duty it'll be the most intense thing you'll ever experience
  • Balanced multiplayer
  • You never run out of things to shoot or blow up
Cons
  • The same as previous Call of Duties
  • Choppy animations of vehicles
  • Aged textures and looks
  • Over-dramatic storyline
  • An ending that leaves you asking "Was that it?"

Score

Graphics
7.5
Sound
8.0
Gameplay
6.0
Fun
7.0
Accessibility
8.0
Overall
7.3
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Date Added
3 years ago
Post Count
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