Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 hit shelves on November 8, 2011 and instantly bested the Call of Duty record for copies sold in one day. The game was so hotly anticipated it was the subject of EBay bids and brazen robberies on the streets of France. Can a franchise with millions of eyes on it deliver across the board? In a word, yes.
Check out the launch trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Check out screenshots from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
It’s World War 3, all orchestrated by Makarov. Literally beginning after the events that ending Modern Warfare 2, you instantly find yourself protecting New York City from Russian forces. You’re forced to retake Wall Street and the stock exchange before linking up with some NAVY Seals to hit the Hudson River.
Before long we’re linking back up with the disavowed Task Force 141, finding Soap in a bad way after his injuries from Modern Warfare 2. Price is on a mission to take out Makarov and do so without any support from the governments involved in the war. The ability of Price, Soap and newcomer Yuri to stop a war and take out Makarov are the driving force behind the game, with Delta Force members Frost and Sandman playing key roles as well.
As with any Call of Duty, the set pieces and cinematic nature of the campaign take on a life of their own. From New York to London to Paris, the game is beautiful its scope and scenery. The shocking moments we’ve come to expect from the Modern Warfare series in particular are ramped up, as one incident you will come across with Big Ben in the background will shake you to your emotional core.
The campaign puts an end to the issues that started four years ago with the original Modern Warfare, which boosted the Call of Duty name into the mainstream. It is an emotional ride throughout, as by now most have become attached to Soap and Price. The conclusion of their story does not disappoint, it only leaves you wanting to relive it.
The Mecca of FPS online gaming is back with improvements. New modes, kill streak load outs and weaponry take the franchise and move it forward.
Kill Confirmed, a variation of Team Deathmatch in which you have to collect the dog tags of your victims is a great new mode for those that like to run and gun without having to worry about campers and snipers from what seems like 1000 yards deep. It’s an enjoyable mode for people that just want to have a blast online without getting too competitive.
The kill streak load outs have changed drastically, now allowing players to choose from “Strike Packages” consisting of Assault (Your typical kill streaks – Kill as many people as possible), Support (Streak continues through death, allows you to help your team with your rewards) and Specialist (Gives a strike chain, allowing you to have multiple perks as you take out more enemies.) These packages really change the flow of the game depending on the mode you’re using. For mission-based objectives, such as Domination or Headquarters, it behooves the player to use either Specialist or Support to gain an advantage in completing the goal.
The multiplayer flows better this time around as well. The maps are expansive, rarely bottling players up in one area for a free reign of bloodshed. The vast amount of game modes give something for everyone and the ability to switch off if one mode just isn’t working for you on any given evening.
The theater mode allows you to watch back previous matches to improve your game, capture hilarious screenshots and upload them, using the new Call of Duty Elite service. The possibilities are endless in terms of the sheer amount of ridiculousness I expect from screenshots hitting the Internet.
From top to bottom, this is the most balanced multiplayer experience in the Call of Duty franchise history. There is something for everyone and you don’t need to be a professional. If you are a professional, there’s something for you as well. It works and flows so smoothly it’s almost impossible not to enjoy it.
Spec Ops, the mode first delivered in Modern Warfare 2, is back, with a multiplayer twist. The standard ops are included to be played solo or with a friend, but where Spec Ops really shines is the new Survival mode. Many people have become accustomed to the Zombies mode in the Treyarch produced title in the Call of Duty series. Spec Ops Survival puts a real world spin on being able to survive wave after wave of enemies.
You and your partner will start off with a handgun against a wave of enemies equipped with shotguns. After defeating them you will unlock various munitions crates to upgrade weapons, grab explosives or air support. The waves get bigger and better, with assault rifle toting enemies, enemies strapped with C4, choppers and more coming to end your run.
Pro tip: Save your money and take the guns of your downed enemies. It allows you to spend more on big explosions and air support, which you’ll need.
There is a reason that Activision sold 6.5 million copies of this game on day one. It’s not just marketing, it’s quality. When other games and companies are gunning for your crown, you either fight harder or you cede the battle. Activision, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games have fought harder to produce not just a game, but an experience.
After the events at Infinity Ward following the release of Modern Warfare 2, many people wondered what was ahead for the studio and how the pairing with Sledgehammer would work out in the end. From the finished product, it’s safe to say two heads are better than one as the teams produced an epic campaign alongside an improved multiplayer and innovative Spec Ops Survival mode.
When masked men use tear gas to steal copies of your game, a 2-day event can be built around it and you sell nearly $400 million worth of product on day one, you did something not just right, but spectacular.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, as an emotional climax to the series, is just that: Spectacular.
Author’s Note: Activision provided a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for review. My review reflects an unbiased look at the game from top to bottom.
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