Not so long ago Modern Warfare burst onto the gaming scene and changed the face of FPS titles like nobody could have anticipated. Since then, Infinity Ward have been pushing on, trying to give gamers a more solid experience and bring something new to the table. With Modern Warfare 3, Activision have released a strange package – technically sound with some neat ideas, but just a bit familiar…
It’s a fairly commonly understood phenomenon that Call of Duty has become the multiplayer title of choice for a huge number of gamers. Therefore it makes sense to think that this would be the area that the development’s focus would lean towards, and to give IW credit there are some key changes which make the online side of MW3 far more accessible than before. The balance of power is still a little off-putting for new players, with higher ranked players having more toys to play with, more powerful guns and fancier perks, but there have been some important changes to give less able gamers a chance to have more fun than before. Kill streaks – those irritatingly powerful and helpful rewards for being good at the game – have had an overhaul. Instead of less successful players never getting to play with these extra gadgets, the new Strike Package system changes all that. Split into Assault and Support categories, the new system is far more newbie friendly with progress towards the Support toys (things like UAVs and armour drops) not getting cancelled when you get killed. While the Assault packages work as before (with a consecutive run of kills needed) this makes it much easier to sit back, pick off the occasional kill and still help your team out with tactical aid even if you’re sat at the bottom of the leaderboard with 3 kills and 31 deaths. In addition to that, carrying out objectives in Domination and Headquarters modes also counts towards your packages, so you can even call in some support without killing anyone.
This sounds like a small change when everything else except the maps is essentially the same, but add in a few extra challenges which will help you rank up and things start to pick up. As mentioned before, it is still balanced heavily in favour of the obsessives, and it does feel very similar to MW2 (and, I suppose, COD4), but spend a bit more time with it and it’s very easy to see how people get addicted. For me, I’d still favour Battlefield 3’s multiplayer for depth and teamwork, but for fast-paced action with more toys and gadgets than an average Bond film, this is the place for you.
But what about that oft-forgotten single player campaign? This time round sees the storyline trying to go even bigger and better than before. There are a series of huge plot revealing moments, and as the game presses on you get a feeling of the huge urgency and importance of what you’re doing on the battlefield. Leaping round the world to fill various people’s shoes is nothing new in Modern Warfare titles, neither are air support and sneaking sections, but all return here with good results. The missions themselves are obviously different to what’s gone before and the story itself is pretty solid, but it just feels like everything has happened before. The visuals are much of a muchness, and there’s nothing new to make you sit up and think you’re playing anything special. It’s an enjoyable campaign, make no mistake about it, but it’s not the kind of thing to make you play through more than once. All things considered, if you’re not interested in playing this online then you’ve got a very hard decision to make with so many excellent single player titles currently available.
Which leaves us in a bit of a pickle. If you fancy a bit of fast-paced shooting then it’s definitely the best experience you’ll get, but take away the multiplayer modes and you’re not left with a lot. The problem with that is if you’re not willing to be patient online, and don’t like the idea of finishing near the bottom of your team for a few hours until you unlock some better kit then you really won’t get on with the multiplayer. It all boils down to patience, and if you can keep with it and don’t prefer the idea of the slightly less insane Battlefield 3, then you’ll feel right at home. Those of you after something a little more measured however, might want to leave this alone and head to Battlefield instead.
Modern Warfare 3 is a good game, there’s no doubting that. But we desperately need something new next time round.
Reviewed on PS3
No mention of spec ops? It’s something for those too intimidated by the online MP. i’LL BE TAKING A CLOSE LOOK AT THE SUPPORT PACKAGE THAT YOU MENTIONED IN THE REVIEW.
To be totally honest, I didn’t get chance to try it out during the review – I’ll have a bash with someone and add it to the review later 🙂
Whoops sorry about caps lock!
Do you know how garbage this game is. I have a over 400 hrs played of this game. For them too delete my hours played and take all the top ten in every leaderboard off with no sort of message or notification on how this has happened or when this is going to be fixed. Everyone has called activision, headquarters and talked to infinityward on twitter. We spent so much money on the game and the elite system to be shafted from this game. Its been five days with no answers, no reply on when things are going to be fixed. Activision customer support supervisior told me it was not activisions job to release they have been hacked. Infinity ward is in control of releasing that kind of information. Why play a game when you have devoted your time into just to get shafted and everything to be delete. This is the worst game and has the worst costumer servicer. I wouldnt recommend this game or the elite to anyone!!!!