Review by bbears
"After Black Ops this is a step backward."
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 8th COD game and has become a bit of polarizing fixture in the FPS community. The Call of Duty franchise has taken the Madden route and releases a game every year for the entirety of this console generation. 2010's release was COD: Black Ops, which was a major improvement for the franchise in almost every way. But to keep a COD game coming out every year Activision has two different studios developing separate games to give every game a two year cycle. The two companies alternate years and each have there own game engines. This means they don't share technology. So when Black Ops came out and was a big improvement over Modern Warfare 2, that means Modern Warfare 3 won't get the upgrade Black Ops got. This would be okay if they then upgraded the Modern Warfare engine. Instead Modern Warfare 3 has the same engine as Modern Warfare 2 and looks much worse than Black Ops. Graphics aren't everything but this is indicative of the effort put into this game. That said this game has sold record amount of units and is probably the most populous multiplayer shooter at any given time. In fact COD is now so popular that it is cool not to like it.
As I have already mentioned the graphics are not very impressive, especially for a game of this budget. The engine is 3 years old and has horrible textures. The low resolution and textures in addition the typical brown pallet of colors for these types games makes it look very muddy. After putting probably a 100+ hours into Black Ops this downgrade in the visuals is very noticeable and makes you wonder what they spent that 2 year cycle and all that money on. That said though the game does run very smoothly. This was probably a development decision to sacrifice the visuals for the mechanics. Which is a good decision but Black Ops manged to run without problems and looked much better. The sound quality is very good like all COD games. The voice acting is well done even if you won't care about it. All the guns explosions and other sound effects are top notch and have not suffered nor been upgraded.
Modern Warfare 3 has the typical layout and configuration for all COD games. Nothing new nothing taken out. The shooting and movement in COD has always been solid and is a big reason for it's success. Like always COD uses hit scanning and aim assist (not the kind you can turn off)for the online multiplayer. Some people are not a fan of these things and Modern Warfare 3 won't gain any new fans.
The story for Modern Warfare 2 made little sense and Modern Warfare 3 does little to clear all that up. You jump around from a couple different characters starting in the US as Russia invades and try to repel them. It quickly takes several different twists and turns, all completely ridiculous. All scenarios, characters, and themes are completely uninteresting and absurd
By far the worst of the series. The Modern Warfare series has always been known for scripted events and big set pieces. The first Modern Warfare did this well but was rather short. While Modern Warfare 2 story required a large suspension of disbelief it was very well paced and and the set pieces were executed and designed well. Modern Warfare 3 takes the scripted event idea too far. Large swaths of the game will require you to move simply forward and disregarding all enemies to advance. Then the game too frequently takes control out of your hands to show you some epic event. The problem is that the game is so over the top that they quickly become boring and even humorous. Also the campaign tries way to hard to convey emotions and fails horribly. Score 1/10
With the campaign being quite bad you might think thats OK COD is just about the competitive multiplayer. While I would disagree with as I have enjoyed past campaigns, I know many people feel this way. The multiplayer feels more like a large map expansion for MW2. Black Ops introduced some innovation with new modes and allowed you to purchase whatever weapon attachments whenever you like regardless of your level. MW2 stubbornly refuses these ideas. It really feels no different than MW2 and if you liked Black Ops then you probably won't want to go back to this formula. Also like all COD games, hit detection is done by hit scan. Score 7/10
One of the best parts of the last Modern Warfare was the new Special Ops mode. I was very happy to see that Special Ops mode was returning to Modern Warfare 3. There are not as many missions this time around but there is a new Survival mode. This mode is exactly what you think it is, a horde mode. While you might be sick of these types of modes with COD shooting mechanics this mode is a surprising amount of fun. The wave based combat has a limited amount of maps but manages to be addicting. I still would of rather had a few more Special Ops missions, including more stealth and Juggernauts missions but what is here is definitely the best part of the game. Score 8/10
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 feels like a recycled map pack and not a full $60 release that got two years of development. There are so many shooters out there why give money to such low effort big budget title?
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 05/29/12
Game Release: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (US, 11/08/11)
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