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Modern Warfare 3
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
 
Developer:
Infinity Ward & Sledgehammer Games
 
Publisher:
Activision
 
Release Date:
8/11/2011
 
Genre:
FPS
 
Available On:
PS3, Xbox 360, PC
 
Official Website
 
 

Score: 4.5 / 5

Lots of reviews for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are already available, but it would be irresponsible for Drop Bear Gaming to not do the same.  Over the past 48 hours since its release, I’ve had the luxury to sit down with the Single Player campaign, Spec Ops, and Multiplayer.

Campaign:

Let’s get something straight – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 left a bitter taste in my mouth.  Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was an unbelievable game for the series – and for its time – I just loved it (like a lot of people did).  So then they did the sequel that is MW2, and it was really… well, boring.  So…. one of your men ended up being the enemy after all, and you had to massacre people in Zachaev Airport which got people talking/whinging/thinking of the children, and the last few moments were all done in slow motion to save the day because you were almost dead yourself. 

Don’t get me wrong, seeing The White House in its final state and playing alongside Captain Price (voiced by Billy Murray) again just like in “All Ghillied Up” was a nice element.  Actually, that was my favourite thing about MW2.  It just wasn’t enough, and Call of Duty: Black Ops was welcome into my house anytime, and to be honest it still is.  The trailers for Modern Warfare 3 were still not convincing enough for me, but it’s Call of Duty, right?  You have to play the next Call of Duty!  I’m also a sucker for sequels at the best of times, and see where the story leads again.

Enough history! I was pleasantly surprised with how MW3 was playing out when I started the campaign. The first mission plays through Manhattan, New York, in utter turmoil fighting your way through to the Stock Exchange building in Wall Street;  the only protesters around are the Russians whom you basically fight through the whole game. Your old friend Makarov is essentially why you do it, and why game unfolds.

As you go through the campaign, more globe trekking occurs in Africa, Paris and Berlin.  Knowing how much fun the missions with Captain Price were in the previous two games, MW3 rewards you with several more to do.  I loved this.  Our old friend Soap MacTavish (Kevin McKidd) also joins you for the ride.  Flashbacks to previous games and seeing things as/after they occurred then are also a nice touch, although you don’t really get to replay through any old moments.  It was less predictable, to say the least.  Even for a sequel.

The campaign has 16 missions in total.  I completed the game on Rookie and it took me a total of about 6-7 hours.  Seriously, that ‘grenade’ icon really needs more attention at times.  Checkpoints were extremely generous.  I might exaggerate a little when I say Checkpoint Reached appeared almost every 5 seconds, but this was brilliant.  It really would have saved so much time.  The AI is probably the best I’ve encountered, and I rarely got caught between other soldiers and never encountered a glitch where a checkpoint had to be reloaded.  A few parts were tricky, especially towards the end, and sometimes the objectives were not as clear as I hoped.  If anything a tip I found with breaching rooms; start shooting from the right and work your way left.

The missions might feel short, but you get your worth from each.  Some are more intensive than others – not just with the combat – seeing WW3 unravel (as the trailer hints at) had some jaw-dropping moments, and no mercy is shown.   Note: Davis Family Vacation.  Oh yeah, the very final mission is worth it, just to see your attire *grin*.

On a side note, there were some parallels I found in the story writing perhaps similar to events of World War II.  This occurs with being in Paris, a Russian resistance, going to Berlin, etc.  Although it was subtle, it gave me the same humbling feeling I had with Black Ops; storytelling based on actual events that sound convincing enough to actually happen.  Having buildings and landmarks faithfully recreated helped too.  Leave your thoughts below.

The campaign MW3 is incredible, and I loved it.  It made me wish even more so that MW2 didn’t exist, but it completely makes up for it.  It is well worth the play through, even if you are glued to Battlefield 3 right now – and I agree that BF3 is visually more realistic.  Nonetheless, MW3 plays great, sounds great and it is a story worth hearing.  When you’re done, sit through the massively long list of credits – there are so many names listed!  They deserve the time.  It was very nice to see special thanks given to Treyarch.  Good lads.

Spec Ops:

Another component of MW2 that resurfaces is Spec Ops, but this time with a little bit more.  Spec Ops now includes Survival Mode, so please bring a friend!  I managed to survive solo up until wave 7, and then 2 chopper gunners appeared and it was all over.   In Survival, each kill grants money to use between waves to purchase/upgrade weapons.  You know how it is.

Tip: For the “Jack the Ripper” achievement, play on Rookie for the first Spec Ops level and just knife every guy you see, regardless of them shooting you. 

Spec Ops also has the mission based levels again, and the dreaded training level first up.  However I found some difficulties that I hope get patched.  Sometimes it would load, then return to the main screen saying that connection had been lost with the Modern Warfare 3 servers – why that should matter when I am playing solo, I have no idea.  Also some of the targets wouldn’t generate when an area was clear, so I had to fail the mission to start again.  Be mindful of this.  Nothing new here, still the same partial missions, time based, and sometimes played in reverse roles to the campaign.  Oh yeah, Juggernauts.  You know… those bastards…..

Multiplayer:

Ugh.  Where do I start?  What isn’t wrong with it?  It simply is MW2.1 – a rehashed version of the MP in MW2.  The menus look the same, the sounds are the same, and the ranking-up system is the same.  It’s also rubbish.  I don’t like it, and I’ll be damned if I have to put myself through a K/D Ratio of 0.1 just to level up enough to unlock the Hardcore game modes.  I don’t like peewee (Core) modes at all, yet each game is spawn, die, spawn, die, spawn, run, no way man! I shot him in th– die, spawn, die.  Core makes no sense to me.

Even with a Call of Duty Elite membership (included with the Hardened Edition) that grants two hours of Double XP, and I’m pretty sure it hints that Map Packs will be free when available (or discounted); it still doesn’t enhance the experience.  Lucky it is included in the cost, otherwise for $70.00 per year, I’d be pissed off.

I won’t be surprised if the lobbies end up being the hacked joke we all know and don’t love.  Oh but I hear that Last Chance/Final Stand and Commando have been taken out of the perks list.  If you’ll play anything multiplayer out of the two games, pick Battlefield 3.

At least for the campaign, thank you Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games and Activision.


 
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Lucas
The Podfather/Convo Controller
Super salesman by day, Batdad and Gamersutra by night. As a self-confessed technology pacifist, he prefers to sit on the console-war fence and play games on his PC.
Matt
PlayStation Fanboy/Motormouth
Electrician by trade and yet also highly skilled at finding time to game around work and family commitments. A PlayStation fanboy with a platinum count and obvious podcast bias to prove it. Thinks DC is clearly superior to Marvel. Has been known to rant.
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Started in January 2011 by brothers Lucas and Matt, Drop Bear Gaming has been operating for over 7 years offering a fresh and relaxed perspective on the video game industry. The website is a passion project more than anything and it is our distinct pleasure to continue bringing entertainment to our listeners and viewers.

The guys release a podcast episode every two to three weeks and over the years they have welcomed guests from developers, publishers, and other gaming outlets onto the show.

Disclaimer: From time to time Drop Bear Gaming receives copies of games for review in either physical or digital format from publishers or their associated PR companies. All reviews are based on the merits of each game on their own. Whether or not we were supplied the copy is not taken into account when compiling our reviews.

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