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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Infinity Ward / Sledgehammer Games

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

November 8, 2011

 

 

- Great set piece moments in the campaign
- Spec Ops mode
- New refinements such as killstreak rewards and new modes to online play make this the best COD game yet

 

 

- Campaign can feel exhaustive and overwhelming at times
- Overall, the game feels too similar to past titles
- Graphics engine is starting to show its age a bit

 

 

Review: Resistance 3 (PS3)

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3)

Review: Dead Island (360)

 

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Call of Duty:

Modern Warfare 3

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

modern warfare 3          modern warfare 3

 

For the past six or seven years, the gaming community’s come to expect a new iteration of Call of Duty each holiday Season. Each release of the series seems to break sales records and Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) is no different. Having already sold six million copies to date, there seems to be no end in sight for the series. Regardless of sales figures, many gamers feel the series has grown tiresome and stale. In addition to that, Electronic Arts left a great impression last year with Battlefield Bad Company 2 and this year sees Battlefield 3 being released alongside MW3. And though MW3 packs a lot of content, the overall feel of the game will be

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familiar territory to a lot of people.

 

MW3’s story continues from where the previous game left off. The Russian Ultranationalist Vladmir Makarov is still at large and plotting attacks against America and her Allies. Meanwhile, a full blown out war has erupted between the US and Russia that sees New York be the epicenter of the conflict

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between the two nations. The game’s story has a nice variety of locales including Western Europe, East and West Africa and India. MW3 does it’s best to tug at the heart strings of the player by bringing the war to the doorsteps of the west by having America and Western Europe in ruins and under attack by Russian forces. Keeping in line with previous titles in the series, you’ll play multiple characters in the game including an American Delta Force Operator, British SAS Soldier and an Ex-Russian Spetnaz Soldier. LIke any Call of Duty game, you’ll also control several vehicles throughout the campaign.

 

The game’s story clocks in around 6 hours or so on Regular Difficulty. Some may complain that this maybe too short, but I was actually satisfied with the length of the campaign. In fact, at times, I felt numb playing through some of the game’s story. While every mission in the game has at least one amazing moment that will make you say”holy shit!”; almost all levels play out the exact same. You basically go from point A to B and kill wave after wave of enemies who seem to infinitely respawn with lots of exploding set pieces planted along the way. The pacing of the game never seems to ease up and the campaign feels like a giant tribute to action director Michael Bay.

 

Spec Ops mode returns from Modern Warfare 2 with one new addition: Survival Mode. Survival Mode can be played solo or with another person and the main objective is to fight against waves and waves of enemy soldiers with the sole purpose of seeing how many waves you can withstand. Each wave gets progressively harder with attack choppers, dogs and juggernauts being thrown into the mix. As you kill enemies you earn cash which can be spent on weapons and support items in between each wave. The Survival Mode is a great addition and a lot of fun.

 

modern warfare 3         modern warfare 3

 

The online play is pretty similar to previous titles. The online play could easily be mistaken as an expansion pack rather than a full blown sequel. There are some new modes and gameplay tweaks to the multiplayer. Kill Confirmed and Team Defender are the two new modes which have been added to the online play and they are both a blast to play.

 

Kill Confirm is a new take on Team Deathmatch. Every time you kill an enemy, they will drop a pair of dog tags that you must retrieve to confirm your kill. You can also deny an enemy kill by retrieving your teammates dog tags. This new mode feels like a cat and mouse game as players use the dog tags as bait to expose a hidden enemy. I was always careful when approaching a pair of dog tags as an enemy could be lurking around the corner waiting. It is truly engaging and feels like a breath of fresh air compared to Team Deathmatch. Team Defender sees two teams fight over control over a flag. The team that holds the flag for the longest wins. I preferred Kill Confirm over Team Defender, but both modes are terrific additions.

 

Killstreaks have also seen some change in the online play. Killstreaks have now taken the form of what’s called “Strike Packages”. You have the option of choosing between different strike packages to suit your playing style. Whether you’re a lone wolf or a team player, the game tries to make you feel you are contributing to your team. All these refinements to the game really make this the best Call of Duty game to date. 

 

One of this year’s most touted features is the Call of Duty Elite Service. Elite provides a ridiculous statistical breakdown of your performance, provides first access to DLC as well as a slew of other features. Unfortunately at the time of this review, there appeared to be some issues connecting to the Call of Duty Elite Service. Activision has put out a statement saying they are working on resolving the issue and the reason for the problem is due to the large number of gamers trying to access the service.

 

The visuals in MW3 look fairly similar to past game’s in the series. The game still runs at a beautiful sixty frames per second and is still capable of having so many things occur on screen at once. There’s also a number of moments in the campaign that still show the graphical prowess of the engine, however, in some areas MW3 is starting to show it’s age. While it’s by no means an ugly looking game, the visuals haven’t come a long ways since the last Modern Warfare game. There are also a few graphical glitches such as characters clipping through the environment and texture pop in, but they are rare occurrences. 

 

The Hardened Edition retails for $100.00 and comes with a few extra features. Included in the box is a years membership of Call of Duty Elite, a field journal full of sketches and drawings and a special case for the game. The hardened edition is a great value for those planning on spending many months with the online play. 

 

Some will be disappointed by the fact that MW3 is not a drastic departure from previous iterations of the series and that is a very valid criticism. MW3 still offers so much content and still proves to be one of the best online experiences around. MW3 is a game that will certainly keep you busy until next year’s release.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(November 30, 2011)

 

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