Developer: Infinity Ward/ Sledghammer Games
Genre: First Person Shooter
The story is like many you have heard before. An evil terrorist has turned the Russians against the Americans and in the process, caused world war three. Now it is up to a few British Spec Ops to stop the conflict and save humanity. Many have made the comparison that the Call of Duty campaigns are like movies from the director Michael Bay. (Famous for Bad Boys and Transformers) They're fast, frenetic, and they rake in tons of cash. However I think that the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 campaign has Micheal Bay and all other Call of Duty titles beat as far as freneticism is concerned. The campaign just never stops. You will be moving from ground wars, to on rails helicopter turret sequences, to driving miniature remote control tanks, to more turret sequences, all while watching major landmarks come tumbling to the ground. While this can lead to a lot of wow factor and pure unbridled fun, the fact that the game never lets you take a breather can lead to several moments where you either forget what country your character is in, forget what your mission objective is, or even forget what character you're playing as. All of these examples happened to me more than once and can really lead you to forget about the story and just shoot stuff, which isn't always a bad thing.
A little bit better than the story are the graphics. Unfortunately, I do mean just a little bit. The game doesn't look bad by any means, but it pales in comparison to a lot of other games that have come out recently. The series still looks like it hasn't gotten much of a boost since Call of Duty 4, but that is pretty understandable, considering that it runs beautifully at 60 frames per second. All of this is accompanied by very good sound design. The musical score matches the bombastic nature of the campaign and the guns sound as good as any other console shooter. The characters Captain Price and Soap sound as though they are voiced by the same person and a lot the voice acting tends to be a little bit flat in some of the more dramatic scenes, but luckily this game isn't really about story and the developers know it.
The best thing about the Call of Duty series is the gameplay. When Call of duty 4 came out, no game came even close to matching the control and overall feel of the Call of Duty games. Now I'm happy to report that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 has not changed the overall formula of it's control scheme, which honestly is the only way Infinity Ward could have messed up the game as a whole. The control scheme is still the best on consoles and once again lifts the rest of the game on it's shoulders.
However, there are some things that great controls can't fix. Call of Duty single player modes have gotten increasingly linear with each release. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is by far the most linear game of the series. It's clear that the developers want you to see every explosion (and there are a lot of them) that the game has to offer. While it's cool to have a feeling of freneticism that is brought on by explosions, it becomes a lot less cool when you are funneled into them. There is almost no choice in how you take on enemies in ground encounters and none at all when you are in an on rails turret sequence. (which there are tons of)
What makes up for the lack of a satisfying single player experience, are the multiplayer and co-op modes. The multiplayer is what you expect from Call of duty. You kill enemies to get XP, when you get XP you level up, when you level up you unlock guns, and when you unlock guns, you use them to kill more enemies, thus earning you more XP. The cyclical nature of the unlock system makes for a very addictive experience. Fans of the previous Call of Duty games (and there are a LOT of them) are probably wondering what is new in this installment of the series and the answer is just enough. The Folks at Infinity Ward have changed the way Killstreaks are done by giving the player a choice between three different strike packages. The first is called Assault; this strike package is exactly the same as the killstreaks from the previous games. These are mainly only helpful to the player using them. The second, the Support strike package, is meant to help your team as a whole with things like recon drones. These killstreaks do not reset after you die. The third is called Specialist. This one is easily the most selfish of the bunch, as it only effects the player. With this strike package, you unlock perks as you get kills. If you get 8 strait kills, you unlock every perk, making into the the most bad ass soldier on the battlefield. Along with this major change there have been a few smaller ones. Attachments are now unlocked by using the gun itself, instead of spending points and they have added a mode called Kill Confirmed, where the player has to kill enemies and then collect dog tags off of fallen enemies to score points. There is also the Spec Ops mode which is made up of co-op maps that are just as satisfyingly difficult as those of it's predecessor. As far as the changes are concerned, they have added matchmaking and a survival mode. Overall, the Gameplay extremely solid. The campaign kind of sucks, but the multiplayer more than makes up for it.
This games value is based on the individual who plays it. When I finished the single player, it barley broke the six hour mark on Hard. However, if you are someone who enjoys fun multiplayer shooters, this game has a wealth of modes and maps that have the potential to keep you hooked for a long time. (Just be prepared to shell out $15 for each map pack) The co-op modes are also fun, challenging, and add a lot to the overall experience.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is a very well made shooter. The campaign is overly linear and concludes what will go down as one of the most convoluted stories of any shooter this generation. However, the controls are once again impeccable, the multiplayer is even more addictive than before, due to it's new options for killstreaks and weapon modifications, and the new and slightly improved Spec Ops co-op mode all combine to create yet another impressive package.