The Call of Duty franchise has seen great success over the years especially since Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare when it was released back in 2007. Since the series shifted to modern times the games have immersed players with their adrenaline filled campaigns, amazing set pieces and addictive online multiplayer. The formula hasn’t changed since then but it hasn’t had to because that’s what has made the franchise so popular. In comes Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 which was developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games. It’s the final installment in the series and is supposed to wrap up the events of first two Modern Warfare games. Does this latest iteration go out with a bang? Read the review to find out.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3’s campaign continues right after the events of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. Vladamir Makarov is the main threat and is looking to cause global chaos and destruction once again. You take control of several soldiers throughout the campaign in search of Makarov. You visit areas such as, New York City, London, Prague, Berlin and Paris. Making their return are SAS Cpt. John Price and Cpt. John Soap MacTavish as they are on the run after killing the corrupt Lt. General Shepherd. Most of the time you are participating in intense on foot firefights. You will also take control of a Jeep, a fighter plane and even provide remote air support. The player is further immersed thanks to some great set pieces. The Campaign takes about 5 1/2 hours to complete. It’s an intense and exciting thrill ride but one that’s over far too quickly which is a major disappointment. For an even greater challenge try playing the game on the Hardened and Veteran difficulties. My two major gripes with the game are the infinitely spawning enemies and their dumb A.I. Enemies will keep respawning until I reach a certain checkpoint. An enemy will charge at me while holding a weapon with no regard to his safety. You have your usual assortment of weapons at your disposal such as, an M4A1 with Hybrid Sight, XM25, Desert Eagle, M14 EBR Scoped, USP .45, etc.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 uses the old graphics engine from past games but that’s not a bad thing. The game still looks really good. They are somewhat of an improvement when compared to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. Character models look good. Set pieces and explosions are amazing as usual. Buildings will get destroyed. One hectic moment sees you while you’re in a fighter plane as it’s about to crash-land. Another scenario has you underwater as you are about to get inside a submarine. There is an impressive firefight in a city while it gets destroyed. Moments such as those look really good. Firefights look as intense ever. Water effects are well done as are the smoke and fire effects. Lighting and shadows are impressive as well. The PC version does look better than the PS3 and XBOX 360 versions because of the ability of having a higher resolution and advanced graphical options. I was able to run the game with the detail settings set to extra and there was no slowdown whatsoever. The game utilizes the MW3 Engine (IW 5.0 Engine). Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is the first installment in the series to have support for color-blind gamers. Despite the old graphics engine Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 still looks pretty impressive.
The audio department is equally as impressive. Actors such as, Idris Alba, William Fichtner, Timothy Olyphant, Bill Murray and Kevin McKidd lend their voice work for the game which are all well done. Brian Tyler composed the musical score which was then recorded by a symphony orchestra. Weapon sounds are even better than those in previous iterations in the series thanks to an upgrade in sound effect. The sound of crumbling buildings and explosions are top-notch. Your ears will ring with the impact of a grenade. A decent speaker setup will further immerse players into the game’s audio department.
Of course Call of Duty wouldn’t be complete without online multiplayer and there is where the game shines once again. You have killstreaks and perks. Leveling up gives you the ability to unlock weapons. Weapons can be upgraded as well. Killstreaks have been balanced out while still rewarding various player types. You have a Support Strike Package. This is great for those who don’t go on huge killstreaks or don’t keep up with kill and death ratios. Less seasoned players can still compete. The focus on offense isn’t as a great as it is in the Assault Package, however kills do carry over between spawns. Staples in the series such as, Deathmatch and Capture the Flag make their return. There is a new mode this time around that is called Kill Confirmed. It helps to change things up a bit because in order to get points not only do you need to perform a kill but you also need to collect the tag. Tags can be used to lure enemies as well. With Team Defender each team needs to hold on to the flag as long as possible. Overall there are 16 varied maps. You also have Spec Ops which is split into sub modes: Challenge and Survival. In challenge Mode you have several missions that are taken from the Campaign with some added twists. They can be played solo or co-op. Some of these missions are timed as well. In Survival Mode you face waves upon waves of enemies that get increasingly more difficult as your progress. New to the series is a service called Call of Duty: Elite. It is a free/subscription based system that is utilized for the game’s multiplayer aspect. The free version features lifetime statistics and social networking. The subscription version features DLC, competitions for prizes, pro analysis, etc. It costs $49.99 per year. Unfortunately, the PC version of the service has yet to be released.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was an awesome game. It does a great job of wrapping up the events of the first two games in the series. The story was good. I enjoyed playing the Campaign Mode although it was too short. Respawning enemies was annoying as was the dumb enemy A.I. at times. The game still looks good despite using an old graphics engine. The voice work is well done. Weapon sounds were upgraded which is a huge plus. The game’s musical score was impressive. The game’s set pieces and huge firefights are still intense and adrenaline filled as ever. Online multiplayer is engaging and addicting. New modes like Kill Confirmed and Team Defender help to keep things fresh to go along with the 16 varied maps. Survival and Challenge mode are hectic and fun. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was one of the best games that I played this year and is the best installment in the series.