Modern Warfare 3 Is ‘An Un-Game With A Core Of Nastiness’

Modern Warfare 3 Is ‘An Un-Game With A Core Of Nastiness’

I’ve just this minute finished the singleplayer campaign for Modern Warfare 3. It leaves a very bitter taste at its climax. But perhaps not the same bitter taste that flavours it throughout. It is an enormously high-achieving action FPS, on a scale like nothing before it, turned to 11. And it’s a bloodthirsty, bombastic and clumsy un-game, with a core of nastiness.

Clearly I’m getting old. I feel like someone’s gran who’s wandered in on an action movie, and can’t understand why anyone would want to sit through so much noise. But clearly people do. An enormous number of people. It is clearly the thing that most people most want from their games, if the extraordinary sales are to be understood. And yes, of course, most of those people intend for it to be a multiplayer game, but there is no questioning that this is the accompanying single-player that’s expected and desired by the largest number of players.

And Infinity Ward are incredibly good at it. While the game is riddled with bugs, clipping, AI issues and especially on PC, a litany of crashes and conflicts, despite all this, the achievement is remarkable. It is a non-stop barrage of enormousness, each level trying to outdo the last for scale, magnitude and destruction. When the collapse of the Eiffel Tower is a side-note in your world tour of explosions, you’ve gone all the way up the bombasto-meter and lit up the prize sign reading “!!!MICHAEL BAY!!!”. Despite an engine that’s creaking at the edges, and a weirdly washed-out pastel world, there’s enough artistry in the design of the demolition that its sense of scale is undeniable, and often breathtaking. Boring as all hell, but undeniable.

Playing the familiar characters from the Modern Warfare series, along with new-boy, Yuri, a dissident Russian, as tradition dictates you skip between characters and countries at a ferocious rate. I didn’t finish MW2, because no one was paying me to, so I really have no idea where the story begins here. It certainly doesn’t make an effort to catch anyone up, and you’re supposed to rush in pre-armed with all the plot information you’d require. Let me help: Russian terrorists trying to take over the world. There’s some Russian guy your team really hates, and then, er, that’s it. At some point it becomes about trying to stop the baddies blowing up the entire world with nuclear missiles (which you can’t help but think would a. be the largest scene of explosions the game could offer, and b. set the series up for moving to its inevitable post-apocalyptic future once IW get fed up of near-future war, but sadly you obviously prevent). And then it’s about rescuing the Russian President and his screamy daughter. And killing that other guy.

It’s not as if the game is dismissive of plot, by the way. It has an enormous amount of it, shouted at you in extensive cutscenes between levels, and then played out in the endless stream of scripted sequences throughout. It’s just that it’s a bloody terrible plot, written with all the thrill of a seven year old playing with his toy plane, train and boat as they career inevitably toward smashing into each other. Dialogue is beyond parody in its cliche awfulness. We’re getting our mission details. Where are we heading?

“What’s the location?”

“Brooklyn Battery Tunnel”

“I thought it collapsed?”

“It DID.”

While the ceaselessly shouted lines ensure everything sounds ridiculous in its desperate attempt at pompous severity. I think perhaps it bottoms out with, “You destroy your enemies when you make friends with them.” Bleaurgh.

But following the series before it, and the spate of copycat attempts to cash in on this enormous success, it is the crowned king of the follow-em-up genre. While the game isn’t bad, like the awful Medal Of honour reboot, nor the laughably terrible Homefront, it is a special achievement in ensuring you never, ever feel like you’re really playing.

Videogames often allow us to live out fantasies, to be who we could never be with our saggy, regular-person frames and lives. A soldier fighting in a near-future war, with access to the finest in military hardware? Maybe I could be the squad leader? Maybe I could be the hero? Maybe I could be the one who’s allowed to open doors? But no, of course not, you are — as ever — the grunt, being barked at throughout, forced to do whatever the game/game characters tell you to, which is usually to sweep up after them and the party they’re having in front.

It fascinates me that this is the successful formula, the secret behind being the biggest FPS series of all time. It turns out people don’t want to be that hero at the forefront, making glorious decisions and bravely leading the way. They want to be the nobody who can only ever do what he’s told, and that’s on the rare occasions when he’s actually able to control himself. This game has the word “follow” on screen almost as often as it doesn’t. It floats above the head of whomever it is you’re with, ensuring you know your place, which is never to be in front, never to pick the direction, never to make a tactical decision. You follow. It says so.

In fact Modern Warfare 3 seems to make special effort, more-so than ever before, to literally shove you out of the way if you ever get ideas above your station. Realise you’re going through that open tunnel next, because there’s nowhere else to go? Just try it. The NPCs immediately barge you out of the way, bumping you to the back of the line, like the bigger kids in the dinner queue, making sure they leave you only the cabbage. Reach a closed door, and you’ll have to wait for everyone else to get there to open it for you, because you are below the status of someone who can open doors, and you should bloody well know it. Get to the back, shoot the baddies that are left over when the game people have had their fun, and shut up. There’s one level, halfway through the game, where you’re literally told every single move you make. “Jump over this! Crawl here! Stand still! Drop down under there! Wait by this door!” It’s like the world’s worst tutorial escaped, grew sentient, and programmed itself into the bulk of the game.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Irregularly, despite the “follow” instruction floating above your companion, it’s actually not going to progress any further until you walk through the invisible trip-wire that triggers the next event. So trained are you to never dare pioneer a move that you’ll often sit there shooting a comically infinite supply of enemies until you realise, for once, you’re supposed to disobey the rule in order to trip that script. At which point your padres will charge ahead of you once more, just in case there’s fun to be had. But for the most part, run ahead and the game will instantly murder you for your ghastly nihilism.

Often as I played I would comment out loud to the characters, “Hey, can I have a go with that?” as they use some massive weapon to saw down a door, or perform a splendid move to take out an enemy. Heck, they even get to use their hands to smoothly vault objects, while I must just Mario-boing my way over the walls with the spacebar once they’ve gone ahead. On the rare occasions when it’s your turn to do something crazy, like open a door, it’s because the game wants to force one of its irregular, and very peculiar, moments when everything goes slo-mo and you have to shoot all the baddies in the head before your superpower runs out. So I guess it’s cool you have an involuntary, very occasional superpower.

Another thought that kept coming to me as I played was the memory of how the phrase “scripted sequences” used to be spat out with such disdain when it came to the FPS genre. Like QTEs, no one liked them, but every developer included them, and we’d all grumble in commentary that the game was fine, but spoiled things with too many scripted sequences. But Modern Warfare 3 is about seven hours of scripted sequences, occasionally broken up by the odd burst of first-person shooter. That’s not my being facetious, that’s what this is. And those few gaps are actually pretty good! It’s shooting gallery run-n-gunning, but it’s fun, because in those moments you actually feel as though you’re the one playing. But they’re few. Did we all stop minding that when I wasn’t paying attention?

And so on it goes, with uninterrupted noise. Noise, noise, noise, as everyone alive bellows everything said, while everything inanimate blows up or falls over. Main characters expectedly die in what were clearly supposed to be dramatic scenes, but instead just become unfortunate comedy as the grunting actors attempt pathos, and all the while civilians are slaughtered for your viewing entertainment. Because more than anything, it’s nasty. It’s nasty in an unsubtle, barely-even-insidious way, where chest-thumping, log-dragging bloodlust and gruesome revenge are saluted like a flag. Yes, there’s the scene where a little girl gets eviscerated so we can all remember that war is tough on the kids or something, but actually that’s just the least subtle of a constant theme, where the game takes away your controls and makes you watch as innocents are murdered. You’re maintaining cover. You’re obeying orders. You’re dazed. Whatever the script says, it makes sure you can’t turn the camera away, removes your ability to use guns, holds your eyes open Clockwork Orange style, and has you watch.

But masterfully. There are non-stop glitches, characters running on the spot, doing crazy dances, entire squads becoming hell-bent on murdering a lamppost, but really the entire game is a spectacular effort. This is clearly the work of enormously talented game creators. It’s paced such that you always find yourself embedded in the next stretch of action, compelled to continue, to see what will blow up or fall down next. (Although this is partly due to the enormously stupid decision to refuse saves the ability to recognise checkpoints.

The checkpoints are regular, and exquisitely well placed, but for some inexplicable reason you cannot save-and-quit and then return to one. It’s start the entire mission over, soldier, because you dared to stop playing. Which also becomes a problem with its propensity to crash — something that seems more ironed out since the latest update. Oh, and while I’m on that, there’s also no option to create profiles, so want to play through the game alternating with a friend/relative, etc? Well tough.)

This is the Michael Bay/Roland Emmerich film of gaming, and as such it’s going to be derided by critics like me for being an endless stream of ideologically unsophisticated bombast and roaring, while adored by a legion of consumers who just want some brainless fun. Except, the thing is, I love brainless fun, and as much as I recognised the craft and success that had gone into this game, I absolutely hated it.

It’s a game that really didn’t seem to want me to be playing it, far preferring that its own characters enjoy themselves. It feels like it resents being played, and to get its passive-aggressive revenge, it’s going to make sure you know what fun you’re missing out on. Oh, and make sure you watch as lots of civilians get shot in the face while you’re holding a weapon that could prevent it, because YOU MUST KNOW THAT DEATHS WILL HAPPEN FOR THE GREATER GOOD. Except that greater good here appears to be the revenge of the few characters IW let live this far through. Which while hardly shocking or offensive, is in fact just nasty.

John Walker is a writer for Rock Paper Shotgun, one of the world’s best sites for PC gaming news. John is Britain’s leading adventure gaming specialist. Follow him on Twitter.

Republished with permission.


    • Agreed. Good article. Usually any Kotaku US articles about MW come with some heavy Kotick fellatio. Nice to finally see an opposing article to balance out the view.

      Even if this article did just tear MW3’s heart out, stamp on it and piss in its eyesocket.

        • Not at all, I quite actually LIKE the single player campaigns in COD4 and MW2. I felt MW3’s campaign was empty and boring. Im no CoD multiplayer gamer and don’t get into that side of CoD alas. However I do love the BF multiplayer but think the campaign in BF3 was shockingly lame.

          Unless you’ve skipped the last three months, every article from Kotaku US has been campaigning for you to LOVE LOVE LOVE MW3.

          So this is you: “I will without knowledge of wtf Im talking about deride this person!”

          This is me: “Whatever buddy. Dumbass.”

          • Actually, I was replying to Reign but hey I’ll take the time to reply to you.

            While it’s true there haven’t been any COD bashing articles until now, seems like 75% of the comments on every article about MW3 have been people saying “LALALALA I’M BUYING BF3 COD SUCKS” and without the context that you only gave in your reply to me, you sounded a bit like that actually, implying that it was a good article because it gave an alternative point of view, rather than because it was good on it’s own merit.

            So yeah, I thought you were biased and then you turned out to be a dick instead.

        • nah this article was polite, no eye gouging or urination.

          Now if this was Yahtzee over at Escapist you would have necrophilia on a scale never seen before.

  • Woah one of the first critic reviews that points this out. I’d like to like CoD but the points made here are why I can’t. The ‘everything sounds ridiculous in its desperate attempt at pompous severity’ bit is especially true.

    I don’t condemn people for liking it, but it’s really not for me.

    • The thing is though, this isn’t one of those “don’t play it if you don’t like it” things. You shouldn’t respect people for loving it and buying it every year, because this franchise is literally killing creativity in the entire medium.

      There’s too much money in videogames now because of this one. EA is forcing all games to carry a multiplayer mode now because of the success of Call Of Duty. Ubisoft now has yearly iterations of Assassin’s Creed because it has seen the money COD has brought in by doing the same. Every recent and future first person shooter had, at least at one stage, an RPG style multiplayer deathmatch progression system in its planning stages, because if you don’t, well then nobody will play your game.

      It’s not wise to ignore this sort of thing because you don’t like it. You need to object to its current existence in every way you can. You need to let yourself be heard, and more articles like this need to be written. Without them, there will truly be no creativity left in the industry before too long, it won’t be able to afford it.

      • There was never that much creativity in the video game industry to begin with. There’s only so much creativity that can be handled before you end up with games that are truly interesting and original but simply not fun.

        And it’s always been this way “the video game industry’s dying, there’s no creativity because my character doesn’t walk upside down and resemble a half-man half-ostriche and there’s no original story involving the meaning of life”. That’s partially because those things aren’t what these guys want to make, and not what everyone wants.

        Me-too-ism can be a bit hard to handle, I feel that way too, but as mentioned on TVTropes, belonging to a genre, trope or cliché isn’t a bad thing in itself, if that’s what you want.

        Anyway, ultimately there’s little problem. The capitalist mentality of the games industry means that occasionally there will be crunches, people will be out of a job, etc, due to games moving on in their tastes, but then the next big hit comes out and things liven up again. Things could be better, but it’s hardly the problem its made out to be.

        People enjoying themselves + new stories of any type and level of originality coming out = better than barely anything coming out or being played because it’s not the most original thing in the world.

        We should appreciate new ideas and old ones, cliches and unused lines, and so on equally. That’s how healthy human cultures work. Go too far and you end up with Guitar Hero plus a few hundred more iterations, or conversely arty-farty games that make no sense whatsoever and are praised on the basis that they can’t be called bad because no one even understands them enough to be able to critique them properly.

  • I haven’t played MW3, but MW2 increased the scripted sequences to an uncomfortable level anyway, so if it’s worse than that….bleh.

    There’s something awesome about the idea that you can do what you want, to run ahead of your buddies and get into danger or ruin a plan. Let a player do what he/she wants and give a consequence for rushing ahead, or change the way the game unfolds.

    BF3 was guilty of these QTEs and scripting, too. Which I wasn’t overly fond of (even the campaign as a whole was “meh”). As much as I like single player adventures, the Battlefield series should stick to multi. It’s unbeatable there.

  • I think the obsession with “I can’t open the door myself” or “the team moves with me” is kind of unfounded given that fact that you’re kind of supposed to work to the strengths of your squad in a combat environment.

    What does he mean you have to restart the mission if you save/quit? That’s a goddamn dirty lie. I had several breaks during my playthrough and never once had to restart from before my last checkpoint.

    It seems that this crtique of MW3, while bombastic and substantiated to a degree, really doesn’t actually point to flaws in the game – it’s really more an issue of nitpicking flaws and drawbacks that are present in every single game released recently. And the only reason this nitpicking happened is because John happens to not be particularly fond of the story.

    COD4 had the best story and the best impact from a gut-punch perspective. For fans, MW2/3 were a worthwhile story arc to see through to the end. I don’t see why the games have to answer for not being more than that just because of their tremendous popularity.

    • And your main weakness is that you are unable to physically open any doors at all, requiring the help of a teammate every time? Jeez, if you want game mechanics involving squad cooperation, breach a locked door in Republic Commando: that’s a situation where you actually require a hand or two. Here, you need a mate to lead you everywhere you go. The reviewer is just describing how -very- linear the games are, which cannot be denied.

      Sure, it’s great that you have teammates, but they are essentially trains on rails with no alternate pathways; their every action is determined by a scripted event, tunneling you in the one direction. It’s quite mindless, actually; a fresh coat of paint is added to the same structure simply because it’s earning plenty of dosh. I’ve yet to see any innovation since the fourth in the series.

      Michael Bay’s films aren’t that great either – they’re just flashy objects and pretty pictures for the masses to enjoy. In layman’s terms: “milk dat cow.”

  • Couldn’t agree more with this here review… It baffles me how this game does so well. Sure I can appreciate the technical achievements of actually creating something like this, but whatever happened to gameplay. Its like your watching an interactive movie on your playstation/xbox.

  • Sounds to me like this guy wanted to play something else, like Full Spectrum Warrior, and was pretty cranky to be playing this game. “I didn’t finish MW2, because no one was paying me to” pretty much sums it up.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s correct on all points, but I don’t really see the big deal. (Although my xbox copy lets me continue on a checkpoint. Don’t know what’s going on with his PC copy there.)

    I think as PC gamer he just grates at having to play a blockbuster that is being enjoyed by the unwashed masses and that gives the player pretty much no control over events. That sounds like a criticism of the game but at least it does what it does better than BF3 tried to.

      • Yeah it does. Anything is better than BF3’s attempt at a “single player mode”.
        On the other hand, I believe BF3 does better multiplayer than MW3…

      • Barry, are you trying to say the BF3 campaign was superior to the MW3 campaign? Because you’d be pretty much the only person who thinks so. Even diehard BF3 fans think the MW3 was better – but justify their purchase because they feel the BF3 multiplayer is superior (which it might be, if that style of multiplayer appeals to you).

      • In case a clarification is necessary – this article, and my comment, are about the singpleyer campaign of MW3 and not about the multiplayer.

        • Single player as well. I don’t like games that have me on the back of a truck shooting turrets for nearly half the campaign.

  • Compare the single player experience described in this article to that say of Deus Ex: Human Revolution where the ENTIRE game experience is decided by the player.

    I know which one I’d prefer.

  • The best thing about MW3 was that it ended the story. MW1 was great, MW2 was good and MW3 was OK. Now that the story is ended they can hopefully work on something else for the next COD……space perhaps??

  • To call it an ‘un-game’ is a bit rich. He briefly mentioned where you would spend 99% of your gaming time which is 100% game 0% cutscenes – multi and spec ops.
    Rest of the criticisms towards the Campaign mode seem valid.

  • I was drawn into FPS with my first introduction to DOOM. I was amazed with the levels and creativity of Duke Nukem 3D. I was sucked into Multiplayer in GoldenEye. I was immersed into the world of Thief: The Dark Project and soon after Half Life. I marveled at the tactical control I had over my squads in Operation Flashpoint and HALO’s technology and tight controls. CounterStrike also delivered me precise controls that told me that I was the only one to blame.

    I had so much fun riding vehicles in Battlefield 2 and Deus Ex gave me an amazing story along with a competent shooter. TF2 showed me that team games were worth putting 600hrs into and Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare showed me how spectacular scripted sequences could be. Fallout 3 delivered on a huge open and engaging world whilte BFBC2 gave me a constant dose of battlefield moments and well as the more recent BF3. But now. Now it feels like some shooters like the CoD series aren’t pushing the boundaries at all. If feels like they’re sticking to the tried and true which is okay and it seems to be working out really well for them. But I was never after ‘okay’ and that’s why this holiday season the majesty of Skyrim, the battlefield moments of BF3 and even the generated worlds of Minecraft have my attention over the largely scripted singleplayer and the self centered multiplayer of MW3.

    I guess what I’m trying to say here is that MW3 seems like a step backwards for FPS’ and this makes me sad as I’ve seen my favorite game type grow so far when I look back at the history of my FPS gaming. It just doesn’t look like it will have a spot in my nostalgia bank even if it has a place in the sales records.

      • Thanks McG.

        I think I’m having a nostalgia trip this morning. Big shout out to Hexen, Quake 3 Arena, Rainbow Six series, Metroid Prime, Vampire: The Masquerade, Far Cry and of course Half Life 2. All the games I’ve mentioned so far have stayed in my consciousness for one reason or another and milestones for my gaming experience.

    • Mate… I had tears in my eyes. B-b-bloody magnificent. *sniff*
      Zero innovation, simply taking what worked in 2007 and reskinning it. Which is fine for the many who clearly enjoy their recycled product, albeit lazy on the developers’ part. Pays their bills, I guess. Moo.

    • +1000. I also began with Doom on my 386 and was an FPS nut all the way through to about CoD4. That game really felt like something new and amazing – but ever since then, the genre has fallen a long way.

      I’m aware that a portion of it is probably to do with the fact I turned 30 this year. and it’s just a case of ‘Been there, done that.’ But there’s another part of me that feels like the challenge is gone. Sure they have amazing graphics and many other cool features, but most of it feels very…. hollow. Compare CoD4 to MW3 and tell me what the difference is – step back and forget which one is newer or rehashed, whatever – they’re both pretty much the same game.

      Even the difficulty factor of the modern FPS has been drastically reduced. For example, I’ve finished CoD4, WaW and MW2 on veteran difficulty – but is that such an achievement? Not really. Sure it was difficult, but not something that couldn’t be done fairly leisurely over two days. Put on Doom on ‘Nightmare’ or something else equivalent – there’s a challenge for you. Looking for keys, switches, hidden passages – there’s nothing like that anymore – now you’re on a monorail shooting gallery. Boring.

      Just to stress – there’s no fandom here, I’m disappointed with the genre as a whole, and have been for several years. CoD is just a picture perfect example and also the most popular, thus the most relevant.

      I don’t think it’s something that can be readily changed or even saved, to be honest. It’s far too popular.

      • On the subject of difficulty, that’s pretty much across the board. Today’s games are a breeze compared to the likes of Ninja Gaiden and the original Mortal Kombat! When something’s too difficult nowadays, people complain and the content is patched down.

        • Rose coloured glasses my friend. Played both recently, they’re not that hard. MK1 especially. ESPECIALLY when you learn to just jump kick Goro.

    • couldn’t agree any more with this review and this comment. I, as a fan of gaming, was offended when I played MW3. I was so eager to taste the newest installment of one of the “worlds best fps games”. Installed. Launched. Sat there and played for 20 minutes and paused and said to myself “what the fuck is this shit?!”.
      I then gave MP a try, but that wasn’t any betters.

      In short, I gave MW3 an hour, and it gave me sadness…

  • Thank you for this article, which handles a lot of the technical criticisms of MW3 superbly, but there needs to be an entire article written on the plot. Seriously.


    I was ready to buy the story, or at least shove it to one side and focus on the ballistics. But the final Paris mission…when the Americans knowingly blow up the Eiffel Tower to effect an airlift for their troops…I alternated between hysterical laughter and facepalming. It’s a shot-for-shot remake of the opening of Team America, but with none of the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. It’s Team America played straight, in other words. What the fuck were they THINKING?

  • “… it’s actually not going to progress any further until you walk through the invisible trip-wire that triggers the next event… you’ll often sit there shooting a comically infinite supply of enemies”

    This is far and away the most abhorrent part of the CoD franchise for me. I only ever played them to review and sell them and it still riled me up past caring for the rest of the game – MP included.

    • Agreed – the whole clown car full of enemies thing that these games do just strikes me as lazy design, game design has come so far this generation but we still have to put up with this crap.

      BTW U haven’t played MW3 but I do play BF3 (mostly for the MP) and let me tell you the Single Player mode is a waste of everyone’s time, it doesn’t feel like Battlefield at all.

      They should just be bold and do away with single player

  • I’m actually going to play MW3 single player for the basically 0n-rails, Michael Bay experience. Then I’ll go back to BF3 when I want to play an FPS that rewards smart gameplay.

  • My biggest problem with this is is that it stops investment in interesting game projects. Pop-music dominates and is crap, but it is still possible to make good music without being successful. This was also once the case with games. But not any more.

    A good game on this generation requires so much time and investment that it just isn’t worth attempting to make a good game if it isn’t going to sell substantially.

  • Now that we are all creating Santa lists for what we want in an FPS;
    I would like a open world like Fallout/Skyrim. It should have multiplayer capabilities like Diablo II/Border lands. But have a proper story line that doesn’t end abrupt because budget failed. Think about he possibilities of a Skyrim like game whit multiplayer. you travel together, do quests together, cover each other while equipping other gear/weapons and have to wait patiently while the other person does his/her shopping in the local market.

  • “an endless stream of ideologically unsophisticated bombast and roaring”

    I don’t have a strong opinion about MW3, just wanted to point out that turn of phrase is amazing.

  • Wow, this article sums up EXACTLY how I felt while playing through the MW3 campaign. I lost all will to finish it after just 2 sessions.

    The entire time I was playing I was just wishing they’d tone down the “CRAZY OMGWTFBBQ LOUD NOISES GUYS YELLING EVERYWHERE HELICOPTERS CRASHING EXPLOSIONNNNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSS” factor from 11 down to about 4. It’s ok if you want to have huge chaotic moments, but you really have to balance it by providing moments of relief and slower pacing.

    • My thoughts exactly. If you have lulls, then the crazy moments become meaningful and memorable. Black Ops had the same thing as MW3 and my reaction to both was just getting bored. It feels weird to be bored when crazy shit is happening.

  • I mean, yeah my username shows some sort of bias, but this article is pretty narrow in it’s focus if the author believes that the reason the Call Of Duty franchise is so amazingly popular because of its’ Single Player.

    That said I completely agree with this article.

    • But the MP is terrible too. Those are some of the worst maps I’ve ever seen since WaW.
      Not to mention, coming from semi-professional BO and going into MW3 made me laugh. I’m so glad they removed lean on PC simply because the console kids don’t have enough buttons Way to go backwards.

      I’ve never been a fan of battlefield, however BF3 has completely won me over in regards to MP.

  • Completely agree with this article (on the CoD franchise in general, as I have no intention of playing MW3) – been wondering how it was so successful.

    The comment about the game not wanting you to play it, and rather just wanting its NPCs to have fun with each other, pretty much sums it up – if I’m not doing anything that couldn’t be done by “generic scripted grunt B”, then why would I play it? I swear, finishing MW2 made me feel like one of the lucky lemmings that managed to not fall to his death during the course of a level.

  • I’ve always been curious whether Michael Bay has ever played a COD game before. I’d really love to get his input on the bombastic nature of the series. Him and Jerry Bruckheimer.

  • If the sounds and noises are not working for you turn it down, its in the options after all.
    I love to have the volume loud and be able to hear footsteps in any direction. Or here an explosion and be able to tell where it came from.
    I’m really dont know what the hell these critics play that they believe is better. I play every game released. MW3 has no comparison when it comes to multi player and the campaign is just great fun and makes you want to complete the game. Very few games make you want to finish it.

  • Dude needs to clean the sand out of his vag.

    I played on PC experiences no crashes at all. Checkpoints worked fine for me to start up where I left off mid-mission.

    It was good to shut off for a few hours and enjoy the MW3 solo campaign ride.

  • Totally agree. Right from the very first COD (which I played and enjoyed) I have been frustrated which the way the dev’s force you through checkpoints to trigger events.. totally contrived. I gave up playing a while ago. As Bioware, Firaxis, Blizzard et al say all the time: gaming is about interesting choices.

    • You know, I don’t think anyone has ever substantiated their assertions that they finished MW2 on their first playthrough in 3-4 hours, and I don’t believe you finished MW3 in 4.

      5, maybe, if you played on Regular difficulty, rushed and were really efficient and never died. But not 4. Got anything to back that up?

  • Honestly Ive played every MW campaign and loved them all. Comparatively to BF or anything else really, the MW Campaign has always been 10 steps ahead. Always had more explosions, better story, better guns, better toys… etc. I had tremendous fun playing the campaign and I wish everyone else would give it a shot. HOWEVER…

    Multiplayer on the other hand.. MW is hopeless I finished the campaign played about 1 hour of online multiplayer and can tell you that it is exactly the same as all the other CoD’s. Same quick respawn…sprint..shoot…get shot from behind.. respawn.. rinse and repeat.

    For multiplayer I highly recommend BF3 if you haven’t tried it, even though the single player is pretty shit on bf3. The multiplayer is miles ahead of CoD.

    • ” the MW Campaign has always been 10 steps ahead. Always had more explosions, better story, better guns, better toys… etc.”

      Ah, people think like this. Well I guess that explains why we are having this discussion. 😛

    • The author laments the fact that in MW3 you, as the player, do not have much control over what you do in the game. You are always ordered around by your fellow squad mates.

  • According to the guy who does NerfNow, the campaign for Modern Warfare 3 is better watched than played, and after watching through a few videos, I’m inclined to agree.

  • MW3 is a COMPLETE RIP OFF, whoever hasn’t bought it yet don’t. It has the same game engine as MW2, gun sounds are all the same, silenced guns ALL sound the same… Ive lost complete trust in the Modern Warfare series but unfortunately i bought it and I regret spending that huge sum of money on a game that should of been an ADD-ON to MW2.
    Also all I remember from the single-player campaign is some idiots shouting, “SOAP” “SOAP” “SOAP””SOAP” “SOAP” “SOAP””SOAP” “SOAP” “SOAP” and then the every so often they would add-in an, “RPG!!!!!” “RPG!!!!!” “RPG!!!!!” “RPG!!!!!” “RPG!!!!!” “RPG!!!!!” “RPG!!!!!” “RPG!!!!!”, amongst all the other shouting.

  • Awesome review. This highlights a lot of what I feel is wrong with games these days. Luckily I have some other very good games to keep me occupied so I dont have to worry about wasting money on this sort of action movie on my PC.

  • “Clearly I’m getting old.”

    Yep. Me too. And I agree with the article but to be honest, in the nicest possible way, I don’t really care. A small minority really cares, I would guess. The campaigns were almost exclusively brutish, nasty, homo-erotic, demeaning but occasionally funny films, but watched for a few hours — before playing the multiplayer for a few months.

    Alright, a film with intricate, protracted quick-time events. Alright, a rails shooter.

    I can’t even remember how it ended.

    “there is no questioning that this is the accompanying single-player that’s expected and desired by the largest number of players”

    I’m questioning. Expected, yes. Is it “desired by the largest number of players”? Firstly I think this article goes a little way toward refuting that point, secondly is their core demographic still in the majority, really, with the average gamer age continuing to increase (honest question)? Thirdly, maybe people do want something different? There is no way anyone would expect a Mass Effect Warfare to go with the MP offering but I think a lot of people would like to see the campaign to grow some chin hair and get off the rails.

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