Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 wants you. It wants your friends. It wants to chew you and spit you out a walking, talking, stalking killing machine, but to get to you it's gotta go through the game reviewers first.
In case you didn't know what Modern Warfare 3 is, it's the latest game in a long line of family-friendly lifestyle titles aimed mainly at the Wii crowd, covering topics like baking, arts and crafts, raising baby ducklings, and making the best darn apple pie you've ever tasted. Some people might tell you it's a popular first-person shooter franchise with a strong and somewhat scary multiplayer community, but they don't know it like I do. You know who would just love this? mum.
There ya go, vets. Kill those folks instead of me, after you get finished seeing what reviewers had to say about the third instalment of this Infinity Ward shit.
I know that many people out there expecting the Messiah's second coming of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 This is unfortunately not. The previous two games are securely placed on a list of the best modern war games that have been made, but the third supplement in the series can not fill those shoes. Modern Warfare 3 is still a good game based on a solid production. Unfortunately, the series rests on its laurels and sit there like a dvask boyfriend on the couch and eat potato chips, while other games are out to make førstepersonsskytere a better genre.
As with all recent Call of Duty games, the single-player campaign is where the skirmish between spectacle and depth is most obviously fought. Picking up almost immediately after the events of Modern Warfare 2, it plunges the player into a world on the brink of a Third World War, with villainous Russian hardliner Makarov doing everything he can to ensure we're all tipped over the edge.
The good news is that the story - a planet-spanning tale full of treachery, terrorism and the sort of unlikely stunts that would make James Bond soil himself - is at least coherent this time. Compared to the meandering, disconnected compilation of things happening that led to Modern Warfare 2's head-scratching final twist, this is as lean and concise as Call of Duty storytelling gets. Events are easy to follow, characters behave consistently and while there are some major shocks along the way, they enhance the narrative rather than torpedoing it.
If the five-hour campaign doesn't satisfy your thirst for AI blood, then the Special Ops mode almost certainly will. Returning after its debut in Modern Warfare 2, Spec Ops offers 16 one-off missions that complement the events of the campaign, letting you experience new facets of the global conflict in which you are embroiled. From stealthily escorting resistance fighters to slugging through a large enemy force in a Juggernaut suit, there's a lot of variety here. Though even the longest missions can be completed in under 10 minutes, the variable difficulty levels help Spec Ops missions provide hours' worth of challenging combat. Furthermore, you can now tackle almost every mission solo and make a bid for leaderboard glory.
On the surface, this Call of Duty experience is similar to the other Modern Warfare games. If a casual fan sat down for a few rounds of team deathmatch or domination, it would be easy to forgive them for mistaking this for a map pack. Its visuals are familiar, most of the weapons are recycled from previous games, the tight gunplay feels similar, maps are still fairly cramped affairs for the most part, assembling a party operates the same, and many of the killstreak rewards return. Modern Warfare 3's most noteworthy tweaks may be smaller changes, but they add up to contribute in a big way.
For all the multiplayer hoopla, the biggest difference maker is the addition of Elite. Regardless of your preference for the free version or the expanded premium edition, the fact that you can track your play to such a degree is huge. So much information is tracked it's A) scary, and B) awesome, as it can teach you to run the maps better and illustrate the ideal weapon loadouts for your play style. It's also available on multiple levels: play on console solely and the app will provide solid, core information about your play patterns; on a computer the software is incredibly powerful, helping you dissect every game, every kill, each location, and weapon performance; in the mobile format (which we saw fleetingly, but is promised for day of launch) you can create custom classes that upload to your account so you can tweak on the go, then use in-game… assuming it all works as advertised.
Modern Warfare 3 is a shining example of refinement and improvement. It's familiar, sure, but here familiarity doesn't breed contempt, just respect and reward for those who've dedicated so much time to the series. And for new players, it's the perfect starting point, more accommodating and encompassing than ever. The series has always been renowned for elements like the excellent sound design, the gloss, polish and compulsion of its gameplay, but with Modern Warfare 3, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer have created a game that not only lives up to the brand hype but exceeds it. A game where the mass appeal is justified, and the expectations are met. A game which is undoubtedly going to be played for a long, long time to come, and deservedly so.
Win? Lose? Draw? No clue.