Modern Warfare 3 Rises To The Challenge Of The Game Reviewers

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.

Gamer.No (Translated Badly from Norweigian)

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.

Eurogamer

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.

GameSpot

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.

Game Informer

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.

Machinima

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.

The Telegraph

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.


Comments

    Who was that guy who gave Uncharted an 8/10? I just wanna see if he reviewed MW3... just morbidly curious... ;-P

      darn, Eurogamer is blocked here at work so I can't tell if it's the same reviewer...

      prolly doesn't matter though, Eurogamer tends to score lower than average regardless.

        Simon Parkin did UC3, while Dan Whitehead took care of MW3. 8/10 should still bring plenty of tears though I guess.

          yes, unfortunately the average fan apparently sees 8/10 as total condemnation of their favourite franchise, which is really sad.

            Eurogamer doesn't reward repetition and I like that about them, if you're game was great, but a cookie cutter sequel of your last great game, a Eurogamer 8 is a gurantee.

            They save the 9's and 10's for innovation.

            I remember the days when 8 was stellar :P

    It's probably easier to rise to that challenge when Activision comp reviewers a holiday and are watching them play the game over their shoulder.

    First multiplayer game I played, half the players, if not more, we're using snipers for one shot kills. Turned it off and returned to BF3.

      Where those who weren't in vehicles were sniping?

        Which Im ok with given, even if 14 people were sniping, there's still 18 other people actually doing something. <3 64-player maps

          However, this was in close quarter combat, some French map, and in BF3, rarely does one sniper shot actually kill me, except for a headshot of course. If you try to use the sniper in close quarters in bf3, your most likely gonna die, whereas in mw3, people hardly zoom and manage to kill you. Absolute joke.

            I will admit, it was a shame to see MW3 couldn't resolve the quickscoping issue of MW2, so they jsut left it as it. However I find that by playing more carefully I can tend to avoid snipers who are running around quickscoping people.

            As for people who snipe "properly", I find them more more tolerable (and less prolific) than in Battlefield games.

    I'll be damned if I'm paying 100 AUD for a 5 hour game. That's more expensive than watching 7 films, which run for at least 10 hours in total.

      It's the same as about 2 or 3 films... especially if she wants raisinettes.

        10 Things I Hate About You reference ftw. The only teenage Rom-Com I can stand.

          That's because it's based on Shakespeares 'Taming of the Shrew'.

          Also, "Beer flavoured nipples".

      Then just buy it from all the places selling it for $79

    'A game which is undoubtedly going to be played for a long, long time to come, and deservedly so.' yeah till next november!

      A game which is undoubtedly going to be played for a long, long time to come, and deservedly so. – the telegraph. Yeah till next november!

    A game which is undoubtedly going to be played for a long, long time to come, and deservedly so. - the telegraph. Yeah till next november!

    "Modern Warfare 3 Rises to the Bribery of the Game Reviewers"

    Fixed.

    lol, 5 hours if you're playing on easy which is all reviewers tend to do. No worries, 5 hours is pretty generous. tomorrow it'll be a 4 hour campaign. Next week, 3 hours.
    Realistically it's more like 7. Still short. Of course they say, you get SpecOps with that, as well as the multiplayer.

    I'm tired of reviewers saying that MW2 had a directionless/disconnected campaign. No, reviewers, that was Black Ops. MW2's campaign was quite easy to follow if your head contains anything other than damp cornflour.

      Yeah, it wasn't overly complicated... I've read Tom Clancy novels that have been harder to follow.

      I tend to find that I finish games in 2/3rds the time reviewers suggest. This is startlingly reliable, and I don't know why, as I tend to have a good look around (but I don't go after trophies).

      5 hrs sounds pretty plausible to me. People are saying its shorter than 2, which I believe I finished in 5.5. Which is why I hire these games.

        I haven't finished MW3 myself as yet, but my wife finished it this morning and the counter says it took her 6 hours 12 minutes on regular difficulty and she's not exactly a casual player. I expect a hardened or veteran playthrough to take a tad longer. I can see finishing it in 5 hours if you're rushing, but I think you'd have to be an above average player (or be playing it on easy) to do it - or possibly playing it for the second time.

        I tend to take my time a little more. I don't remember how long it took me to do MW2 - maybe 7 hours on my first (hardened) playthrough, a little less on my veteran playthrough? I don't really know. I only play a couple of hours a night since I'm sharing with the wife and I also ahve to squeeze it in between getting home from work and going to bed, so it probably took me 3-4 days to finish it.

        Black Ops on the other hand I finished in two nights. Technically three but only for about 20 minutes on the 3rd night because I didn't realise how close I was to the end when I stopped playing. I put that down to the awful, disjointed storytelling that made it difficult to tell if what I was doing was building towards a climax or not.

      I'm starting to view the MW campaigns as fun interactive movies, as a bonus to the multiplayer rather than the other way around. I needs me some me some competition. Killing people in multiplayer is just more fun because you know you have just caused someone a pang of annoyance, and sometimes just sometimes, made some 12 year old kid rage quit and smash his own belongings. It's what I live for. It's not much but I'm a sad, sad little man.

        Haha you're not alone. Rage quits are just so entertaining it's something worth working towards!

    "A game which is undoubtedly going to be played for a long, long time to come, and deservedly so."

    For a whole year, until they release their next yearly installment.

    So far I'm enjoying the multiplayer quite a bit (I'm glad for the return to Modern Warfare, as something about Black Ops just didn't feel right). The single player campaign is unimpressive so far. Funny, after so many people dissed BF3's campaign, it turned out to be more impressive.

      Played both, have you? You're able to draw a direct, objective comparison?

        Overly defensive much?

        Also, objective? Not one person in the world can do a 100% objective comparison of two games. EVERYTHING is subject to a person's own taste.

        I own both games (pre-ordered them both), and I'm going to continue to play them both.

        I finished BF3's campaign in about 6 hours, and had a lot of fun. The gameplay was very polished, the graphics were great, the pacing was great. There was a decent variety of missions, although the later missions were a bit convoluted and the ending was disappointing. Still a fun experience overall.

        I've managed to play about 1.5 hours of the campaign in MW3 so far (note that I said "so far" in my previous post), and I was unimpressed. The pacing was terrible, there was too much happening at once and no time to breathe in between. Hundreds of enemies spawned constantly, it was pure chaos. The graphics were unimpressive, the engine has not changed in the slightest since the last version. In MW2 they at least bothered to include some higher res textures for the PC version, but I didn't notice anything of the sort in MW3. The sound levels were extremely unbalanced, voices were completely drowned out by the sound effects and I had to rely on reading the subtitles (I usually have subtitles switched off, but had to leave them on for this game).

        If I were to compare the first 1.5 hours of MW3 to the entire 6 hours of BF3, I'd say that MW3 is not as fun or impressive so far, but there's potential for that to change as I progress.

        If I were to compare the first 1.5 hours of MW3 to the first 1.5 hours of BF3, then I'd have to say that BF3 is the clear winner.

        DISCLAIMER: I'M ONLY TALKING ABOUT THE SINGLE-PLAYER CAMPAIGN. Multiplayer is so different between the two that I don't think they should even be compared. I like them both for different reasons.

          I haven't played Battlefield 3, but from what I've seen of the campaign (which is the first hour or so my wife played) the set pieces are excellently done. After the disappointing Bad Company 2 campaign I find it difficult to imagine BF3 being nearly as interesting - but I would not presume to comapre them directly, particularly as I haven't actually played either.

          I apologise if I came off as defensive. I have seen far too many "I haven't played CoD but it sucks" and "I haven't played either but I know 'game-x' is better" type posts lately.

          I am not particularly invested in MW3 to be honest, but I dislike people who are uninformed in their opinions, and really like arguments.

            Derp, that first line it should say "I haven't played MW3", but from what I've seen of the campaign... etc.

            I haven't played BF3 either of course. I've played Bad Company 2 (which did not impress me), Modern Warfare 2 (which did) and watched a little over an hour of MW3.

              I guess the main reason I feel the way I do about BF3 and MW3's campaigns is because I HATE levels which are basically "get from point A to point B through generic environments while killing endless waves of enemies while people constantly yell at you". Those levels rely almost entirely on the game's shooting mechanics to be fun, but I've played so many shooters that the act of shooting is not actually fun to me anymore. I have absolutely ZERO interest in those kinds of levels, which is mostly what I played last night in MW3.

              I GREATLY prefer levels in which the setting is interesting and stands out in some way, which have interesting objectives, and which have a slower pacing. I don't want to have to shoot 500 fodder enemies as fast as possible while sprinting from checkpoint to checkpoint. It would honestly be more fun for me if there were only 20 enemies placed in some strategic locations, they acted like real people rather than just meat puppets, I was given an objective such as "secure the intel" or "take out/capture person of interest" and was able to approach it in a tactical manner.

              Examples:
              - The cargo ship mission from CoD4
              - The Pripryat flashback mission from CoD4 (minus the waves of enemies at the end...)
              - The first snow mission with Soap from MW2
              - The rocket launch mission from Black Ops
              - The snow mission from Black Ops
              - The train mission from BF3
              - The jet mission from BF3 (although this one is on rails, it's an awesome and memorable experience)
              - The night-time mission after the quake in BF3

              Those kinds of levels are way more memorable than anything I've played in MW3 so far. I really hope the game will contain something like those later on (I'm sure there will be one or two) but I really, really don't like the ones I've played so far. The submarine mission's intro and ending was cool, but for some reason I didn't really enjoy the middle bits. :\

                So you didn't enjoy:

                - Escorting Honey Badger to locate the downed VIP in a suburban environment in
                MW2?
                - Retaking the White House after the EMP in MW2?
                - The boat chase/final battle with Shepherd at the end of MW2?
                - The mission aboard the hijacked plane in MW3?
                - The first mission as Yuri defending the chopper in MW3, including controlling the robot and the long slide down the hillside?

                (I'm assuming you've done those missions if you've played the first 1.5 hours of MW3, if not, then sorry).

                I'm not critical of your choices, I'm just genuinely surprised. I consider those examples of either unique, moody or atmospheric accomplishments in gameplay that really brought something special to the Modern Warfare series - I personally think the cargo ship mission and the flashback mission to Pripyat were some of the series finest moments so nothing in MW2 or MW3 have really lived up to that so far, but I still think they're pretty great.

                  Keep in mind those were just the first few that popped into my head. I don't have time or space to write every single one.

                  I felt that the MW2 campaign was very weak in general, and not memorable at all. I can barely pinpoint any moments from within that game where I went "wow".

                  - Escorting Honey Badger to rescue the downed VIP in MW2 - I can't really remember this objective, so it mustn't have stood out very much.
                  - Retaking the White House in MW2 - I liked the carnage after the EMP, that was interesting, but there are no other lasting memories for me about this mission.
                  - The boat chase finale in MW2 - The parts before the boat chase in the caves were fun, but the boat chase itself is very fuzzy in my memory.

                  The way I see it, if I can't remember something well only one or two years later, then it wasn't really that good to me. :\

                  - Hijacked plane mission in MW3 - That's the mission I'm up to, but unfortunately I had to stop playing early in the level. If it's anything like the plane level in COD4 it will probably be fun.
                  - The first Yuri mission in MW3 - I didn't enjoy this level one bit. What fun is there in shooting respawning hordes of dumb enemies in the courtyard like fish in a barrel? The level itself was boring to me, and the act of using the robot didn't alleviate that at all. Sliding down a hill at the end doesn't right all the wrongs of this level either.

                  I guess I'm just looking for very different things in a game than you are. I've been WAYYYYYY too desensitised by previous games to things like "ZOMG EXPLOSIONS", or a falling building, or how hard I can own enemies with a robot, or how many helicopters can crash into buildings in one level. I don't have fun shooting hundreds of enemies over and over if the shooting mechanics haven't progressed since 4 or 5 COD games ago.

                  Anyway, I'm hoping that MW3 can prove me wrong and do something different. After all I've only seen like 1/5th of the game so far, so there's plenty I haven't seen yet. It just got off to an unimpressive start for me, that's all. Games need to hook you in the first few minutes, this game failed to do that.

    How good is the plane level?

    It's like they took the 'mile high' achievment, added some 'inception' and mixed it with some awesome-sauce.

    Being a single player guy, I can't really comment on the multiplayer. The single player, though, had a more coherent, better thought out plot than MW2, and it was good to see how they tied MW1 to MW2 and 3 with more than just Soap and Price. That said, there were far more times when you had to suspend your disbelief, too many in my opinion, and the attempt at emotion in two cases (if you've played it, I bet you'll know what I'm talking about) fell flat. The end would definitely have been better IMO if the cigarette lighter hadn't worked.

    In terms of graphics, MW3 had a big improvement of MW1 and 2 in terms of important character models, but the textures for the world seemed virtually unchanged from MW1 and the particle affects were from MW2. It did, however, have one of the best levels I've ever played. The sandstorm was absolutely fantastic.

      Really...........pretty generic I thought

        Oh, it's still generic, it's just slightly more coherent and better thought out than MW2.

          Whoops sorry mate was meant to be a reply to James mac about the plane level

            Ah, right. No problems then :P.

    Not touching this shovelware with a bargepole.

      Future Have A Finger Scanner A REAL ONE TO access your ipad aistend of that nooby slide to unlock and flash and download youtube videos and inbuilt tv antennae to get Tv wherever you are and Dvd player That would be cool and why not a pen so you dont smudge that thing because its always greasy connection from ipad to tv to watch films you bought on the ipadand super voice control not just that name of song thing like if you say safari then it will enter the app and talk typing they really need to think more about the ipad they never take other peoples ideas just their own i mean cmon this is 2010 not 2005 its time for the ultimate technology!

    Wow, I was expecting about 6 hours, but they managed to underwhelm even my low expectations. I'll save my money for Skyrim, AC:R and Halo, thanks.

    Shit rolled in icing sugar, then dipped in shit and covered in coconut.

      Gross man, I freaking HATE Coconut.

    Yeah somehow Gametrailers gave it a 9.3/10 even though they stated on a number of occaisions it's 'very similiar to previous titles' and 'you know what you're getting.' So having no creativity and nothing new can still get you top reviews?

    To put that into contrast Mass Effect 2 got 9.4 while BF3 got 9.2.

      That's because it was reviewed by their resident cod fanboy

        Was it Shane? That guy drives me absolutely up the wall.

        I used to watch their Invisible Walls podcasts because I liked Marcus (last name begins with B, can't remember it fully)... but Shane was such an ignoramous that I don't even go to the site anymore.

    Yeah, I'll be waiting a year for it to get cheaper. Though that hasn't worked for Black Ops yet which is a bit annoying.

    The Telegraph, the cheap hooker of reviews

    looking at those stills, i can say 3 levels look similar to ones in MW2 or something from another game. The second image looks like a snow junkyard map in one of the DLC packs on MW2, the 2nd last looks like a crap version of something you'd see in crysis 2, and the last one looks hell of a lot like stadium. Cant wait to see what maps they bring back, and charge $20 for, even though its the same game.

    All of my mates who have played a fair bit of time on MW2 and BlOPs (a bit over 24 hours gameplay) agreed that there's nothing new to it, and didnt even considering getting it till its dropped in price, instead we are all onto BF3 and are having a ball on it. My other mate who hasnt played MW2, thought it was quite impressive, which was how we felt when MW2 first came out, but the shine to it wore off quickly.

    I also heard rumours Activision set reviewers up in a swish hotel/location, while they reviewed the game. I'm interested to know if this is true and who accepted the bribe. When i see reviews say it's more of the same, really short campaign, yet still rate it highly (Gametrailers for instance, or gamespot was another which said had a short campaign, addicting MP, but a con was it was the same formula?) i cant take any of them seriously.

    Did this not raise an eyebrow with anyone else?

    "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 liked COD4MW, but when I picked up MW2 from a budget bin I was sorely dissapointed. Somehow I'm not surprised to hear MW3 is worse. Also, "big name reviews" are pointless. If they don't give the games good scores they stop receiving any titles from the publisher and basically cut themself out of the business.

    Tip for storyline developers; One plot twist is compelling, fifty plot twists are boring as shit and feel insulting.

    I picked it up last night, with no intention of ever playing it multiplayer(was over CoD after black ops). The singleplayer is incredibly short. I played through the entire story in about 4 and half hours on veteran.

    It was enjoyable, and had lots of fun, awesome moments, but I still feel cheated for how short it was.

    The only credible review websites present here are Eurogamer, GameSpot and Game Informer. Who the fuck reads and pays attention to The Telegraph's video game reviews Kotaku? The same goes for fuckning Machinima. And who the hell has ever heard of some random Norwegian site entitled Gamer. No?

    Im guessing Gamer.No didnt get their positive review payment from Activision.

    Mulitplayer gets a 2/10 for me. Talk about rubbish. Went and bought it thinking it might be ok, what a bunch of crap. I'll finish the single player which looks good and return it. BF3 for me.

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