This ‘Modern’ Warfare Feels a Bit Dated

            Now that the whole world has received their copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a giant beast has finally been satisfied for me. In the weeks leading up to the release, I found myself exploring a variety of games: Minecraft, Starcraft II, Battlefield 3, Forza 4, and NHL 12- all as filler until my favorite game series provided the next installment in my growing addiction. I am a Call of Duty addict, but I don’t know why. My friends were the ones hyping up Modern Warfare 3′s newest features, whereas I figured, “Hey, just some new stuff to [hopefully] be surprised by.” It wasn’t until I got home after the game’s midnight release that I was truly excited about the game. Sadly though, it is -for the most part- the same Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 which I inexplicably love so dearly, just with mildly improved graphics, a few new kill-streaks, weapons, and a bunch of new maps.

            The gameplay and overall game environment felt the same in MW3 as they did in MW2. Whether it was repetitive playercard titles, the same annoying kids on Xbox Live, or the menus, I couldn’t help but feel like I had already played the game for months after only playing for the first weekend. Not only is the game mechanically identical to MW2, but it has some new aspects that make multiplayer even more frustrating. The new “Kill Confirmed” game mode supposedly discourages individuals from camping, only to have everyone camping corners staring at a recently-deceased teammate’s dog-tags in preparation for a Kill and Denial in one fell swoop/sprint, only for that person to be killed by yet another camper preparing for the same maneuver. The game flow is simply put, awkward. Kill-streaks are yours to obtain in a run-and-gun fashion, though once you kill three people, those same three people will spawn staring at your back. I understand that other Call of Duty’s possessed this same flaw, but it seemed all to frequent in the newest installment, especially on objective game modes where the spawn points are supposed to be established; Perhaps this is one thing that Sledgehammer should have left untouched in the previous game engine.

            Just now diving into single player after focusing on achieving a few prestiges in multiplayer, I notice a suspiciously similar essence in the campaign to that of previous Call of Duty games. The missions are terribly linear, and often sport the very same sound clips for vehicles and explosions over and over. I really expected something more out of one of the largest game-producing behemoths in the industry. I won’t provide spoilers but I do thoroughly enjoy the plot unfolding throughout the Modern Warfare series now, but that’s only a slight improvement in a campaign that still depends on so many overused game mechanics. A large positive of course, is that the campaign is a great way to release frustrations from the real world: flip the difficulty to easy and destroy.

This video rules.

            On a different note, several aspects of the game were completely reversed from those in MW2. For example, there are no longer cubby holes [and in some cases, small buildings] to reload in/call kill-streaks in, but simply slightly angled corners where people can [with some difficulty] pitch their tent and roast s’mores in anticipation for one’s arrival. Secondly, shotguns and grenades of any kind have been “nerfed”  to the point where you may as well not include them in your classes at all. Of course the base MW2 dual-wielded Model 1887s were ridiculous and Danger Close was incredibly overpowered and needed some downgrading, but when I blast an enemy in the face/chest with a shotgun shell or have a grenade land at their feet, I expect some EXP, but instead I receive return fire because the bastard didn’t die. The Striker and SPAS-12 shotguns do maintain some usability, as well as a perfectly placed Claymore or Semtex grenade. Hopefully there is truth in the rumors that several upcoming patches will look into the balance of under-barrel attachments, explosives, and several weapons.

            One thing that I can definitely say I like from Modern Warfare 3 is the return of Spec Ops mode. The regular Spec Ops missions provide a legitimate challenge and that rewarding feeling of achieving three stars on all the missions. Although you’re not killing zombies this time around, Survival Mode is enjoyable as well. With the ability to call in care packages and take on juggernauts [all while chatting it up with a friend through Co-Op] it’s a sure sign of a good time — although the four person format like in zombies could have been an even more entertaining experience. In a sense though, you and a partner can have battles with a friend and their partner over who gets farther — as some of my XBL buddies have already begun to bicker about.

The game continues its tradition of truly incredible set pieces.

            All in all, I will still play the game, there’s no denying it, but I can only stay enthused so long. The Call of Duty series continues to provide [mostly] excellent game play in multiplayer and single player modes, as well as the “everyone-has-it” mentality that keeps it perched in the Number 1 FPS slot. Modern Warfare 3 itself continues with the CoD legacy, and brings fast-paced/in-your-face multiplayer, with a variety of equipment to use, a fair selection of maps, and people all over the world to play with. Another positive as of late, is that the single player has developed a solid plot, which took on its own niche of gamers.  On the other hand, in my increasing gaming maturity I have continued to notice the less-than-stellar advancement in overall gameplay the Call of Duty series offers compared to other series like EA’s Battlefield and Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls, which have taken leaps and bounds in improving their respective headlining games. Hopefully Activision can pull together and create new, amazing, and balanced features for a first person shooter game that can refresh and maintain Call of Duty’s following, because at this rate, people’s love can -and will- begin to falter if the same product continues rolling out year after year after year. The hot topic coming into the Fall gaming season was whether Call of Duty would be beat out by Battlefield 3, but at this rate, the FPS King may just eventually topple itself.

-Kyle Suddarth

2 Responses to This ‘Modern’ Warfare Feels a Bit Dated

  1. Pingback: This ‘Modern’ Warfare Feels a Bit Dated « Wrecked Reviews – Music, Video Games, and Entertainment – Bay Area

  2. Brandon says:

    No mention of Gears of War 3 in this article? Not a contender in the Multilayer Console gaming arena? I realize it is not a FPS but it beats the pants off Battlefield.

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