Nokey's Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Review

PLEASE READ: This review is not a professional one. It is simply a personal review from the perspective of an average gamer. I did my best to try and review this game un-bias-ly, as I am not a CoD fan. I hope you find this review helpful

Hmmm.... Where do I even start with a game like this? The Call of Duty series has become the greatest selling franchise of all time, breaking sales records with each new release. Millions of people buy these games every year and love it, others despise its own name and hate the game with a burning passion (for good reasons). Call of Duty’s reputation has definitely flip-flopped since the release of Mw2 back in ‘09, and it boils down to this: You either love it, or you hate it. I used to be on the “Cod suckz” bandwagon after the release of mw2 and black ops, but after I did some thinking, I started to fall in between the middle of loving it and hating it. I basically gave up bitching about how bad mw2 and black ops were because I realized that it wasn't accomplishing anything. Activision doesn't care what I think of CoD, and all the people who complain on the Internet about CoD haven’t stopped it from selling millions of copies. So I gave up, and learned to just accept what CoD has become, a re-hashed, yearly, mass consumer product. And you wanna know something else? Mw3 is SOOO much more fun when you get past complaining about it.
But before I start this review, I want to get some things out of the way first.

1) Let me recap how everyone felt about CoD from modern warfare 1 (I’m going to exclude CoD5, simply because I never really played that one)

Call of Duty 4

Simply put, an awesome game. Its multiplayer was unlike anything before. Its constant leveling, unlocking, rewarding, and customizing kept millions of people addicted to it. Its singleplayer offered us an intense campaign with a pretty nice story to go along with it, with some nice twist and turns (the nuke scene, never saw it coming!) and unforgettable moments (Ghillies in the Mist, nuff said).

Modern Warfare 2

1 week after launch: Its cod4....but better.

3 months after launch: Everybody realizes how horribly unbalanced and exploitable the game is, and how it rewarded unfair play styles

And yet, it’s breaking sales records everywhere and has became extremely popular

The campaign was over the top (which was why it was fun), but the story made no sense

Black Ops

The idea for the premise behind it sounded cool. Being a secret agent during the cold war sounded (at least to me) really fun. I began to think that maybe the CoD series would be saved, and this new game would be a more balanced out version of Mw2.

After 1 month of launch: I was expecting shit to change....I was wrong. Eh, at least the campaign and zombies were fun.

But to be fair though, I really liked how black ops let people make there own callsigns (even if most people would just make penises).

2) What were you expecting?
A lot of people out there whine and moan and say that Mw3 is some “60 dollar map pack” that lacks innovation, and is the “same game with a new skin.” UH, DDDDDDDUUUUUUHHHHHHH. I thought after Mw2 and black ops, people would realize that this is what CoD has become.
So as you can see, the reason why the CoD series has gained so much hate is because its a re-hashed series, lacking anything very new. And yet it is still the most popular and successful franchise out there. People out there continue to buy these lazy, re-hashed products. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM??? Don’t they realize that they’re buying the same game that came out 2 years ago??? So why are people buying these games? Well, it’s simple. It’s because there is fun to be had in there.
Now, let’s start the review. The topics I will cover are the topics I believe to be the most important for this game

User Interface
The first thing you will see when you start Mw3 is the menu. It uses the same menu system Mw2 had, and this is both a positive, and a negative. It’s a positive because this menu system works well, its easy to get to the campaign, spec ops, or multiplayer. It’s a negative because, like I said before, it’s pulled (literally) from Mw2. This is where some of the “lack of innovation” insults come from. The UI interface is the pulled straight from Mw2, so when you first start up Mw3, you are going to have a feeling of “been there, done that” just by looking at the screen. Personally, this really didn't bother me that much. It’s a smart move because this UI interface works well, but at the same time, it’s an incredibly lazy move, and makes the game look exactly like Mw2. At least black ops’ menu and UI tried to be different than Mw2’s.....

This is another topic that many “lack of innovation” comments come from. While the graphics for Mw3 do look pretty similar to Mw2’s and black ops......it is different in some minor areas. First off, the lighting in the game has improved. Second, there is a tad bit more attention to detail into the environments and character models. And Third, the animations for running have changed (but these are minor changes). The graphics have only improved slightly, and while Mw3 is running on the same engine from past Cod games, it still looks great. I really don't understand why people say Mw3 looks horrible just because it looks like Mw2. While I hated Mw2, I still admired it’s slick graphics. Mw3 graphics aren't the best, but they’re far from “horrible.” Plus, 60 frames per second, nuff said.

Sound effects are something that I never really pay attention to in CoD games. In the multiplayer, the guns don't sound SUPER MEGA AWESOME REALISTIC like in games such as Battlefield 3, but they don't sound like cheap airsoft guns either. They’re just kinda “meh.” However, in the campaign, the sound does a very good job of immersing the player into a war zone. Another thing about Mw3’s sound is the soundtrack that goes with it. Brian Tyler did a fantastic job with Mw3’s score. The music for the Modern warfare games always makes me care about the characters, even if I'm not emotionally invested in them.

The Call of Duty campaigns are always fun. In the more recent CoD games, the developers have favored more over-the-top set pieces and heavily scripted stealth missions than the story, which in my opinion, isn't such a bad thing. Moments like storming a Somalian compound filled with bad guys, then controlling the turret on a helicopter and blasting baddies on rooftops, then climbing on top of a building, holding back waves of more baddies while waiting for extract by helicopter, only to have the helicopter shot down and then jumping of the rooftop, and then venturing into a sand storm to find the crashed helicopter, and then driving off like a bad ass makes these campaigns fun to play. Or other moments like sneaking behind enemy lines at night are really fun too. As for the story, I found it much easier to follow than Mw2’s story. It’s still pretty ridiculous, but it;s more enjoyable. The only annoying things about the campaign are the infinite respawning waves of enemies and sometimes dull AI.

Spec Ops
This will be a short topic. I wasn't really a huge fan of Spec ops in Mw2. I didn’t hate it; I just didn't really think it was that fun. The spec ops mode in Mw3 is fairly similar to Mw2’s spec ops, except mw3 added a new survival mode. Similar to Gears of War’s horde mode, 2 players face increasingly difficult waves of enemies, for each wave completed, the players receive points that they can spend on upgrading weapons, re-stashing grenades, buying air strikes, etc. This isn't an entirely new idea, but its nice addition to the game. Another thing the developers added was matchmaking support, which is a welcome change.

Here we are at last...the multiplayer. The multiplayer in CoD games has always been the major selling point; some people don’t even bother with the campaign or spec ops, and instead just go straight to it. But what is about it that makes it so addictive? Well, like I said in the beginning, it’s the constant leveling, unlocking, rewarding, and customizing that make it fun. CoD has an arcade-ish feel to it, it’s nice and face-paced, relying more on one’s reflexes. It’s a game where everyone goes the “lone wolf” style, focusing more on their own performance than the entire team’s performance. This feel/style of the game is something that it wants to achieves, and it does a very good job at it. The formula for the multiplayer is pretty similar to the other CoD games, which is good, cause this formula works and can be fun at times. However, Mw3 has a few very welcome additions to it.

Strike Packages: Strike Packages are Mw3’s version of killstreaks. There are three types of Strike packages: Assault, Support, and Specialist.

Assault: Pretty much the same kill streaks from Mw2. You can customize them with a couple of new killstreaks, but if you die, you have to restart from 0. This mostly for the skilled, high K/D players

Support: Similar to assault, except when you die, you don't restart from 0. Your streak remains the same and will continue to rack up as you get more kills/captures. This is great for people (like myself) who aren’t very good at CoD. The types of kill streaks for the Support class are not the same as the ones for the Assault class. With the Support class, you get things such ballistic vests to give to your teammates, you can also get a recon drone and get a birds eye view of the map, and tag enemy players for your teammates. Over all, the Support class adds a little bit of teamwork into Mw3.

Specialist: Similar to the Assault class, except for every certain amount of kill you get without dying, you are rewarded with extra perks. I haven’t spent a lot of time with this class, so I'm not really sure how it could turn the tide of a match.

These new additions make Mw3 way way WAY more accessible for newbie players, and other players who just aren't very good. As far as other changes in the multiplayer goes, the unlock system has been changed a little bit, with weapons now having specific levels to them. Over all, Mw3’s multiplayer is much more balanced and rewarding than Mw2’s. The only issues I can think of right now would be the spawning, maps, occasional lag, and the Type 95.

Final Score
Mw3 is much more enjoyable than previous CoD games. Is it the best CoD games ever? That’s something that's up to you to decide. My final score for Mw3 is:

7/10 - Above average

In some points of the game, its a little to similar to previous CoD titles, but that still doesn't change the fact that there is fun to be had here. I think people need to realize that there is nothing wrong with yearly mass-consumer products. There are video games that are meant to change the industry, that take 5 years to make, and there are games that are meant to come out every year to entertain us so we don’t go insane waiting five years for a new video game. The gameplay and controls are tight, responsive, and work well. I don’t think that Mw3 is something that you should rush out and buy, but instead wait till it goes on sale, or ask for it for Christmas. You don’t have to be a CoD fan to like constantly rewarding, fast paced, arcadey multiplayer. But if you do, then you’ll like this.

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