Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review

  • Posted November 8th, 2011 at 08:03 EDT by Don Oliveira

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

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Modern Warfare 3 doesn't reinvent the wheel by any means, but there's no denying it's a damn good action-packed blockbuster, and maybe the best Call of Duty to date.

We like

  • Multiplayer has been refined to a tee
  • Surprising amount of co-op content
  • Well-paced, action-packed campaign

We dislike

  • Visuals look dated and unimpressive
  • Doesn't break free from the Modern Warfare mold
  • AI can sometimes feel sloppy

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

Oh Modern Warfare, how you’ve shaken up the video game industry so. Starting its reign over the first-person shooter market back in 2007, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare brought us a new, addictive take on multiplayer that would since be imitated, and in this case, iterated upon. Modern Warfare 2 achieved nothing short of overcoming the hurdle that was surpassing its predecessor in 2009. And now, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games have co-developed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in an attempt to take fans on one last ride, and put an end to this trilogy-long story arc.

It’s important to remember, however, that Sledgehammer Games had just as big of a hand in the development of Modern Warfare 3 as Infinity Ward did. After the falling out with Vince Zampella and Jason West, two of the founders of Infinity Ward, Activision brought on Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, whom are both responsible for the critically acclaimed Dead Space and are co-founders of Sledgehammer. After much speculation about the future of the franchise after Infinity Ward lost about half of the Modern Warfare 2 team, I’m happy to report that not only is the franchise in good hands, it may be in the best hands it’s ever been in.

The single-player campaign in Modern Warfare 3 opens up just moments after the end of Modern Warfare 2, with protagonist Soap bleeding out due to a gunshot wound to the gut. Being dragged to safety by Captain Price, Soap winds up surviving and being an essential part of the campaign you are sent on. In traditional Modern Warfare fashion, you’ll alternate between playing as multiple characters throughout the game, like Soap, Yuri, Frost, and even a surprise character or two. In an attempt to keep this review spoiler-free, I won’t divulge specific plot points, just some of the scenarios.

Modern Warfare 3 will at times be very reminiscent of the previous game, just as Modern Ware 2 was to the original. You’ll end up doing a lot of what you’ve done in the previous two games, but it somehow manages to still feel fresh. Sure, you’ll be the gunner of an AC-130 again, switching from the birds-eye-view of the battlefield, to your squad of special operatives on ground level, awaiting orders to proceed or hang back. If you’ve played any other Call of Duty before this, then you know exactly how Modern Warfare 3 plays from beginning to end. But it’s hard to dispute that the production values and attention to detail have never been higher.

There are certain moments in Modern Warfare 3 that are just as jaw-dropping, disturbing, and awe-inspiring, as the infamous airport scene from Modern Warfare 2. Upon initial boot, the game even asks you if you’d like to have said content appear in your campaign playthrough, just like Modern Warfare 2 did when asking about the airport scene.

As advertised, MW3 is in fact a look at World War 3, or what it would be like for actual modern warfare across the world’s nations. Watching a structure as iconic as the Eiffel Tower come crumbling down to the ground was just as breathtaking as seeing the Whitehouse overrun in Modern Warfare 2.

Sure, the story is every bit as balls-to-the-walls as previous Modern Warfare entries, and the campaign only lasts for about six hours, but all that should be expected by now. Whether or not you’re on board with the over-the-top action and set pieces in the recent Call of Duty games, Modern Warfare 3 houses multiple memorable moments that can at times seem familiar, but fun to play nonetheless.

Graphically, Modern Warfare 3 is pretty stale, and looks pretty close to what Modern Warfare 2 looked like. However, at a healthy constant rate of 60 FPS, the game looks good in motion. You won’t stop moving and take in any gorgeous scenery, or examine anything particular, which is a little disappointing. There is enough going on at all times to stimulate you visually, but it could look better.

Along with the review copy, Activision also provided a 5.1 surround sound system for the single-player campaign portion of the game. The new MW3 engine does incorporate better directional audio, so if you have the luxury of a 5.1/7.1 surround sound system/headset, ... (continued on next page)

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  • Related game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

    Release date (US):
    November 8th, 2011
    Infinity Ward / Sledgehammer Entertainment / Raven Software
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