At Call of Duty XP, Activision blew the lid off of Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer component. While the single player mode is still under wraps, attendees of CoD XP got the chance to sit down and experience what the online component in Modern Warfare 3 will be all about.
Everything about Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer screams iteration. Veterans of the series will still operate at potential on the field, wielding their favorite weapons from MW2 -- which for the most part are making a return in MW3 -- -but that is almost where the comparisons end. Well, that, and the fact that when you shoot enemies in the face, they drop to the ground.
Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer has changed. The general assumption behind MW3 and its multiplayer component, was until this weekend, that if you’ve played MW2 multiplayer, you know what to expect in MW3. This is not the case. Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer have for better or worse (I vouch for the former) gone though quite a few design changes to the multiplayer that millions of gamers who flock to daily will notice right off the bat. Instead of showing priority to the regular ‘Team Deathmatch’ mode that everyone is used to by now, Activision has been showing off their new ‘Kill Confirmed’ mode -- which by the looks of it, aims to overtake the classic TDM.
In Kill Confirmed the player must collect dog tags dropped by enemies and allies upon death. Kill an enemy, and watch golden dog tags float above the lifeless cadaver of said online opponent. The only way to score points for your team is to run over and collect these dog tags. Collect a dog tag, and your (or your teammate’s) kill is confirmed, netting your team points. Let an enemy grab that dog tag however, and that kill is “denied” meaning that you lose the opportunity to award your team with points for that kill that you worked so hard to achieve.
Ok, not that hard. One thing I noticed about Modern Warfare 3 competitive multiplayer right off the bat was that getting shot first almost completely guarantees that you will lose the firefight. It seems that after only about 2-3 bullets, you’re down. To make up for this, the respawn timer has completely took a leave of absence. Die and come right back to life, and jump in on the white-knuckle action going on in one of many new maps.
Chasing dog tags is definitely the goal of the new Kill Confirmed mode, making MW multiplayer seem very changed. But that’s not the only way that Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer has evolved, since kill streaks as we know them have been gutted, and mixed into a whole new system
Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games have introduced the new replacement to kill streaks, called the the Strike Packages. Strike Packages are rewarded to players via kills, assists, completed objectives, and more. And to add to the evolution of kill streaks, players can now choose one of three classes that best suits their style of play. The three different classes are called Assault, Support, and Specialist.
Of the group, Assault is most reminiscent of traditional kill streaks, rewarding players with offensive bonuses like the AC-130, Osprey Gunship control, Pave Low, and more. Support is for team players, who prefer to focus on controlling the flow of battle in the field, and offer team-oriented bonuses, like bullet proof vest drops, care package drops, and UAV drones. Specialist is definitely what got the crowd most excited. Specialist rewards players with additional perks upon chaining kills together without dying. What does this mean? This means that the more you kill, the more perks activate for you until you die -- meaning that by your 8th kill in a row, you have all unlocked perks (regular and pro versions) active at once.
What I took away from Modern Warfare 3’s hefty design changes was that the game favored players of all skill levels to have a more enjoyable experience together. Honestly, I was shocked to see how much Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer chose to evolve the multiplayer. While the controls and feel of the gameplay is exactly the same as Modern Warfare 2, the strategy, goals, pacing, and objectives make for a totally different experience. One that I look forward to playing more of -- which in my eyes, is a success on Activision’s part.
Modern Warfare 3 will be released on November 8, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.