Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review (PS5) – Activision and Call Of Duty have dominated the news cycle this year mainly due to the merger with Xbox, and the subsequent fallout with regulatory bodies worldwide. So technically Modern Warfare 3 marks the first Call of Duty release under Microsoft‘s stewardship.
The reality of each new Call Of Duty game’s development pipeline means Microsoft didn’t have anything to do with this year’s Modern Warfare 3, but it’s a rocky start nonetheless.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review (PS5) – A Low Point For The Series
Starting with the campaign, which for me personally; is the primary reason I will play a Call of Duty game. A rare case, I know, but they’re usually the equivalent of a summer blockbuster, popcorn flick, and make for a fun sub-ten hour thrill ride.
Unfortunately, Call of Duty Modern Warfare III boasts the most disappointing campaign I’ve experienced in the legendary FPS franchise.
Beyond some impressive visuals and character models, there’s hardly anything praiseworthy in its remarkably short 4 hour runtime.
Lacking any real motivation you’re thrust into its world where most of its missions feel lifeless and devoid of creativity. Open combat missions play like the spec ops missions of old, but without co-op functionality.
There’s some freedom in that you can choose what objective you might want to tackle first, but it definitely takes away from the usual bombastic campaigns we have come to expect from the series.
The more cinematic missions that punctuate the open combat missions are anti-climatic as a result. Beyond that it doesn’t really handle its subject matter with any real care.
For example, the use of chemical weapons or drone strikes within its story could be handled with far more grace and maturity.
Other than a few intense moments, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III’s biggest story beats hardly feel earned, and the ending falls flat due to the trivial and quite frankly, dull campaign that precedes it.
Combined with the recycling of its maps within its campaign (and other modes) makes for the worst Call of Duty campaign to date.
Passable Yet Predictable Multiplayer
Call of Duty Modern Warfare III’s multiplayer suite is about what you would expect. It’s very par for the course.
There’s nothing really wrong with the tried and true formulae, but when the campaign is as lacklustre as it is, it was a challenge to feel motivated to play the multiplayer modes.
First up, there is War Mode, which is a 6v6 objective based mode where you defend or attack the objectives and move up to the next one if you’re successful. It’s a bit bland, but certainly not the worst mode in Modern Warfare III.
The core multiplayer modes such as team deathmatch, kill confirmed, search and destroy, hard point, etc and so on, are Modern Warfare III’s only saving grace.
They’re fast paced, and easy to jump in and out of. The TTK feels a touch higher than previous entries, which I appreciate, but it’s certainly not high enough for my preferences.
Modern Warfare III’s movement feels a bit smoother too, and the classic maps will certainly play on fans nostalgia of the franchise. Not to mention, they’re often the best maps.
However this mode is let down by an overbearing skill based matchmaking system and shoddy anti-cheat that both desperately need improving.
It is worth noting that during my time with the game, the spawn system was also busted. Quite often I’d find myself spawned back in enemy territory, amongst the opposition players, and thus instantly eliminated once more.
I assume this will be patched, but this was also an issue in 2019’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare so I’m not holding my breath.
Zombies has its own storied history within the Call of Duty franchise, but once again, this iteration is found wanting, in what is also the worst version of its mode to date.
Modern Warfare III’s version of the iconic game mode is essentially Warzone with zombies, right down to the Urzikstan map.
You will need to complete contracts, for upgrades, that allow you to travel to the increasingly more intense areas, which are marked on the map.
Killing the basic zombies is underwhelming, and firing endless bullets into the spongier, more robust enemies is also the antithesis of fun.
You will run into other players like you would in Warzone, but instead, fight alongside each other, and eventually attempt to extract once you’ve completed your objectives.
It is incredibly dull, feels all too familiar and I can’t imagine this will last long in the memory, even for the most ardent fans.
Overall, Call of Duty Modern Warfare III’s multiplayer modes feel like an extension of its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2.
The entirety of the game so far feels like it would have been much better served as an expansion of Modern Warfare 2 rather than a standalone game.
Messy Main Menu
The sound design is mostly excellent. The weapons and explosions some visceral and realistic, as we’ve come to expect from the storied FPS, although the sound mixing in multiplayer is lacking, as footsteps can be easily drowned out.
The game runs smoothly and is visually very impressive. Especially certain special effects such as smoke grenades and rain looked excellent on the PS5.
It would be difficult to knock Call of Duty for its presentation, as its pretty consistent in that regard.
The UI and main menu is a mess, however. It is overly convoluted, with splash advertisements for its own DLC and add-ons as soon as you open the game, trying to redirect you to the game’s store, rather than letting you select a game mode.
All things considered, this certainly feels gross, and rubs me the wrong way.
The annualised release format for the Call of Duty franchise may have finally taken its toll on the series, as almost every facet of Modern Warfare 3 suffers with issues or is quite frankly, uninspiring.
The Modern Warfare reboot started off incredibly strong in 2019, but it is now lacking, and the series deserves better.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is available now on PS5 and PS4.
Review code kindly provided by publisher.