“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” continues the franchise’s tradition of high action, detailed fighting and a super competitive multiplayer mode while still trying to let players play the way they want.
The latest in the highly popular and very successful series hits all the high notes in its cinematic single player campaign and its intense multiplayer mode. They also bring back the Special Ops mode from “Modern Warfare 2” that mixes the best of both modes.
The single player campaign, while short, takes you hopping around the globe to major cities in the world’s most powerful countries. Instead of battling in traditional hotspots (i.e., a desert locale), the story puts you inManhattan,LondonandBerlinto name a few.
Each city is richly detailed and the combat against a smart artificial intelligence is intense. The pacing from city to city varies due to the different missions and story in each location. One city will be frantic and offer a sense of finality while another city might be a bit slower, but nonetheless engaging.
There are some unexpected and tragic moments through the single player campaign, but it brings the “Modern Warfare” franchise story to a worthy end. I wish it would have lasted longer, but the plot flowed nicely.
The Special Ops mode takes the intense AI from the single player and adds elements that are usually found in multiplayer action. Creative strategist Robert Bolling said the development team wanted to give people who normally only tackle the single player campaign the opportunity to experience some of the rewards only found during online multiplayer.
“We noticed there were a lot of experiences that you were missing out on if you only played single player or vice versa you only played multiplayer,” Bolling said. “We wanted to find a platform that allowed the type of player from each of those to have those shared experiences rather than missing out because it wasn’t their style of play.”
Sixteen missions tie in to the campaign, but offer achievements like kill streaks, customization of weapons and a progressive ranking system so even the most “lone wolf” player can climb up the leaderboard. The Survival mode is particularly grueling with wave after wave of opponents coming after you.
The core of the multiplayer action stays pretty true to its roots. Huge battles, lots of action and an experience point system keep players involved and interested.
Most of the modes remain the same with one new additional mode. Collecting tags from dead bodies adds a cool twist to straightforward killing of an opponent and actually promotes teamwork, something that lacks from time to time in multiplayer action. There are 16 new maps to set the scene of your victories.
Bolling said they have 30 million players who have played the franchise online and a new Elite program will help provide stats, tips and bring together the franchise community without dividing them among consoles. He also tweeted on day one that they are already banning gamers from leaderboards and from playing because they are attempting to play unfairly or boost their rank.
While the multiplayer hasn’t changed much, it never really needed to anyway. The “Modern Warfare” franchise has a great track record of additive online play that is enjoyable and exciting.
Fast and furious multiplayer action, cinematic single player campaign and a Spec Ops mode offering the experience of both modes takes “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” to the top of the class. At least until the next one comes out.
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” is available now for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is rated M for mature due to blood and gore, drug references, intense violence and strong language. This review was done using the Xbox 360 version.