Thursday, 10 November 2011

Review: Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3 is a great game if you are a fan of the previous ones and hate innovation. Many people won't  even touch the single player campaign so for them what is MW3? An over priced expansion? A four year old game re-skinned? There is a host of content available with the campaign, spec-ops, a horde mode and the 20 mode multiplayer but it seems to me that most people won't be interested enough to play anything but multiplayer and will miss out as it is so similar to previous iterations. This year Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are going head to head and whilst MW3 has a better campaign I think that BF3 has the superior multiplayer and so is overall the better game and more worthy of your money.
So much Britishness in one screen.

The original Modern Warfare's multiplayer defined this generations FPS genre with it's arcade controls, realism and plethora of weapons and modes; it's a shame that since then complacency and domination have led to stagnation so very little has changed. Hopefully BF3 will give the developers a much needed wake up call. New maps weapons and killstreaks will keep the game fresh for a little while but they will soon get familiar and without any change to the core mechanics is this really more than an expansion? There may be 20 modes but only one of them is new and whilst it is fun it's just not enough; Black Ops at least tried something new with the wager system.
In Kill Confirmed you have to pick up the enemies dog tags to gain points.

There is a lot of customisation possible when it comes to your character; there are 35 main firearms, 16 secondary, six lethal and eight tactical weapons to choose from. On top of that there are also 27 killstreaks, 6 death streaks and three sets of five perks to choose from. This customisation may mean that you can play the game in a number of different ways but it has all been seen before in previous games. As an incentive to keep you playing each weapon has six upgrades, a number of attachments and 11 camouflages to unlock through gaining 'proficiency' with each weapon by using it in combat. Also challenges, call-signs and emblems can be unlocked through achieving certain goals but to be honest it's little more than grinding to earn them.
Good old team death match is still fun.

The game ships with 16 maps though none of them really stick out as being particularly good or bad yet, except Dome which I already hate because it is really small and the re-spawn points are all over the place. I'm sure that over the next couple of weeks maps will start to distinguish themselves in the eyes of the community and become more common on play lists however for now they seem to lack character. I'm also sure it won't be too long before Activision release over priced expansion packs with more maps in them. Compared to BF3 all the maps are minuscule and too easy to just run around in with no strategy.
Look familiar?

In my opinion BF3 took it's campaign far too seriously and suffered for it; MW3 is unapologetically loud, fast paced and overall more enjoyable. It may only last 3-5 hours but would I want it to last any longer? Not at all. Over the course of the game you are whisked across the world so even if you get bored in one section it's soon over and you are somewhere else. Throughout the game you switch between the Americans fighting WW3 in American and across Europe as well as a member of Captain Price's motley crew as you try to track down Makarov. It's nice to be back with Captain Price and Soap but attempts to pull at the heart strings flat out fail as you won't care deeply enough for the characters, if at all.
The pacing throughout the campaign is good; no section is too long.

The set pieces are as fun as usual however dated graphics and unimpressive audio do hold them back; though maybe I'm just used to BF3's breath taking graphics and immersive audio. A zero gravity fight and a boat chase through a harbour as ships explode and helicopters and jets fly over head especially stick out as being impressive. Crysis 2 may have presented a superior war torn New York and Uncharted 3 a more engaging story but MW3's campaign is still worth the time you put into it. People complain about the infinite waves of enemies but I find that if you reach the right tempo and keep pushing they are easy to get past and don't take too long; you just have to know when to push. One of my biggest gripes with BF3 was the constant inclusion of quick time events which really subtract from the experience, thankfully in MW3 you only have to deal with a couple of these at the end of the game; QTEs do not belong in PC games, ever.
Crysis 2 did destroyed city before it was cool.

Overall I think that MW3 is out shined by BF3 as the main draw of these games is the multiplayer and that is where BF3 really excels. MW3 is not a bad game it's just a shame that since the original Modern Warfare game the developers have shown no initiative and always play it safe. Now that the Modern Warfare trilogy is over lets hope that future iterations in the Call of Duty franchise will be more innovative. MW3 offers shallow fun but it is still very fun none the less.

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