Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 First Look Preview

The fight spills out onto the streets of New York and London in our first look at the latest Call of Duty.

In case you hadn't heard the news, there's a new Call of Duty game coming this year in the form of Modern Warfare 3. Picking up immediately after its 2009 predecessor, Modern Warfare 3 will tell the story of US Delta Force operatives and British SAS forces teaming up against the Russian ultranationalists who have made the critical mistake of invading their home turf. Indeed, battles will be waged in both New York and London--among other locales--as you seek to deal with the Russian threat using a little tactic called "any gun you can get your hands on." Activision was kind enough to demo a slice of both the New York and London sections of the game at a recent press event leading up to this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, so let's get into the nitty-gritty of what you can expect from the latest installment in what has become the biggest video game franchise on the market.

"I would KILL for a street cart hot dog right about now."

Well, speaking of markets, your first goal in the New York demo is to carve your way through war-torn Lower Manhattan in order to make it to the Stock Exchange building. This level paints Manhattan as a city in ruins, with overturned cars filling the streets, massive sections of the road sunk into the ground, and buildings teetering on the edge of collapse. In true Call of Duty fashion, you're moving through a tightly scripted pathway without much opportunity to veer off and explore at your own leisure. In this level alone, you go from outside on Broad Street, up into a neighboring building overlooking the Stock Exchange's familiar oversized American flag, and then down onto the floor of the Exchange with its familiar circular computer pods. Eventually you and your team make it up onto the roof of the Exchange, deal with some bad guys camped across the way on nearby rooftops, and then jump into a helicopter for an on-rails turret sequence that will be well familiar to anyone who has spent much time with the franchise thus far.

There didn't seem to be an awful lot of gameplay additions in this particular demo. The main character was using a gun with a special new attachment that could be swapped from a red dot sight to a magnified ACOG sight with a simple twist of the wrist, which will probably add some welcome flexibility for those who would prefer one gun to deal with both close and distant enemies. Then there was another gun that we couldn't quite make out, but it appeared to have the form factor of a sniper rifle with the ability to lob grenades using a pinpoint, heavily magnified sniper rifle zoom. But aside from that, it was the same combat familiar to anyone who played Modern Warfare 2, right on down to a section where you man a predator drone strike from up in the sky.

In fact, this New York demo was an oddly muted one compared to the direction the series seemed to be heading in with Modern Warfare 2. There was no swelling music until near the end, little communication between squadmates, and no signs of city life to speak of outside of the two sides going about their warring business. Perhaps it's that codevelopers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer want to stay more true to the surgical Delta Force tactics, or maybe it's that a demolished Manhattan level doesn't carry the same impact coming on the heels of Crysis 2, but all we know is that for a series known for increasing levels of spectacle and "wow" moments, this particular level didn't offer much of either.

Bonus points for stabbing all those fish.

Thankfully, the London level shown immediately afterward did offer some of that spectacle that we've come to expect from Call of Duty. This level begins with a pilot cruising above London using the familiar infrared vision of an AC-130 gunship. But quickly enough, you jump into the shoes of an SAS operative down on the ground in what turns out to be a rainy industrial neighborhood of London under a gloomy nighttime sky. The SAS begin by quickly and quietly moving through a dilapidated building, taking out enemies with silenced submachine guns. Eventually the fight spills out into a parking lot, then into a construction yard, and eventually down a large ramp descending into some sort of underground tunnel.

But it's revealed a moment later that this is no regular underground construction site. In fact, you've somehow fought your way down into the tunnel of the London Underground. (Did we mention this level is cheekily titled "Mind the Gap"?) The bad guys you're chasing hop onto one of the trains on the Tube, but your squad is just a few seconds late, so you have to make do with jumping onto a flat-bed truck and driving after them. In a high-speed chase leading through darkened tunnels, you're on the back of the truck shooting the Russians in the train, occasionally veering out of the way of oncoming trains that are little more than a flash of blinding light in these dark tunnels. At one point, you even pass through a crowded station with dozens of civilians waiting on the train platform--more to the point, civilians who must be soiling themselves at the sight of a speeding train being tailed by an equally speeding truck, which are firing shots at one another. Not quite the usual rush-hour Tube ride.

Things soon get worse, as the train you're chasing overturns and starts rolling sideways through the tunnels, knocking down the pillars and support beams as it careens sidelong through the dimly lit underground. It's an impressive sight that you can't help but stare at in awe, right up until the moment that your truck also manages to lose control and send you toppling down onto the ground. And just as that happens, the game logo pops up, and it's demo over.

The London demo was a lot of fun.

At the end of the day, this really was a tale of two demos. The London level was a thoroughly entertaining encapsulation of the spectacle and excitement that people play Call of Duty games for, while the New York level was a strangely flat experience that didn't really grab us. Then again, every game needs varied pacing, and the Call of Duty series has practically mastered the art of roller-coaster action, so perhaps this particular slice of the New York campaign is more of a downtime moment designed to complement the dramatic spikes soon to follow. At any rate, it's still early yet, and there's still plenty of Modern Warfare 3 left for us to see. We'll be sure to report back as we find out more leading up to the game's November 8 release.

Written By

Want the latest news about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Follow

Discussion

963 comments
kratos-vs-cloud
kratos-vs-cloud

This feels truly awesome.But i m gonna wait BF 3 too.

LeadnSteel
LeadnSteel

If I get this game it will be for PC so I don't have to play it on xbox with 13 year olds dropping f and n bombs all the time. PC has much more mature players.

SANDMAN201
SANDMAN201

@Bladestop You are correct in almost every single way that I can think of.

Bladestop
Bladestop

I really have no idea why battlefield fanboys keep trying to bash CoD?!?!?!? There is a reason that CoD games always have the same gameplay! It's just better then BF!!!!!! I'm just gonna sit back and laugh myself to sleep when this scores higher the BF3 and wins multiplayer game of the year. Sorry BF3 fanboys, you lose.

boney614
boney614

Battlefield games are better than Call of Duty games. Here is a list of reasons why: - realistic sounding weapons - destructable enviroments - vehicles - the ability to choose any weapons and perks (specs) whenever you want while waiting to spawn -larger maps (better for snipers but offers the ability for non snipers to flank and kill those pesky snipers) Call of duty doesnt even stand up to that list. The only thing going for call of duty is that it's a faster paced game and that's it. COD fans, please do yourselves a favor and try Battlefield Bad Company 2.

abbazaba35
abbazaba35

If they make te guns feel like pelit guns (as the do in Black Ops) I'll be seeking out other ways of FPS entertainment. This will ultimately be the test to see if the "new" Infinity Ward can make a great game without its backbone invisionaries.

Jamey23
Jamey23

IS Soap And Price Gonna Be Here???

Albaficas
Albaficas

- thebeachguy90 - "Both games are FPS but directed towards different audiences. Which one is better? There is no right or wrong answer to that,"There is and its BF3 period.Call of nooby are just for kid tards like yourself that keep buying the same game every year nuff said

Albaficas
Albaficas

too bad this game gonna be overshadowed by the biggest fps this year BF3 EA event will be al labout BF3.R.I.P mw - welcome BF3

murshidshark
murshidshark

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Connor24
Connor24

I know people like it, and I know it can be fun. But this game is just a total cash crop. My only problem really, is that it feels like such a loose game. Like, it feels superficial in terms of the action going on screen. I like my games to not feel fake. Not like ultra-realistic, but not this janky vibe COD gives off. Also running around on the same 20 square maps all day long is dumb. THen paying money for a couple more. Maybe I'm just use to PC shooters where I have a zillion different environments to have fun on. COD always feels like you're chasing the carrot, instead of eating the entirely possible carrot you have at home.

matercode
matercode

Hopefully they will have some multiplayer info at E3.

GreenCycloneCyd
GreenCycloneCyd

No matter how you criticize it, we are all COD suckers.

chyng85
chyng85

Looks really gorgeous~

geomyr
geomyr

i like this game and all of the call of duty series they are full of intense action shooting simulation thumbs up to this one

Okplay
Okplay

I will try to see how much Activision failed this time..

killerkrish1983
killerkrish1983

Looks, like the same gameplay, but different settings....hmm...hopefully it should have an interesting plot atleast....

prince_Arash
prince_Arash

I hope to be successful like the earlier version

noobzoer
noobzoer

Activision, buy me the game and pay me to play it. What? No, you won't? Well, I will not be playing your game then.

GODOFWAR03
GODOFWAR03

@MaddogQ80 - Updated article about the pay to play. They were supposedly considering it but are now going to offer another service called Call of Duty Elite which will be pay to play and launch with MW3. Activision is one of the biggest ripoff artists in the gaming industry, for what they charge for map packs I could totally see them trying to suck more money from us for an outdated product. http://geeksofdoom.com/2011/06/01/activision-officially-launching-paid-multiplayer-service-call-of-duty-elite-with-modern-warfare-3-this-fall/

MaddogQ80
MaddogQ80

no way they woulld ever do pay to play

GODOFWAR03
GODOFWAR03

I heard that this could be a pay to play game. Not sure how much truth there is to that, but I won't purchase if its pay to play.

akoymakoy
akoymakoy

a lot of MW3 haters who just commented below. Why even bother going to this page if your just gonna show people how you are not buying it and how this and that it is. If you dont like it then dont stop acting like all critic and sh!t . You like BF3 then buy BF3 nobody cares. (FYI ill buy BF3 too)

dalua360
dalua360

@Sergeant_ DICE already did! I remember all the hype before MW2 release, it was something unbelievable! Now we can see about 65%( just a guess taking in consideration all the posts in here) of the people complaining about COD not being innovative!

dalua360
dalua360

@showaddywaddy I know what you mean but as I am a gun enthusiast, it's hard not to notice the details. I believe that everything in life works this way, for example, when you do medical school, you can no longer watch the medical shows like ER or House, you'll notice every single mistake they make. Or when you do law school, you can no longer watch any movie about courts, because of constant mistakes. As I always participated in the military life, I know that I became very selective. That's why I prefer games like Battlefield, Operation Flashpoint, Arma, etc.. They are a bit more realistic. But I like the COD single player stories!

GeaorgeBotts23
GeaorgeBotts23

yeah lets release the same game every year. COD is only popular cause its COD. Even if the game never changes people are still goin buy it. Its quite sad however. The only reason COD4 won GOTY and No COD has won since its because COD4 was revolutionary. Activision has milked this Franchise to death. COD will eventually die out like Guitar hero did.

TroyTrojanGamer
TroyTrojanGamer

Great another game driven by twelve year olds on XBOX. I thought MW1 was original and loved the realness of it. MW2 came out before MW1 even got old then they released Black Ops very quickly. Now here comes MW3 jeez I haven't even taken the time to try Black Ops yet.

EtherUnion
EtherUnion

im L4D guy, im going buy this game.... IF.... - standalone dedicated server - longer single player - better game engine

anothereviewer
anothereviewer

Meh after mw2 I'm not getting this. mw1 was golden, perfect. mw2 started off great but right after you rescued price the game became stupid. Like it wanted to go hollywood on you instead of realistic shooter, even the action sequences were lame it wasnt pulling a fellow soilder out of helicopter while trying to race against a nuke or carryin your captain through hell after he messed up his leg. And mw3 looks like its just gonna be all hollywood and I'm sorry but if your gonna release a mediocre game every year and sell it for 60 bucks then I'm not buying it and anyway who is buying it is wasting their money Instead I'll go with something new like rage or dead island or something thats worth the price like BF3

akmex
akmex

dang another one? count me in!!

showaddywaddy
showaddywaddy

@dalua360 picky arent you? personally, i couldnt care less how they hold their gun as long as the games fun.

Entropy730
Entropy730

MW3.... full-priced expansion pack to MW2. To those of you saying you're gonna buy both; stop giving companies money they don't deserve. But it's not my money so if you decide to go out and buy the rehash then it's all yours. I don't want it

dalua360
dalua360

Infinity Ward should change to Hollywood action movies. They are so lazy that they didn't even hire a military consultant to help them with the weapons and military tactics details. For example, when you watch the trailer, look at 00:12min, the soldier toss an empty magazine with no feed port and no follower! at 00:19 min, the SAS(i think) soldier is using a MP5 with no handguard! Why? Does IW think that way appears to be more cool? what about the super hot barrel? And why they think SAS uses only MP5s? The H&K MP5 is a submachine gun chambered in 9x19mm ! geez! It's considered a secondary weapon system, not the primary weapon system to fight against a country invasion! It's used to CQB room cleaning or VIP protection at most! And what about the way they index their weapons, what kind of grip is that? Two fingers? Nice IW, sticking to the details!! -.-

Sergeant_
Sergeant_

@aSchizophrenic I wouldn't even go as far as to say it deserves an 8, every release is like a $60 expansion pack, at the very least it should get a 5.0 or 6.

Sergeant_
Sergeant_

@Nodashi If you've read the head lines a few years back then you'd see that the players did not start this "war" you speak of, Infinity Ward stated that they'd beat DICE at their own game (which at the time was Bad Company 2). Now that Infinity Ward has gotten the attention of DICE - and not in a good way - I think DICE will be putting all the bells and whistles into BF3, especially Frostbite 2, in order to not only beat but demolish COD.

djpetitte
djpetitte

its just a matter of time before cod falls off its high horse. They cant keep polishing the same turd every year forever. someday with will need to come up with a new engine, and that could be when the game fails. By that time the other war games will be so far ahead of cod, it will be left in the dust. How can anyone call an 8 vs 8 multiplayer without vehicles or destruction a warefare game? Its just a glorified counterstrike

Chavis02
Chavis02

@ts_tat The reason why people are fighting about BF3 and MW3 is because, other people that played COD games and notice that the IW Company are using the same graphics from MW 1, 2 and using small maps and no bigger maps or adding vehicles to ride on and it's getting...boring and I'm trying to say is.. "They need to develop more" :P I mean if they don't develop for the next game I will be sticking with DICE Company and play BF3 all the way. :P Sorry COD Fans that is the "truth" from a Gamer.

franzito
franzito

Eat my liver but what's so great about CoD?

LeadnSteel
LeadnSteel

Activision is going downhill fast. They are ruining great series by using the same thing over and over. Look what happened to Guitar Hero and Madden..... the kept making the same thing every year. I haven't bought a COD game since Modern Warfare which I still enjoy, but for all the newest COD series the graphics engine is still the same from 2005.

marxux_1
marxux_1

i never played battlefield but only COD...and its the same rubbish every year for last 3 year. I am happy to quit.

trivolution
trivolution

I rather spend money for Call of Duty than buy illegal drugs and cigarettes

tiba9
tiba9

im a bf guy but i think i might get this game

jaijames
jaijames

How people expect the game to be any better than mw2 when they make a game every year (light bulb). Every year the hype the COD. People preorder and a few months later they whine about the game. Activision is following the Madden handbook step by step.