8

If your tried of Call of Duty (like me)... this will make you even more tired.

Last year, when I reviewed Call of Duty: Black Ops, I ended my review by wishing for some changes in its gameplay and less bugs. This year I got… less bugs. Oh, yay. I don't even know why I keep buying Call of Duty anymore. A few months after Black Ops, I realized that I've been playing the same Call of Duty game since CoD2 in 2005. The gameplay is still like CoD2 back then, even if the multiplayer has gotten significantly better. Needless to say, I'm not as excited for Call of Duty as I used to be. In fact, I was hesitating to buy Modern Warfare 3, if only to see how the story arc would end.

Story
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the infamous Airport Massacre in Modern Warfare 2, Russia somehow thought it would be a good idea to invade America, since one of the terrorists in that incident was an American. Now for some strange reason, after being kicked out of America, they've decided to invade Europe. But while MW3's going on, Captain Price, Nikolai (hey, stop stealing my name!!!), Soap and their new ally, Yuri, are out looking for Makarov; the guy who started all this WW3 crap.

The story is… well ungodly stupid. Why does Russia invade Europe? What have they ever done? Why can Makarov move around doing all this by himself (yea he has terrorist buddies, but they only act as his army)? Why is it only Americans who are defending Europe, despite the game also visiting Germany and France? Why aren't their armies doing anything? That and many other questions are the ones you will be asking yourself as you'll be playing through the stupid campaign.

But even by that, the story is pretty much your standard CoD story, and as such you shouldn't expect any emotional detachment to any character whatsoever. At least the ending is satisfying.

Once again, the story is told via briefing's in between missions, and it isn't any better than it were in MW2. In fact, Black Ops did a better job at telling its story. In fact, Black Ops is the only CoD game that can say it actually had a good story. Also, every character you play as is a mute, even if they say something in the cut-scenes. I thought we got rid of this in Black Ops, so why are returning back to mute characters? But you want to know the best thing about this mute business? As the game proceeds, they do get more chatty. To the point where one of your main characters (who almost said nothing up until the final parts), becomes an NPC, and all of a sudden he starts talking. And what about you? Well you get to play as someone, who for once talks! It's idiotic. No more mutes, please!

But it is at least somewhat entertaining, and it does work as an excuse for explosions and lots of entertaining shooting.

5.0

Gameplay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't even think I need to talk about the gameplay anymore. If you don't know how Call of Duty operates, then you've either lived under a rock, or had the privilege to live under a rock. Enemies come at you, and you shoot at them till they are dead. Quite often though they'll be coming in small armies, and the only way to beat them is to push them back. This is something that was more or less scaled back in MW2 & Black Ops, where progress didn't depend on this. And yes, in case you're wondering, they still throw grenades like their playing American Football, and they are freakin' precise too. Another thing that's left unchanged is the A.I. As mentioned they are good at throwing grenades, but that's about it. Your allies will occasionally kill someone, but they will often let several enemies breach their defense, which, more often or not, ends up getting you killed. The enemy A.I. will improve on veteran however, it's just a shame your alias's A.I. won't.

The campaign is still (precisely) 6 hours along and its main focus is still to provide some kick-ass set pieces. Problem with these set pieces is, that while they are pretty entertaining, and will make you feel excited, they just simply aren't as good as they used to be. The reasoning for this is, mainly, that it's still just bigger and larger explosions. That's all the set pieces consist off. Apparently in WW3, you can't look at something without having it explode somehow. Least Black Ops had other set pieces to showcase, that did not involve explosions all the bloody time. There is one part of the game (that is too disturbing, so it can be ignored) that just comes right out of nowhere. Yes, the part where a child dies with her parents (what? Everyone already knows about this, so I'll spoil it anyway). I admit it's not something you see every day in video games (hell not even in movies), but it's so cheap, so rushed, so predictable, that I ended up degrading the game a bit for that part alone.
That is not to say I hate the campaign however.

Despite all that I've said, it is pretty entertaining, if you switch your brains off and crap. Despite the massive explosions, the set pieces can be a bit exciting and really entertaining, and it does have a good amount of variation, something Call of Duty's campaigns always was good at. I did somewhat enjoy the campaign, in despite how familiar and stupid it all is.

Now on the multiplayer front… well it's still pretty entertaining to play. Online sees the introduction of a new mode called "Kill Confirmed". Here, you have to collect your enemy's dog tag, after you've killed him obviously, before the kill is added to your point score. If the other team gets the dog tag, you don't get anything. It's surprisingly original (something that is surprising in a CoD game), and it does at least encourage a bit of team play. Sadly though, the money betting modes from Black Ops doesn't see a return, sadly.

Other changes to online include Strike Packages, which change your kill streaks. Speaking of these kills streaks, there's the usual barrage of streaks from the previous games (and the devilish perk when you die, has returned). It's been made easier to gain the more demanding kill streaks, since any special attack you activate, will be added to your overall kill streak count. This is both good and a bad thing. Good because, as mentioned, it will help you get access to the more demanding streaks. But it also means it's too easy for players to gain them, which means that several streaks will be activated at the same time in matches. It makes things seem more chaotic than needed.
Other changes include an leveling system for the guns. Again, it makes you stronger, but it can seem a bit unfair on the lower level players, since they can be killed almost instantly no matter where you get hit with them.

Spec Ops from MW2 returns, and like before, it's an excellent addition. Though it is the same structure from MW2, they are pretty addicting (especially with getting 5 stars), and well made. Survival mode, essentially Horde mode, has also been added. It's basically you and a friend, vs. hordes of enemies. It's the same old, same old, but it's a lot of fun to play. The level cap in multiplayer has been increased to 80, and it is quicker to level up, than in some of the previous CoD games. Spec Ops & Online multiplayer has their own separate leveling systems, which gives more incentive to play each mode. It might still be the same sure, but it's way better than the campaign itself.

8.0

Graphics & Sound
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is an engine, that used to be among the best looking games that was currently out there. Today, it's defiantly showing its age. That being said though, the game at least does run at 60 fps (though that's hardly a surprise anymore), and it does have some impressive looking set-pieces. It's not a bad looking game by any means, but it isn't a stunner either.

The sound is great. The music might be your average Hollywood action music, but it does fit, and sound, very well. The voice acting is pretty good, spotting some Hollywood talent among the likes of William Fichtner and Timothy Olyphant. For some reason though, Tobey Maguire has been reported to be in the game, but I can confirm that he isn't. The sound effects are excellent as well. This really is one of those games that you should play with your surround system… hell I wish I could do that.

8.5

Overall
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I know there's stuff I haven't mentioned, like Call of Duty Elite, but I haven't been bothered to try it. It's only the free version anyway. No way I'm going pay $35 for it. Anyway, Modern Warfare 3 is just… Call of Duty being Call of Duty. If you're tired of it, then chances are you'll be just as tried with this one. If you loved Call of Duty, then you'll love it. For me, it made me even more tired of the series. It's still entertaining, but as I warned last year, no changes = point loss.

Discussion