It's not revolutionary, but it's fun still...
MW3 resumes its globe-trotting story from where the previous game in the series has left off. The swine traitor Sherman, the antagonist from the previous MW game, is dead. Makarov, the Ultranationalist who reignited the flames of another world war, is still at large and pulling strings of terror from all around the world. Various significant places in Europe and America are scarred from the destruction that Makarov has brought that includes an intentional outbreak of a biochemical weapon.
It's a great continuing premise to an already wonderful war-story. You see the story from different points of view, all in the first-person perspective. The grisliness of war is effectively depicted, and one should not play this game in front of any minors. Civilian casualties take part to put more weight in the plot; gruesome deaths take center-stage; and, the dialogue also has its share of explicit content. It's a war game, after all. It needs that sense of urgency and carelessness to the way the script is presented.
But, it's an honest script. The voice actors have done another great job in putting life to the digital characters that make up the world of MW3. Each major playable and non-playable character develops well into the story, so you'd really care for them and what happens to them, no matter how traditionally scripted most of the series' scenarios are. Captain Price returns, as well as many familiar individuals that have graced the MW history. New characters make their debut here as well, and they fit well in the story.
With its fast-paced nature, and engaging scheme in story, you'll get hooked. Various twists in the story and a number of disturbing moments also crop up. Wait and be surprised.
The game's graphics really are good. Its production values are very respectable and you'd really appreciate how much the developers have done to better the game's looks. The animations are fluid, and you rarely get to see visual flaws (what, amidst all the action, you'd really not care for visual bugs).
But Infinity Ward's engine is getting old really fast. You can't deny that the game does look beautiful, but when it comes to sequels, people just love to see more from the game, not just game play-wise, but also in its visual style. I think it's safe to say that MW3 should be the last game in the series that features the usual game engine that Infinity Ward has gotten used to, and they should develop a new one. Who wouldn't want a new-looking COD game, right?
COD: MW3 does not disappoint in this department. The audio design is superb, and you'd want to crank up the volume for every part of the game, because it'll jolt you and keep your adrenalin levels high. War sounds reverberate in every moment. Urban and rural noise just engulfs your ears with every step that your character will make as you progress through the game. Its environmental sound effects are astounding and you'll find that it'll stay with you.
Voice acting is amazing, as with all the entries in the COD canon. You'll find that popular names, such as William Fichner, Timothy Olyphant and Idris Elba, have all lent their voices to enhance the game's characters' personalities, as American Operatives Sandman, Grinch and Truck, respectively. Naturally, Billy Murray's Capt. Price still commands a lot of respect. Soap McTavish also returns, his Irish accent still as unusual as ever, yet very spot-on. Its voice acting that heightens the drama in these types of games, and you'll find every bit of it very entertaining. Makarov has a longer screen-time in this game, so prepare to be impressed by this villain's voice and look.
The soundtrack is composed by Bryan Tyler, and his work here is amazing. You'll discover that they had a really smashing time in the music department, because the game's music really does more than become a slight wind in the atmosphere. As with every COD game, the music here demands respect, and Brian Tyler deserves praise for his work.
The most important aspect of any game is how it'll play. COD has always proved that it delivers quality in its presentation, especially its game-play. MW3 still lives up to that reputation, and it doesn't fail. It still delivers. Shooting a gun feels like Christmas, whether you're slugging an enemy from the hip or through your sights. The feel of every weapon is markedly better, too. From pistols, to heavy machine guns, to suppressed guns, to snipers, they all feel so 'advanced', in a way. It really feels like you really notice the best tweaks in the way the guns shoot.
More like Black Ops, MW3's weapon system is differentiated by the type of aiming sights present in any gun, or the various special attachments on them (e.g. grenade launchers, suppressors). But the world in MW3 really has an abundance of AK47s. They're everywhere!
Within 5-6 hours, you'll be able to finish the single player mode, depending on the difficulty and whether you'd want to stick around to find some hidden intel or not. After that, you're presented with the Special Ops mode. More missions that feature leaderboards. That's how a lot of people spend many hours getting addicted to COD. And to top it all off, you also get to experience MW3's multiplayer, which is a blast, by the way. Aside from the standard fare COD game modes, you also get new ones, such as the one that's the same as Gear's of War 2's Horde Mode. Multiplayer is still effective in pulling you in. It's not really innovative, but it refines the COD formula really well. It doesn't blend the familiar with something new. MW3 blends the familiar with a shoe-shine polish of itself. Change still isn't a must for this gaming giant. That is, not as of the moment.
With a blast of a story, pure sweet quality, and incredible game play, COD: MW3 lunges at you with a bravado that will never cease to give in. Graphically, it's still the same, but it's still a memorable experience that is worth having. If change is necessary for the franchise, the developers just gave one final hurrah before turning the cogs again to make a whopper of a next-gen COD game.