by Ryan Sandrey
reviewed on X360
Love it or loathe it?
Call of Duty. Even those three simple words can evoke feelings of pure elation or pure hatred from whoever hears them. A very divisive series, there are now two schools of thought about the ridiculously successful series - it’s either the best thing since sliced bread, or over-rated yearly releases of vaguely similar titles. To be fair, the same accusations are levelled at titles such as FIFA, but that series has never had the same amount of anger aimed at it. No matter what your opinion, the Call of Duty franchise is here to stay, and you’d better get used to it.
No matter which side of the argument you are on, it won’t have escaped your notice that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the 8th game in the series, was released this week. Chances are you’ve already made your mind up on whether it’s worth buying or not. Well, prepare to have that opinion challenged or affirmed, depending on where you sit.
Golf Oscar Oscar Delta
Prepare your shocked or pleased face: Modern Warfare 3 is a good game. With the likes of EA’s Battlefield 3 providing a desperate challenge to the dominance of Activision’s series, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games needed to make sure that the game was a step-up from the last title, and that it most certainly is. The basic concept of the gameplay hasn’t changed: You play as a soldier running through various terrains, cities and buildings shooting either AI or human opponents with a wide variety of weaponry. It’s a simple enough idea to understand and, when it is done right, it’s brilliant to play. The thing is, it was getting stale by Call of Duty: Black Ops. Very stale. Now, however, with little or no change to anything, it seems as fresh as it did when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released in 2007. Whilst the newest instalment doesn’t reach the heady heights of its grandfather, the family resemblance is striking.
The Campaign is a continuation of the previous two titles, with Russia still occupying the United States and pushing onwards into Europe. Old faces, such as the series’ mascot Captain Price, and new faces, such as ‘Sandman’, accompany and guide you throughout the story that takes you from New York to London. Whilst the campaign is terribly short in length, taking about 7 hours to complete, the story is an understandable and enjoyable experience, with cinematic set-pieces and ammunition-burning shootouts the order of the day. However, with its re-used textures from previous games (most notably the re-appearance of a building from the Call of Duty 4 map ‘Pipeline’), and similar themes, some people may get a sense of deja vu. The action and thrilling escapades that greet you do their best to disable this sense though.
Survival of the Fittest
Whilst the campaign is brilliantly theatrical, the majority of people who purchase Call of Duty titles are no longer interested in simply a brilliant campaign, and many often never play it at all. Add the ability to play with your friends, however, and they are hooked. Introduced in Modern Warfare 2, Spec Ops mode was met with a lukewarm response, with complaints about difficulty and the mundane nature of some of the missions rife. Infinity and Sledgehammer Games have therefore decided to revamp it. Whilst the mission mode has once again returned, it is smaller and less frustrating to play through.
Enjoyable story, brilliant multiplayer, addition of survival mode is welcomed.
Campaign is a little too short. Engine beginning to show its age. Reused textures from previous games.