Modern Warfare 3 marks the 20th anniversary of the Call of Duty series, following on from its predecessor Modern Warfare 2. It is the third entry into the rebooted Modern Warfare series, bringing together characters old and new. Whilst Modern Warfare is developed by Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision. Treyarch has had its say on the all-new zombies mode.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is available now on PS4 & PS5, Xbox S/X and Windows.
The return of Vladimir Makarov
Like many of us, when MW3 was first announced, I was excited at the prospect of playing MW2 maps again. But, has it met expectations? I’d love to hear your thoughts on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in the comments below.
Call of Duty has used Modern Warfare 3 to reignite the Price and Makarov tale from the 2009 original Modern Warfare 3. But it does not reach the heights and thrills that the campaign of its previous instalments. Whilst this was a great idea on paper, the finished product does not give the same emotional experience I used to get. The story begins with Makarov escaping from his prison complex in Verdansk, Kastovia. Within the hour, he is creating the usual havoc that he loves. Having learnt of his escape, Price, along with his friends, tries to stop Makarov, including trusting the last person you would imagine. While we see the usual linear approach that Call of Duty offers, there is also the addition of open-combat missions.
This is the first time Call of Duty has tested a different type of story mode. Throughout Call of Duty history, there has been a linear-driven story mode, which more than often, is amazing. However, MW3 tries the introduction of open-combat missions. Open-combat missions pretty much make up half of the story. Whereby you find yourself parachuted into an open space, and almost told “Make your own fun”. You do this by choosing how you will complete your objective. Will you go in guns blazing? Or will you work your way through slowly and quietly? This focuses on a warzone-like approach, scavenging for better weapons and gear. Whilst I like the idea of attempting to try something new, I am not sure if they really add anything to the progression of the story. Rather, it seems like these have been placed to eat up time.
The other half of the story, however, does stay true to its roots. Producing a linear-driven story. The story itself is decent, but it is just simply not long enough. On average, people have reported it has taken them approximately 4 hours to complete the campaign. I, myself, completed it around this time as well. While you do get the addition of multiplayer and zombies to somewhat justify the price. I still expect that the campaign will last longer. I don’t think I would be as disappointed if it genuinely did not feel like it had stopped halfway through the story. But, yet, it finishes on a cliffhanger which feels like you have only reached the halfway point. It just does not feel like it reaches the emotional heights of the original Modern Warfare series.
As always, the main positive that is paramount throughout all the reason Call of Duty games is the graphics. The graphics are always of high quality, making it seem like you are watching a movie during the cut scenes. Which I think can be seen in the above capture. The voice acting also amplifies that feeling. And I can never be bored of hearing the likes of Price, Soap and other favourites.
My favourite part of MW3 has of course been the multiplayer. When I heard that multiplayer this year was going to just be MW2 maps, I was genuinely excited. I know that some people had reservations, as essentially you are re-paying to play it on a better system. Yet, I think they have pulled it off. They have taken some of the best years of Call of Duty and have helped us re-live them. Although, I don’t think it will ever reach the heights of 12-year-old squeakers calling you profound things. But allows you to have the memories whilst playing.
The movement and gameplay in multiplayer is smooth. It seems like they have taken the core mechanics from its predecessor. And have ironed out some of the issues, and re-used it for MW3. I see this as a big positive. It has made me feel like I have been taken back to the gameplay and mechanics that I was used to growing up. I don’t think I have had as much fun playing multiplayer in the last couple of years, as I have playing this Call of Duty.
But MW3 isn’t just reliving off MW2, there has also been the introduction of old and new game modes that have helped expand the playlist choices. For example, the introduction of cutthroat is welcome. This is a new 3v3v3 mode, which focuses on the player being careful due to only having one life per round. It seems similar to search and destroy, but it instead only has one real objective. Don’t die. Groundwar however is more of a “welcome back”, however, I am not sure if it suits MW3. I found that Groundwar is more suited to the likes of WW2, as it is more suited to that era of Call of Duty. However, it at least adds more variety to the game modes in which we can pick.
Last, but not least is the addition of Zombies, which is something we do not commonly say when it comes to the Modern Warfare series. This addition of zombies adds a new spin to the genre, introducing a DMZ mode, but with zombies. This mode has moved away from the traditional round-based levels we are accustomed to and has tried to essentially create a Warzone-esque zombie. It completely revamps the concept of zombies. They have done this firstly by putting a timer on how long you are in the game mode. This is 45 minutes. In these 45 minutes, you have to salvage weapons and equipment and complete contracts. You are able to do this by moving through three zones, which all represent different levels of difficulty. The closer you move into the map, the harder the zombies will become.
What I dislike about this revamp is that the zombies themselves are not at the centre of the game mode. It seems that more emphasis is placed on completing the contract so that you are able to exfil with your loot, which its rewards can also be used in multiplayer. There isn’t that emphasis on the rounds getting harder, and therefore the zombies get harder. There is a lack of tension. You are able to make your way through the game at your own pace, and if you choose not to get into the red area, you’re not punished.
I appreciate that MW3 is attempting to try something new. But, I just do not think you can change the way in which zombies work. This new version of zombies takes away everything that makes zombies great. Yes, it is great that weapons and loot can cross over with multiplayer so that there is an emphasis on playing zombies. But you cannot force yourself to play the gameplay when the reason you fell in love with zombies was because of the round-based levels and easter eggs that take ages to do. I commend them for trying to shake it up, especially considering zombies aren’t something we traditionally see when it comes to Modern Warfare. But I also hope this is not something they think about introducing into the traditional Call of Duty zombie mode.
The real question is; is MW3 worth the price? I would say no. Although multiplayer is insanely fun, there seems to be more in store with the addition of the new maps. The campaign and zombie mode let down the game as a whole. The campaign in Call of Duty has always been one of my favourite story-driven games, especially with the heights of MW2 and MW3. But yet, this campaign has left me wanting more. Especially in the longevity of the mode itself. And while I commend Call of Duty for trying something different in regard to zombies. It unfortunately does not hit the mark. And it is with this in mind, I am awarding Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 the bronze award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.