Christmas is always a hectic time of year for the games industry, every company’s flagship game is on the shelves months before December, ready to be safely planted underneath peoples’ trees come the 24th.
This year, the behemoth and market dominatorthat is Call of Duty has come up against much stronger opposition than its been used to in the past few years, with Gears of War and Battlefield both competing to be this Christmas’ number one game.
This year’s saga is set in a number of different locations, places a little closer to home than in previous games. There’s levels based in London, Rome, Paris and a few other major locations across the globe. So, will Modern Warfare 3 live up to the hype or will it fall behind the rest in the weeks building up to Christmas? Personally, I think the former, and here’s why…
The game’s graphics have stayed pretty much the same, although MW3 does look a little more fine-tuned and polished at times. Some work has obviously gone into improving explosions in the game, which are now looking especially graphic and gripping.
Modern Warfare 3’s campaign mode delivers the same rollercoasterride that Call of Duty aficionados have become used to in the past few years, withthe usual widespread firefights, large-scale chaos and general baddie-slaying goodness. From the start, the Modern Warfare 3 storyline feels a little samey, witha run of the mill plot and the usual, ‘Let’s kill some baddies and make things alright again’ mentality. But once you’ve dived head-first into a battlefield filled withdead corpses, maniacs with flamethrowers and general nasty-pasties, you’ll forget all about the storyline, which let’s be honest, isn’t the reason people play Call of Duty these days.
This year’s installment has concentrated on making shooting a little more responsive and well-tuned, and it shows. Gone are the occasional gun mishaps and blips, and in comes a more reliable and ever-captivating magazine-emptying experience.
While the single player mode is pretty good, and definitely interesting, Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayeris downright mind-blowing at times. The ever-familiar leveling system is still present in MW3, but it’s received a substantial revamp, with your multiplayer levels relying a lot more on completing challenges rather than outright multiplayer performance. Levelling up will still see you unlock new and better weapons, attachments and perks, but weapons now have levels too. Realistic? No, but that’s hardly the point. You’ll build up a weapon’s proficiencies by levelling up your weapon. What are Weapon Proficiencies I hear you ask? Simply put, they’re perks but slightly more advanced; hip fire accuracy and steady aim are two prime examples.
The online portion of the game has been blessed with no less than sixteen new, well-designed maps that each come with a vast array of new challenges, rewards and adrenaline rushes to keep you occupied for the coming months. Killstreaks have also received a large makeover, this time, they are to be found in the form of Strike Packages, which can still be unlocked by getting kills. Strike Packages can be tailored to your playing style by taking an Assault Package if you’re quite offensively minded, or Support Strike if you’re a little more casual in your gaming style etc. This is a nice bit of work, as it gives an equal chance to less-skilled or more casual gamers who just want a quick five minutes of fun rather than spending hours racking up large killstreaks.
The Multiplayer also sees a number of new modes grace your screen. Kill Confirmed is one such mode, in it, the player finds himself playing a Team Deathmatch come free-for-all session that promotes team work rather than lone-wolf style heroics. When a player is killed, they drop a dog tag which, if you are their maker, you must collect after taking their life. This nice little feature changes the way that the game is played as it requires a great deal of coordination and teamwork in order to pull off.
Along with a new Team Defender mode (which is a new take on Capture the Flag) and a whole host of new customisable private match modes, Modern Warfare 3 has successfully managed to put a massive new spin on the same multiplayer experience that has been entertaining gamers since the debut of the Xbox 360 all those years ago.
If the singleplayer and multiplayer modes aren’t enough, then you can sink your teeth into a new-look cooperative Spec Ops mode, which returs with a new bag full of challenging stages that are designed to test your combat, stealth and tactical skills. Then there’s a Horde-style mode, named Survival Mode. It is in this mode you and a friend can pit yourself against endless waves of enemies, which increase in difficulty the further you go into the mode. It’s by no means original or unique, but it does the job well and is perfect for a quick five minute blast.
Despite Modern Warfare 3 at times giving you the feeling that it’s just more of the same, the graphical improvements and the huge multiplayer revamp are sure to excite even the most casual Call of Duty fan. I have no doubts that this baby will be dominating the games charts for a number of months to come.
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