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Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Activision’s flagship first-person shooter series returns with its latest installment: Call Of Duty – Modern Warfare 3.   It was released on November 8th, 2011.  We were away when it was released so this has delayed us in creating our review.

James’s Take:  (PC) 8/10

I’m definitely a Call Of Duty fan, and especially the Modern Warfare series.  Through the years it has made many little innovations in storytelling and cooperative gameplay.  I’m particularly remembering the AC-130 mission from Modern Warfare 1, which was my introduction to what I now call “intermission missions”.  That mission took you outside of the familiar first-person perspective genre just for a few minutes to give you a new view and varied gameplay.

It has also innovated styles of storytelling in games which set new benchmarks which other games are measured.  In Modern Warfare 1 the storyline jumped from different perspectives through past and present.  Successive games have all started to emulate this style of storytelling with varying success.

So with all that in mind, I start my review with.  I HATE TURRET MISSIONS.

Its probably not fair of me to harp on Modern Warfare 3 as having too many turret missions.  All of the current generation FPS games have too many turret missions.  Its a way to increase the playtime of the level without actually increasing the level.  I don’t mind having a turret mission inside the game, but the single player campaign starts off with a mission that turns into a turret mission!

Starting into the game, its clear that the storytelling mechanics haven’t changed at all.  While waiting for the level to load you’re treated with a non engine cutscene which explains the who, what, why, when, where, how of your current mission.

I do see some issues with the story.  For example I have serious doubts about the way America’s military assets are presented, and its ability to maintain a global conflict.  It seems everywhere you go in the game, the Americans have the absolute best equipment available.  They also seem to have very little supply shortages even though the eastern seaboard has been invaded.

I also doubt Captain Price’s miraculous healing abilities where he was beaten to a pulp with his eyes swollen shut in Modern Warfare 2.  He then emerges unscathed hours later.  But more than that Soap seems to run around pretty good after being stabbed in the heart.  Guess it would have made for a poorer game though if Soap had a pacemaker and they added a game mechanic where he had to stay away from microwave ovens.

On top of all of this the official Russian military has enough assets to tackle an invasion of the US as well as an invasion of Europe.  I thought they sold off a lot of assets at the end of the cold war.

The story never explains how Price, Sandman and Makarov are able to communicate and know each other’s whereabouts.  Also I’d just like to point out that this is the second time in a month I’ve seen the Eiffel tower destroyed.

Graphically the game played well.  Modern Warfare 3 uses the MW3 game engine which is presumably version 5 of the IW Engine which powered the other Call Of Duty games.  It features excellent graphics and physics.  With the graphics turned up it played flawlessly on my test PC which has an ATI Radeon 6970 Graphics card.

I did have a crash to desktop however with something called  a “Reliable Command Buffer Overflow” which happened three times in the tank mission “GoalPost” after I had dismounted.  I also had another glitch in the same mission where my allies stopped advancing and all the scripting seemed to stop.  Luckily in all cases the mission saved seconds earlier.

Sound and music are excellent as is expected with this series.  Not much to mention here other than the music definitely helps you feel the urgency during the missions.

Gameplay is largely unchanged from the previous Modern Warfares.  This is good and bad.  I’m glad that there was no fundamental changes to shooting or control, but I was a bit surprised by the amount of movie like sequences in the game.

The very first mission in this game had a predator drone sequence as well as a helicopter turret sequence.  These were sequences much further on in the previous games.  Did I mention I’m sick of turret missions.

Notably the “Turbulence” mission was very cool in its sequence.  It was something new to the series, but its kind of limited in its impressiveness.  Unless a zero gravity game was developed then this mission is a bit of a one off.

I also noticed an almost complete lack of the “intermission missions”.  There was one mission with an AC-130 gunship which you controlled the gunners position, but it was intermixed with First Person Perspective not really giving the full effect of immersion.

Did I mention I’m sick of turret missions?  (I have sick of turret missions written down about 5 times in my notes lol.)

More hollywood style driving sequences take up some gameplay time, but they’re honestly getting tired.

Overall the singleplayer campaign took just 4.5 hours for me to complete, which I was incredibly surprised by.  It seemed way too short.

My score is based on the fact that although the game doesn’t bring too much new to the table, it is still built on the single player experience that originally won me over.  It wrapped up the storyline with little chance of a sequel.  Which I don’t think there should be.

I give the game an 8 out of 10.

By James Sullivan
James is a regular contributor to GameAspect.Com and also the operator.  He’s primarily a PC gamer but enjoys the occasional console game.

Sean’s Take : (PC) 8/10

I was sooooooooooooooooooo excited to write this review and then Battlefield 3 came out and I’m sorry Infinity Ward but, I think you may have been out played here.

The game starts off with a kind of recap of what’s been happening in the world since you left off in Modern Warfare 2 and gets you psyched up for some action.  I have to say that it does a pretty good job. It took me about 4 hours to complete so it’s a pretty short campaign like the last one. But, I have more questions than answers. Didn’t the entire eastern seaboard get wiped out by an EMP? Or was it just the DC? But then why did the lights go out all over the eastern seaboard?  So was everything restored in a couple of hours? Is that how this stuff works? And if so, then wouldn’t that make it an ineffective weapon? And I don’t know the answer to this by the way, I’m not one of them scientisologists’s that every ones always talking about.  I’m wondering if I missed something and maybe some time went by.  But then why did it start out with Soap still hurt? They couldn’t get him medical attention so they flew around in a chopper for a few years?  I don’t know I guess it’s a game and I should get over it but these questions left me hurt and confused.

So I’ll talk about all the things I liked in the game and what I thought was cool first and then I will rip it apart later. The game play was very fun as I expected it would be. Run, jump, crawl, shoot and scoot. The weapons are fun to use and the sounds in this game I have to say are awesome compared to the previous games.  No longer sounding extremely compressed and lacking dynamic range. The graphics are much like the other games and nothing really stood out to me that much (I’m not saying that they aren’t good, just that the previous games are the same so it just feels like I’m playing MW2) .

I think that the turret parts of the game are starting to get a little over done.  Maybe there is a cult following of people who really like this stuff that I am not aware of and this is a way to reel in that market.  So, I did enjoy switching back and forth between infantry and using the tank turret (maybe someone else knows the answer to this but would they actually ask infantry who isn’t tank corps to man a turret?) [Editor’s Note: Dude! Delta Force went swimming with Navy Seals.  I don’t think that really happens unless Chuck Norris is involved.]

While I wasn’t overly impressed with any new stimulation from the graphics department the environment and mapping in this game is very cool. I loved the part where you go under water from the collapsed vehicle tunnel to surface a sub and use its weapons systems against its own fleet.  Afterwards you can see New York getting totalled in the background of the mission with all the ships around it. (You do this as Delta Force. Does anyone know if Delta Force would actually do that even if they are the only special unit around?)  I also loved fighting in Paris when the Eifel Tower collapsed which looked extremely cool.

Ok, so I know the game isn’t supposed to be real. If you are looking for realism you should go to Battlefield 3 or Operation Flashpoint but if a helicopter gets too close to an object like a wall there is a phenomenon that I don’t know the name of, but it causes loss of lift on one side which will dip the blades and then basically it rams its self into the object and it’s game over. That makes the first mission impossible when you take an RPG strike and then hit the building and also the mine mission where the helicopter flies into an open mine shaft. Also, Juggernaut armour doesn’t exist. It doesn’t … fact ….

As far as the story goes, It was pretty entertaining. It bothered me when {SPOILER} so I guess it did its job at pulling at my heart strings.  It was disturbing to be walking around video taping your kid and wife in Paris when the truck exploded to release the chemical weapons. It was an interesting twist when you find out that Yuri and Makarov were partners at one point.  But here are more things I don’t understand. I know that the Russians think that an American shot up an airport in Russia and that’s what started this whole god awful mess but how has this thing been going on for awhile now and no one knows that Makarov is responsible? Who do the Europeans think released the chemical attacks in Europe? And when the Russian president was kidnapped did the Russians assume it was the Americans? But how did the Americans know where he was but not the Russians? And why were the Americans the only ones fighting for this guy to live? I guess the Russians don’t even care about their own president? And did you realise that Makarov and Kamarov are the same name with the K and M reversed?  I’m so angry with all my questions! I haven’t slept in days!

Ok so most of the game didn’t make sense to me but it was still pretty good. The last part I will complain about is influencing young kids to smoke, shame on you Infinity Ward and Activision. This isn’t Duke Nukem, it’s Call of Duty. Was it really necessary that Price lit up his cigar at the end of the game? I don’t know, I guess that all the killing in the game wasn’t really good for the development of our youth either now that I think about it. I’ll give Modern Warfare 3 an 8/10, I think maybe if it wasn’t released to close to Battlefield 3 it would have made more of an impact on me. It’s still a great game.

Sean Sullivan is a regular contributor to GameAspect.Com.  He has a long history of playing PC games, however lately he’s turned to Xbox 360 to save his wallet from constant upgrades.

Andrew’s Take: (Xbox 360) 9.5/10

The largest video game franchise in history returned on November 8 with Modern Warfare 3. The game picks just hours after killing General Sheppard, and has you continuing on your hunt to kill Russian ultra nationalist Makarov. Players of the other Modern Warfare games won’t be in for any surprises. The campaign follows the now disavowed Task Force 141 which includes the return of Soap, Price and Nikolai, along with Delta Force and a member of the Russian Presidents personal security.

The campaign takes you all over the world to places like New York, England, France, Sierra Leone and Russia. Locations such as New York, London and Paris were very impressive visuals, looking similar to the cities themselves. Something I found cool was in the Sierra Leone level there is a building identical to the factory in the pipe line map in the first Modern Warfare.The Call of Duty series to me have one of the best story lines in a video game. Although the Modern Warfare 3 campaign was fairly short, playing on veteran difficulty it took a little over 6 hours.  Not that the briefness of it particularly bothered me, as it lets me jump into multi-player that much quicker. Even with the short story line it answered the questions from past Call of Duties and I believe it wrapped up the Modern Warfare series. My only complaints from campaign would be the fact the AI seems to focus completely on you even with 10 others shooting at them, and re spawning after dying directly in front of the enemy that just previously killed you multiple times.Though the campaign did not offer anything ground breaking and the weapons remained the same with different names. A cool new attachment for the rifles was the hybrid sight which offered a red dot sight and you could flip over a scope with zoom. Although spec ops is not considered part of the campaign a new game mode was added called survival where 1 or 2 players could go against waves of enemy forces as they get progressively harder.

Like past Call of Duties they seem to offer an endless amount of play time with the campaign, spec ops and survival modes and of course the best multi-player experience a game can deliver.
Though the campaign seems to get wrapped up in this game, I’m sure in 2 years we will be seeing a new Modern Warfare title. Though the campaign alone would not make me give this game a great rating, the multi-player mode more than makes up for a short but well told campaign story.

9.5/10

Andrew Martin is a regular contributor to GameAspect.Com and also does the news.  Xbox 360 is his system of choice, with PS3 coming second.  He will play the occasional PC Game.

James Sullivan


James decided it was time to update this little tag line and call himself the EIC of GameAspect.Com and also the operator. He’s primarily a PC gamer but enjoys the occasional console game. RTS, Racing, FPS and RPG are his games of choice… but he’ll play just about any game.
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