Modern Warfare 3 hit our stores ten days ago, designed to be a new marvel in the previously sensational series by Infinity Ward. Now I’m not sure what went wrong; whether it was the fact that Infinity Ward crumbled and joined with Sledgehammer Games, or some other technical issues I’m not aware of, but I was under the impression that Modern Warfare 3 was a new game. Now there are some good things about Modern Warfare 3. Its campaign is roughly ten hours (that’s being charitable, I played through on Veteran) of quick paced, fun gameplay. There’s some nice aesthetics and a range of different mechanics; from driving a military personal hovercraft to controlling a small remote-controlled assault vehicle. The main problem is that this is all the ‘unique’ gameplay that Modern Warfare 3 has to offer. For the other two games modes (Multiplayer and Spec Ops) it just feels like you’re playing on a Modern Warfare 2 map pack.
Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games have been so incredibly lazy on many fronts of this game. The interface has been ripped out of Modern Warfare 2 and put into Modern Warfare 3 relatively unchanged. It uses the same menus, the same little box when you kill someone or get killed, it even uses the same damned font. Now come on, if you’ve got a budget the size of a Call of Duty title, you could at least change something in the interface to keep things fresh, because despite many people (including me) buying it, you’re gameplay simply isn’t going to. Saying that, they have tried to include two new game modes, only one of which I think can actually be counted as new whereas the other is just as if somebody’s played with the coding of Capture the Flag.
Kill Confirmed is a really well executed new game mode in which, upon death, players drops their dog tags. The killer will get credit for the kill and their own personal points, but the team won’t benefit from the kill until the dog tags are picked up. However, if a member of the dead player’s team runs over the dog tags first, the kill is denied and they receive a point instead. First team to 65 points wins. I’ve spent quite a few hours playing Kill Confirmed, because it adds an extra level of gameplay to the overly used Team Deathmatch. Yes, it can be infuriating to kill four people only to be shot and have all four kills denied, but at the same time being the person who manages to deny half a dozen kills in the space of a few seconds makes it worthwhile.
The other new game mode is Team Defender, a Capture the Flag based game in which the first person to die drops a flag. That flag then remains on the map and must be held by the teams for as long as possible. Anyone who played the older Call of Duty games will remember something similar to this, called Hold the Flag a few years back. It’s essentially the same mode except the flag doesn’t appear until some poor sucker runs into a barrage of lead.
There are new game modes available in private matches but the majority of people I know aren’t in groups who play them, but if you’re one of the ‘lucky’ people who are you can look forward to six ‘new’ modes. Infected is the British Bulldog of CoD, where one player is infected and gradually infects other players who then join the infected team. There’s Drop Zone in which a team holds a drop zone to score points and receive care packages. Last of the original new modes are Team Juggernaut/Juggernaut which sees either two teams each with a juggernaught or a juggernaut against the rest of the players, fighting for dominance. Finally there’s Gun Game/One in the Chamber which former fans will remember from Black Ops’ wager matches.
When it comes down to what’s important, people will always buy Call of Duty games. I bought this Call of Duty game and will probably buy the next one if it promises to be better. Whether it lives up to its promises will be seen after Activision have my money and start using it to fund the next game, and so the vicious cycle continues. However, when I don’t want to think, and when I want to take a break from working painfully through coursework and exam prep; I still find Call of Duty fun…and in that respect its a success.