Xbox 360 Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Once more unto the breach…

So apparently the Modern Warfare games are the best thing since sliced bread. Well, with the exception of MW2 having the most ridiculous plot in gaming history, it still provided a superb experience and also introduced extremely challenging co-op missions via Spec Ops, while improving upon the multiplayer experience that every man and his dog seems to be playing. So, can Modern Warfare 3 raise the stakes or has it already hit its peak?

The story continues immediately after MW2 with Soap injured and being taken to be fixed by Price. It isn’t long till the war between Russia and the rest of the world kicks off with them attacking New York, London, Paris and Berlin in which you’ll be to try and put a stop to it through the role of different characters. Of course, the story mostly revolves around Price and his vendetta against Makarov, the crazy Russian. The plot has some great moments that make up for them dropping the ball in the last game and it will keep you hooked till the end.

Not much has changed in terms of gameplay; you still push forward through tons of enemies to complete objectives. Using the quick aim to lock on to your target and fill them with lead, the campaign is about 8 hours long, but even longer if you try and tackle it on Veteran. There are 40+ hidden Intel items to find too, plus achievements for specific things in levels. The enemies aren’t as smart in past games, I could see one just stare at me before I pumped him full of lead, but that’s a rare exception. As far as the campaigns go, MW3 is damn impressive. You go all over the globe trying to put an end to the war from different perspectives and it’s truly engaging. The standard weapons return, plus some new ones for equal measure.

Outside the campaign, Spec Ops returns with the standard 2 player missions, which are brilliant as always and difficult as hell. But it also adds in a survival mode where you and another player must survive wave after wave of enemies, which include attack dogs, suicide bombers, juggernauts, armoured guards and helicopters. You get a certain amount of money to spend after completing a round, but also bonuses for your performance and you can use the cash for better weapons, equipment and even to deploy some AI troops to help you out. It’s really addictive, I’ve made it to Wave 25 before getting massacred by the onslaught of enemies and the cruel thing is that if one of you dies, it’s game over.

Multiplayer also makes an obvious reappearance with tons of maps, modes and the competitive edge that you’ve come to expect. You can also download COD Elite which tracks your stats over a variety of ways and comes with a bunch of other features, but to get the most you’ll have to subscribe. As usual, you earn XP, level up and earn perks to use against your foes; it’s the best version of the multiplayer to date.

In terms of visuals, MW3 doesn’t look that different from its predecessor, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s a stunning game for the most part, although I did come across a few dodgy textures along the way. The framerate is mostly consistent, but I did notice it jump around at certain points. Voice-acting is brilliant as always, while the soundtrack is a triumph.

The Verdict

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the best in the series so far, but I must admit it did feel very familiar in areas. I just wonder where they can possibly take the Call of Duty name from here, but I for one am excited at what they come up with next as this is one of gaming’s biggest blockbusters.