Call of Duty fans have been waiting on tenterhooks for this, the latest in arguably the most successful FPS saga of all time. Modern Warfare 3 has been praised by critics the world over, but does this latest Activision title really pack the same punch as its predecessors? With a campaign that feels a little familiar, graphics that look just a little dated when placed beside some of the newer and more powerful engines on the market, and a menu system that looks essentially identical to Modern Warfare 2, you might wonder if you’ve put the wrong disk into your console. Despite its flaws though, this is undeniably the best title in the Call of Duty series to date, with improvements (all be they on the subtle side) in many areas across the board. Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games have stuck to the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ principle, and for a game that works as well as this that really isn’t a problem.
Of all the elements that work to make up Modern Warfare 3, it is the campaign that really stands out as letting the side down. As in the first two Call of Duty titles, you’ll be treated to a rollercoaster of action through the levels, with some giant firefights featuring enemies scattered across enormous areas. Upping the difficulty will definitely keep you occupied as you find yourself in tight spot after tight spot, desperately fighting for survival. So what’s the problem? Well mostly it’s just that there really isn’t anything new to enjoy here. The story of the campaign feels incredibly familiar, and is as confusing as ever. It’s worth a play, but there’s just nothing that feels satisfying here, nothing to really sink your teeth into and certainly nothing that will draw you in emotionally.
As always, there is more to this Call of Duty title than just the campaign though, and the return of the cooperative Spec Ops mode is something to be enjoyed. Here you’ll have the opportunity to jump into a variety of different missions, or enjoy the Survival Mode where, as the name suggests, you and a friend must survive one wave after another of enemies desperate to spill your blood.
For the vast majority of CoD players, it’s the multiplayer mode of Modern Warfare 3 that they are really looking forward to however, and with good reason. This is the area of the game that has obviously seen the most adjustment from this title’s predecessor, with new modes such as Kill Confirmed that encourage you to play as a team instead of an individual in seeking to retrieve the dog-tags of those players that have been killed.
The many different modes to enjoy will keep you playing for hours without any other incentive, but with rewards offering additional weaponry and even the opportunity to level up your existing weapons, you may find it increasingly difficult to put down the controller.
Modern Warfare 3 isn’t the most attractive FPS game on the market; it’s still impressive and played alone you might not notice its lack at all, but when placed beside a title utilising a newer engine you would certainly notice the difference. Despite that, the old engine still serves well in this Call of Duty game, reliably providing you with a high frames-per-second count, no matter what dramatic effects may be exploding onto the screen before your very eyes.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 does, in some respects, feel like an extra map pack for the previous title in the series; there isn’t too much that’s new to get excited about. Despite that, this is undeniably the best Modern Warfare game to date, particularly when it comes to online multiplayer. If you are a fan of the series then you will certainly enjoy this game, and if you are looking for a new FPS game to enjoy then you won’t find much on the market that’s more addicting than this.
9 / 10