Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (X360)

What is arguably this console generations’ most successful franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, returns. Unlike last years Treyarch attempt, this year the series original developer Infinity Ward is back at the helm with help from Sledgehammer Games. Can this years’ game prove to be more than a simple rehash? Read on to find out!

This year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has more to aim for than any game before it, as well as ensuring the reputation of the franchise and also having to compete with its new rival, Battlefield 3.

The Review

As for the single player, the game takes place directly after the events in that game in which the Russians blamed the U.S. for orchestrating a massacre of their civilians in the level No Russian. While the main plot was actually made by the villain Makarov, the Russians still became gullible and declared war on the U.S. Modern Warfare 3 runs on the MW3 engine, which allows the game to have a nice graphical boost over Modern Warfare 2.

It’s not a huge difference, but is somewhat noticeable during the varied levels such as Paris or London. At one point in the game a fight takes place inside a sandstorm, which looks really nice. The game manages to run at a smooth 60 frames per second as well, and not once did it slow down for me, which is one up on DICE’s Battlefield 3.

Once again, however, the linear nature of CoD games has returned in this latest installment, with the game pulling your hand in basically one direction, which some what lets down the immersion of single player. The AI of enemies, as well as their accuracy, tends to scale well with the difficulty levels, but your team mates will seem like a lost cause. Gunplay wise, the game feels just like EVERY game since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Not that it is a bad thing though, as the fans seem to love it for some reason.

Now, as for the Multiplayer, it is indeed worth it, and fixes the fail that was Black Ops, although it makes no leaps and bounds to put itself forward in the war fps genre. Killstreaks have now been replaced by Strike Packages that are divided into three categories, Assault, Support, and Specialist. Each package will allow perks and rewards as points are earned, with the player having the ability to swap between packages in game.

Assault works like the care package killstreak and allows you to drop things like helicopter gunships and predators. Support drops, well support based items such as Sam Turrets and UAVs, while the Specialist package hands out perks with each kill. The change from killstreaks is rather refreshing and adds a slight strategic element to the game, while also helping the people who are not so skilled to get them.

Special Ops is also back, and includes Co-Op play. The new missions are rather fun and will have players trying to beat their best score over and over. Also included is the addition of a survival type horde mode, which sees wave after wave of foes coming for you. Finally, the rank and prestige systems have also been remade.

Instead of players unlocking stuff as they level up, now their main weapon will level up as they do, unlocking perks like low-recoil as you progress. Doing Prestige will now give players the ability to browse the Prestige Shop where they can unlock exclusive perks with tokens. This now gives a refreshing meaning to grinding the prestiges.

The Conclusion

This game is actually on par or better than what Modern Warfare 2 offered, with a Multiplayer that now fixes the main problems the other CoD games had, namely the inability of newer players to gain killstreaks, as well as having a actual use for the prestiges. It opens its audience to a more casual crowd and somewhat works, although deepdown it is still the same game yet again.

[About Our Reviews]

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
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  • http://twitter.com/BillysMother Jack Sharaf

    This is one of several early reviews I have read and everything points toward a hit. Despite the waves BF3 made, I am glad to see MW3 may still be the more fun game.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daran-Smith/100000190896655 Daran Smith

      Thanks for reading. Both this and BF are the same type of game in a sense, but play very differently. Glad it seems you are gonna give the game a go still, have fun and good shooting.

  • http://twitter.com/nxtrms Tarryn van der Byl

    Nice going breaking the review embargo.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daran-Smith/100000190896655 Daran Smith

      Embargo is off today since the game launches for AU in 3 hours when the shops open. Most readers wont even be up to read this yet in AU.

      • http://twitter.com/nxtrms Tarryn van der Byl

        Embargo was up at 10am.

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad someone is being honest about it. COD4 was a breakthrough game. Everyone since that has been the same game or worse. Why can’t they innovate and try something new? Getting sick of playing 12 year olds in the same game every year. Might was well call it Madden Modern warfare 12.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daran-Smith/100000190896655 Daran Smith

      Thanks for reading. I was trying hard not to write the wrong thing that would upset fans, while being honest about the games standards. This game is indeed a step in the right direction.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GD34BYJPQCNWQ6FU5B4X5CTQGU DRich

    I don’t read this review as overwhelmingly positive. At least, not in the sense that it’s ground-breaking. My interpretation…”Yeah, it’s pretty much like MW2 with some improvements, but the game experience isn’t all that different. It’s better than COD, but that isn’t saying much.” Eh.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daran-Smith/100000190896655 Daran Smith

      Yeah, pretty much. I gave it the so so treatment. It has a few things that help it, but not enough to give it a overly high rating. It was a bag of mixed feelings, but the score i gave it i think is just without trying to put too much of my personal opinion into it. According to our ratings guideline made by the boss, 3 Stars = An average game that doesn’t push any boundaries, but is still quite solid and worth your time – particularly if you’re a fan of the genre.

  • Captain Obvious

    Looks like a troll review. Didn’t mention anything about storyline and art. Yet say same COD again. Even thought not a supporter this review seems rubbish

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daran-Smith/100000190896655 Daran Smith

      Its not a troll review. I kept details of the story line scarce because i did not want to post spoilers, although i had to spoil the last mw to do it, which i regret a little. The score i think is just to our rating system, 3 Stars = An average game that doesn’t push any boundaries, but is still quite solid and worth your time – particularly if you’re a fan of the genre. I could have gone more in depth into it by spoiling the story, but there really is not much of a story there in the first place.

      Thanks for reading and the feedback though

      • Anonymous

        what makes guys like you look like a troll is you say its “the same game” and apply it only to mw3 or call of duty games, even though call of duty games have more new and more differences from their previous games than any game i can think of now

        • http://twitter.com/notenoughammo Jakeenburney

          WOW prolly the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard.Your joking right? COD hasn’t did anything in the past few year,,you say something like that you must have facts? present them please?

          • Anonymous

            He presented them in the review… Or if you don’t want to read and you aren’t blind…you can watch gameplay of it. But then again, most cod fanboys are blind.

        • Anonymous

          It is a fact that there have been no radical changes to the gameplay. The campaign has been an overly-linear heavily scripted 4 hour pile of garbage since MW2…that won’t change.

          The multiplayer is also mostly unchanged, it is using a modified version of 10 year old engine so the maps aren’t dynamic. The only real changes they made to the multiplayer system are the ridiculous killstreaks that reward high level players with instant spawn kills and the “new” game modes that are directly lifted from other games.

          Nobody cares if you can paint your gun or make a logo, these things don’t affect the gameplay experience. Please try something new next time Infinity Ward/Treyarch/Raven/Sledgehammer, we all know people will buy the same game 5 times in a row but it still makes you look lazy.

          Since Activision has basically turned Call of Duty into a yearly sports franchise, we shouldn’t expect changes until the sales start to decline…like every successful EA franchise before it.

          The end

  • Anonymous

    This is a very amateurish, uncharacteristic for a writer review. Seems like the writer is doing a homework in high school. No objectivity, content and technical aspects of the game ever mentioned. To be honest, very immature as well like those BF fanboys crying that MW3 is a copy cat of MW2.

    Very shameful, not only to the writer but also to this site that publishes trash like this.

    • James Merrigan

      Are you serious? Any credibility you had, you lost when you decided to rant on the “BF3 fanboys” I mean honestly, if you had played COD at all in the past decade you would know there are fanboys on both sides of the field.

      Pretty immature if you ask me.

  • paulbrooks1991

    It may sell millions… But that doesn’t mean its a good game. Cod 4 re released every year is not progress!

  • Anonymous

    Would you guys be happier if we gave the game a 5/5?

    I don’t see what’s wrong with 3/5 – check out our review system; http://aussie-gamer.com/about-our-reviews/

    I think the overall point Daran’s trying to make is that it’s a great game, just not THAT different than MW2.

    Personally, I don’t look at reviews as tool for hardcore fans. They’re for the undecided, and I think the review says to those people “worth a buy if you’re considering it, an FPS fan, or haven’t played Call of Duty in a while, worth a miss if you’re looking for something completely unique.”

    • Anonymous

      It is a 100% fair review. People always get angry about the scores without actually reading what the review says.

      • James Merrigan

        Yeah don’t cave into pressure, COD may be great but it has not been innovative since the original modern warfare.

  • Howard Bond

    if it’s on par with Modern Warfare 2, I’ll be picking it up for sure :)

    good review

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daran-Smith/100000190896655 Daran Smith

      Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Damo-Edwards/100000948751630 Damo Edwards

    Not going to lie… There are simply way too many bias reviews already and this one is absolutely no different. From the moment you start playing the game you realise you’re not playing a new game at all, you’re playing a map pack for MW2 with a few mods. Not enough has changed in this game to make it really shine through. Sure the game play is functional but it always has been and to this end nothing has been done to make it any more functional then it was be before. Then we get on to the graphical side of things… Once again it’s as functional as it’s always been but that’s because it’s near exactly the same as it always has been, again not much has changed. Simply put people will buy this game but it doesn’t make it a good game, it makes the fan boys stupidly blind to flaws that are flaws. Sorry but to me producing the same thing 4 years in a row and calling it a new game every year is pathetic.

    • http://profiles.google.com/chrissomerry Christian Meredith

      Well what you’ve described seems to describe most of the gaming industry, and cinema I guess too. What it comes down to is essentially “do you want more of the same (which can be good – I love a classic Zelda/Mario/Sonic/CoD/Battlefield/whatever), or do you want something new (sometimes people get bored of things that feel too familiar, for example I can barely get through Zelda Twilight Princess)?”

      Each person has things they want and don’t want, and their own “threshold” for how much of the same they can take before they get bored, or conversely how much originality they can take until they want to “settle down” ;) So, it’s not that biased a review with that in mind, since it balances how some people are bored out of their socks, and others simply enjoy the game.

      Biased would be calling it just a map-pack for MW2, and even after just playing multiplayer I’d have to disagree, which is probably biased as well.

      “You either love it or hate it” never seemed truer ;)

  • Garrad Flint

    Really like the review. I don’t find it biased and the points are valid. I’ve bought and played each MW game, loved each of them in multiplayer and when I eventually pick this up I’m sure I’ll love it online.

    But I’m not blind. This is the same game re-released as it is each year. A few new features, updated textures and a few more objects squeezed in to the screen.

    I don’t get why fan boys go ape shit when people don’t praise their favourite game. The reviewer says it’s a good game still, better than the rest, but just the same game again. That’s valid, true and helpful advise.

    Thanks for the review, please disregard any flak from biased users and just send them to IGN if they want to feel comfortable with biased reviews.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daran-Smith/100000190896655 Daran Smith

      Thank you so much for understanding the review and reading it.

  • Anonymous

    According to the rating system, I do see why it got a 3/5. Solid game

    Not flawlessly written, but good enough I guess.

    Not sure I’ll get the game or even play it. I have never found the multiplayer as fun as Halo Reach, but considering they have made a few changes, it could be fun.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7RR4ROQLAKNHGZCMNK64HL4O34 Masimba

    Started playing the campaign and done the first three missions. This review is bang on the money when it says its the same game especially SP wise. I have been looking forward to MW3 since it has more than one dev team and hoping for more new stuff. I was really underwhelmed seeing enemies respawning and poor AI. Enemies and NPC exchanging gun fire metres from each other. Played a couple of MP matches and only a maximum of 12 players in the game modes. Trading this in soon. 3/5 is a great review and those not happy are showing their fanboyism or haven’t played the game yet.

  • Jeremy Tung

    Deserves more than 3 stars.
    If a game developer finds the right formula, why not stick with it.
    There are plenty of movies that are similar but nobody applies the same kind of review guidelines that they do with games. Need to realise that games are hitting their highest points to date for entertainment value so we should just enjoy the quality we now have.

    • Dave Kim

      “games are hitting their highest points to date…”

      Sadly, this will only be true if people like you keeping saying it…

      There used to be a time when it was assumed that a completely new game engine would be produced for a sequel…

      And are you seriously saying you LIKE all the movie sequels coming out? That’s all that’s coming out, remakes and sequels…

      I, for one, enjoy something FRESH and INNOVATIVE!

  • http://twitter.com/9monkeyman9 Tyson Ockelford

    You are stupid. Just because a game is similar in its structure and gameplay to its predecessors, you feel the need to point this fact out as if it is a negative aspect of the game?
    Uhh, hello? Zelda, Mario, Uncharted, (essentially every game series ever) called, they want their inferior reviews also!
    Let me point out that I am by no means a COD fanboy, far from it. I just hate to see poor reviews.

    • Anonymous

      You hate seeing poor reviews?

      Heaven forbid a game doesn’t live up to the hype.

      These comments are getting ridiculous… How about someone tell us what they think of the game once they play it? That would be more constructive than name calling.

      • Garrad Flint

        Agreed. Though I’ve just been playing through the multiplayer (which is all I get COD for). And I can’t imagine anyone being able to tell this is a new game without already knowing.

        If you sat down to play this and was told it’s a custom map pack for black Ops, I doubt anyone would be able to tell otherwise. It looks the same, plays the same and it is the same as the last.

        If you’ve enjoyed every COD up to this point and don’t mind playing the same game with a few new features. Buy the game, you’ll love it. If you’re after a reinvented COD experience (multiplayer wise), you won’t get it here.

        I think I’ll stick with Battlefield and let the MW series slip away as fond memories of the last 3 years.

        Flame this post all you want, but that’s my personal opinion after 5 hours of multiplayer gameplay. I wouldn’t rate it more than 3/5

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Damo-Edwards/100000948751630 Damo Edwards

      The games you mentioned are based on story and are single player based. COD on the other hand advertises itself as something more then it is. I can’t remember Activisions exact wording but they pretty much just outright say they are the best shooter in the industry, claiming they are still innovative with absolutely no physical evidence of this. The single player in COD is short which in turn makes it obvious that Activision just want to milk the franchise for everything it has. The 3 single-player campaigns we have seen in the last 3 games could have been completed in 1 when you take into account how short they are.

      And sure you might say ‘It’s a multi-player game’ which is partly true, but if you consider how many of the people who play the game are only playing for single player then you can’t help but feel sorry for them getting one single games worth of content while spending about $360 in cases where people brought all copies from retailers stocking the game at RRP.

      It’s just time for people to realise that not every single game can pull off being almost exactly the same and COD is one of those games. You can already tell people are getting bored and I dare say that the ones who have played Battlefield past 10 levels will dominate in COD MP when you take into account there is almost no dust, smoke, vehicular or fire cover in the outdated graphics.

      COD is defiantly targeted at players who fancy themselves to be hardcore gamers but ultimately fail when it comes to a game with a bit of actual realism. The men will play Battlefield while the children play MW1.3

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=602594470 Juan Carlos Suarez

    Great review spot on!. As long time cod player myself im not interested in playing the same game over again. I wanted some innovation but if thats not the case then im no go on this game.