Whenever the air grows thick with the smell of autumn leaves, yes, it means another Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game is upon us. The third in the modern “subfranchise,” Modern Warfare 3 has big shoes to fill. By which I mean that its predecessor went down in the Guinness World Records as the highest grossing entertainment launch ever. Well, the reviews for the newest member in the CoD family are in – and they’re glowing.
That being the case, I was careful to include some of the negativity they evoked. No, not because I hate the series (seriously, I don’t), but rather to give those of you who are on the fence a bit more to base your eventual decision on than “HUGE EXPLOSIONS AND l33t KILL STREAKS!”
Without further ado, below are some of the juicier parts of reviews coming from trusted gaming news websites far and wide (though GotGame.com is and forever will be the apple of your eye, naturally).
1UP — A-
“I think MW3 is a complete package in a lot of ways. The campaign is solid and filled with thrill-ride stuff that doesn’t go as far off the rails as MW2. Spec Ops is fantastic for short missions that require team coordination to play. And Survival finally gives me a zombie-free Horde mode in COD that’s as fun, but filled with different tactical approaches.”
Regarding the single player: “I only wish there were more choices or pathways — something to break away from the feeling that I’m traveling down a narrow funnel. I get COD and think it’s a fun experience, but only the first time I play it. After that, the campaign script becomes an uninteresting routine — which is probably why the haters chant, ‘Whack-a-Mole.’”
“[…] some aspects of Infinity Ward’s reliable engine are starting to show their age. I’ve always admired COD’s photo-realistic visuals, but many of the effects and explosions in particular look dated. I’d really like to see this engine upgraded to something that stands out the same way how the first Modern Warfare looked so much better than Call of Duty 2.”
Gameinformer — 9.0 / 10
“If you’ve wrapped up the campaign and want a break from the standard multiplayer, Spec Ops serves as a great third pillar. This mode is broken into two distinct sections now, with one dedicated to co-op missions like those seen in Modern Warfare 2 and another that’s essentially a Horde mode variant. This survival mode is a blast with soldiers, dogs, and vehicles that are far more engaging than plodding zombies. Plus, it has its own in-game economy and ranking system.”
IGN — 9.0 / 10
“The story is difficult to follow as usual, and while it does wrap up the arc begun by the previous Modern Warfare games, it isn’t ultimately all that interesting or satisfying. Moments of emotional weight fell flat as I found it difficult to muster up feelings of sadness about the death of one named soldier after witnessing the countless deaths of hundreds of other Americans.”
“If singleplayer is good, then Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer is fantastic. Like the other Call of Duty games before it, this entry pulls you in with its persistent leveling system and frantic combat. All of the sixteen new maps are fun to play and, with a whole new slew of challenges to complete, rewards constantly pop up and keep you hooked with the next little endorphin rush.”
“Killstreaks have also been reworked into Strike Packages to bring a better sense of balance and reward to all types of players. You still unlock abilities in Strike Packages by getting kills, but now you can specialize your killstreak rewards so they suit your playstyle. If you’re not the type who goes on huge streaks and you’re not always watching your kill/death ratio, you can take a Support Strike Package. This package doesn’t have rewards that are as offensively-focused as the Assault package, but all kills carry over between spawns. This gives less-skilled players a way to contribute to the fight…”
Joystiq — 4.5 / 5 stars
“Most of the usual game modes are back and as enjoyable as ever, but the two new arrivals, Kill Confirmed and Team Defender, very nearly outshine them all. Kill Confirmed innovates by pushing players out of their comfort zones in pursuit of dog tags dropped by downed friends and foes. More than a few times those matches saw dog tags piling up, resulting in the last man standing getting to claim all of the spoils. Team Defender is much more manic, with lots of grenades and chaos all centered around a flag everyone’s trying to grab and hold. After a few slower games of Headquarters or Search and Destroy, all that mindless destruction can be a nice palate cleanser.”
So what do you think? Day one purchase? Battlefield 3 tiding you over just fine? Let us know in the comments section below!