Caio - Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Review

It’s hard to believe that only five years ago, Call of Duty 3 had just come out, and it was competing, and losing in some cases to Gears of War, Battlefield, and Medal of Honor. A year later, Infinity Ward came out with Call of Duty 4, which was the first game in the Modern Warfare series. It beat all expectations and set a new bar on how first person shooters should look and feel in a console environment. But can Modern Warfare 3 do the same? Modern Warfare 3 is exactly the game you expect. It’s Modern Warfare 2 in a new box with different levels and weapons.

Innovating Backwards.

Modern Warfare 3 feels like a step back in a number of ways. Mainly because most innovations that were included in Black Ops, like a money-based system for weapon and perk unlocks, contracts, and wager matches are nowhere to be found. Killstreaks seem like the only meaningful change made to the multiplayer. There are three types of killstreaks. Assault provide "kill-getting" killstreaks. Support provides players with team-helping perks that can really make a difference in matches, these don’t reset when you die, so it’s perfect for inexperienced players. The specialist killstreak pack is the most interesting one, it allows for players to get perks as rewards for kills. The new killstreak system may seem like a small change for some, but it adds lots of strategic options for players to explore and I am really interested to see how it will affect gameplay once players figure out the best setups. From what I’ve seen so far it definitively helps remove players "camping" in order to stack killstreaks.




Tight Corners and Bright Colors

There are sixteen brand new maps in Modern Warfare 3. One of the first things I noticed when starting to play multiplayer in Modern Warfare 3 is how small the maps are. It seems like Infinity Ward was trying to make the gameplay even faster than in previous Call of Duty games, and they have succeeded in doing it. Tight corners, streets, and hallways are where most of your gun fights are going to take place. Sub machine guns dominate almost every map, making snipping unless you are "quick scoping" because people are always going to be running at you. The spawning points in these maps seem particularly bad. You often will get killed by a enemy, spawn as they are going around the corner just to kill you a second time. On the bright side, the maps look better than ever, they are wonderfully colored and no longer have that sepia tone to them.


At least try.

The arsenal of weapons in Modern Warfare 3 has some new additions, such as the MSR sniper rifle, and the MP7 sub machine gun. Other weapons come directly from Modern Warfare 2, while others have reworked graphics. What I found baffling is that a few weapons, such as the M16, and the P90 seem like they were imported directly from Call of Duty 4. Player will now get weapon-specific experience points allowing you to get weapon upgrades, such as better bullet penetration. The endless weapon unlockables such as scopes, silencers, and camuflage are back and there are plenty took keep you unlocking things for months to come. The sound for the weapons were are mostly new. The first time you listen to a gun being fired in MW3, it sounds more realistic, but once you hear more weapons being fire you start to suspect that they used the same sound effect for a lot of guns and added echo for the sniper rifles. It gets really hard to distinguish what gun your opponent has, so that you can position yourself in order to counter them. Weapons seem more balanced than in previous Call of Duty games, but I am sure the community will find the best setups soon.


Time to shine

Two new game modes have been added to multiplayer along with most MW2 game modes.  Kill Confirmed requires players to pick up dog tags that enemies drop when killed. This is a cool twist on Team Deathmatch, that is sure to please players that want a faster paced game mode. Players can also pick up friendly dog tags to deny kills to the enemy team. This adds a interesting layer of strategy, and I am excited to see how people use it. For example, during a Kill Confirmed match, the enemy team had a sniper killing people from a distance while his teammates were running around picking up dog tags. Another new game mode is Team Defender. In this mode players have to capture a enemy flag, and hold it for as long as possible, getting points for each second they are able to keep it. Teams with strong communication and coordination tend to win Team Defender matches. The mode that requires the most teamwork is still Search and Destroy. In this mode, one team has to destroy two objectives while the other team protects them, but there is no respawning. Overall the game modes are what players have come to know and love from Call of Duty games.

Bottom Line

The main question I have about the Call of Duty series right now is this. How long can they keep making Call of Duty games that are unexciting and have very few innovations ? Activision has been known to push a franchise as far as it can go, and then just kill it. I hope developers are given breathing room to develop new and exiting Call of Duty games. If the previous CoD games are not taken into consideration, MW3 is a solid first person shooter that chooses renovation over innovation, with tons of weapons, endless unlockables, and colorful maps. If you are a Call of Duty fan you will pick this game up, but the reason you will buy Modern Warfare 3 is not because it’s better than the old one. It’s because all your friends are going to be playing it.