I’m going to skip the obvious jokes and foreplay: this is pretty much a minorly tweaked version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. And in my opinion, it’s absolutely terrible.
Let’s start with the single player campaign. As in previous games, for most segments you’ll be fighting enemies that respawn infinitely until you move up – a tired, boring design.*
It reminds me immediately of the first Modern Warfare when you were supposedly fighting a small band of terrorists, and yet you would literally have to fight thousands of them.
The thing that really gets me about this game is it’s linearity. I’m ok with linear progression to tell a cinematic story. But for christ’s sake, let me play the god damn game how I want to. There’s a segment early on where you follow a boat in your own watercraft. I decided to go right around a naval cruiser for a little shortcut.
GAME OVER: YOU HAVE TO GO LEFT.
There’s also an underwater segment where you follow your buddies to a two-foot pipe. I tried to go over it, and there was a fucking invisible wall. And before I realized I had to go under the pipe instead, I got “Game over, you fell too far behind.” This was especially ironic because the NPCs just stopped on the other side of the pipe, waiting for me.
As if that wasn’t enough though, all of the most “badass” sequences don’t even present you with real danger! There are so many segments (particularly the on-rails ones) where you can simply choose to not fire your gun. Any time you’re waiting for a chopper to arrive, or you’re the gunner on a tank, or anything where the the devs want to you glaze over while enduring a “cinematic” experience, you can just sit back and relax and nothing will happen even remotely differently. Sure, you can cause some superfluous explosions, but they’re just that.
Listen Infinity Ward, if you want to make a shitty action movie, by all means go right ahead. I might even see it. But if you’re going to make a video game, make it a fucking video game. Believe it or not, I’m intelligent enough to win by playing if you let me.
Multiplayer all over again
There’s not a whole lot to be said about the multiplayer. If you like Modern Warfare 2, and you want to spend $60 on a patch and get called “fag” by 12 year olds, knock yourself out. I’d personally recommend Battlefield 3, but I’m not here to start a flame war.** As for MW3, you’ll find some minor tweaks made, some good some bad.
The biggest one is a change to how killstreaks work: you now pick one of three types. Assault works just like killstreaks in MW2, and all the unlocks are focused on killing (enemy) dudes. Support gives you killstreaks that help your team instead of hurting the bad guys, plus your killstreak doesn’t get reset when you die. And Spec Ops unlocks additional perks as you rack up kills. In addition, everything that gives you points counts towards your killstreak. The intent was to help prevent players from forgoing teamwork in favor of the almighty KDR. It didn’t work.
I know I can’t possibly be the only one who feels so strongly against Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The disparity between metacritic scores and user scores certainly paints an odd picture. Yes, score inflation is part of it, and I’ll be writing a much more humorous article on that soon (Why is 7/10 considered a bad score?). But I think a big part of it is PR between reviewers and publishers. Anyone else notice on G4’s review of MW3 they talk about how bad the story and multiplayer were in MW2, but in the same breath applaud MW3 for being more of the same? Not to mention that they lauded both as best of the best in their MW2 review…
I’ll admit, I haven’t logged as many hours into this game to review it as I could have. For all I know the third act of the single player and gameplay after your first prestige in multiplayer are 100x better. But to be honest, I had so little fun during those few hours that I have no desire to ever play this game again. And I sure as hell wasn’t going to delay this review into time I could be spending playing Skyrim. You see, dear reader, I wasted $60 on this game so you don’t have to. This month alone we’ve got Battlefield 3, Skyrim, and Skyward Sword coming out. There’s no reason you need to spend money on this crap. And if you do, they might even *shudder* make another one.
* To be fair, I wasn’t a fan of BF3’s campaign either.
** Feel free to start one in the comments