So Infinity Ward’s opus is finally here. After a summer of blockbuster advertising and CODXP2011, the Woodstock of FPS games, we finally got our paws on the final version of the game. There has been much debate over whether this game improves on the last or not. If you’re a fan you’re a fan, no one can stop you from buying what you love. Improvements or not, it’s the single player campaign that is the key to whether or not MW3 will be a great game. Guide to Online Schools has information about video game design classes for people who would like to design games like this.
Being the 3rd game in the Modern Warfare series, I expected big things from the single player campaign. I had already seen the New York level played out to completion over the summer, but sitting down and playing it myself made a huge impact. From the start of the game to the finish of the first level exceeded my expectations. It’s like every kick ass end to a blockbuster trilogy should be. They raised the bar with bigger set pieces and an insane level of death and destruction. I was in for the ride and elated that the campaign was exactly what I’d hoped for.
Makarov is an asshole and if you’re are a fan of this game you probably hate him as much as I do. This hate will grow immensely as you play through the campaign. It seems that in this series, my emotional attachment to the characters has grown. That right there should show you how great the writing is and guess what, MW3 is the work of Paul Haggis. You know Paul Haggis right? He’s the same guy who wrote Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace and many other films and TV shows including Scooby Doo.
Graphically the game looks the same but the effort this time was made to have bigger set pieces. Wall Street is a perfect example of this. There are huge skyscrapers all around you and they don’t look like 2D backdrops either. They look as much of a part of the level as everything else does. The characters look a little more detailed than before and now MW comes with more dust and debris. It’s everything you should expect from an engine that’s 5 years old. It’s nothing mind blowing but it still looks very beautiful.
Game play is also a familiar beast. Other than the fact that your characters feel like they have a bit more weight to them when they move, the controls haven’t changed much at all. The new gadgets are simply badass though. The hybrid scope is one of my new favorites. It’s a dual scope system that switches from a Holo Dot to a 4X tactical scope. Great for shooting at a distance and then going into close quarters. This scope is NOT recommended for multiplayer though. MP is too fast for you to be taking time out to switch your scope in the middle of the game. The moment I was in the middle of a switch and got killed I was done with it. The Bouncing Betty’s are one of my favorite new explosives. You drop that sucker on the ground and it kills from any direction. It’s like a 360 degree claymore. I absolutely love them. You can get some great screenshots and videos with them too.
Sound design in MW is still a huge mixed bag. While the environment effects and explosions are still pretty cool, I can’t for the life of me figure out why Infinity Ward hasn’t taken some serious time out to redo their gun sound effects. The guns, for the most part, don’t sound realistic. The single shot handguns are fine but most of the other guns just don’t sound right. For instance, and I’ve complained about this before, why is it that when you put a silencer on a gun it sounds like you are shooting into a wet sponge? I’m hoping if there is another MW game, hopefully with a new next gen engine, they completely redo their sound design. If we’ve learned one thing from some of the lesser selling FPS games, sound design is an important key to a great game.
While I don’t like the sound design that much, I absolutely love the music score. It’s another one of those aspects that takes you out of the game and puts you into the movie theater. It carry’s the game well and doesn’t sound like it was just thrown in. Brian Tyler, another Hollywood work horse, did a great job on the score. You may know him from the Expendables and Battle Los Angeles.
So what about the multiplayer? Is it the same? Have they made ANY improvements at all? Here’s the deal. The multiplayer is exactly what I expected it to be. The character control feels a lot better but it’s still MW. Game play really shouldn’t change that much in a series lifetime. That being said, my gripes with MP are more so the community than the game itself. That however, will be ranted on later this week. The changes made to MP are new modes, ELITE and the Vault. The new modes are great! My favorite being Kill Confirmed. Playing KC at CODXP2011 gave me the impression that it would be a camper free game. I was so wrong about that but it still remains as my favorite new mode. You kill someone then grab their dog tag to get points. The first team to 65 points wins. If the opposite team grabs their teammates tag before you do, you don’t get the point. This should keep campers away from the game but it seems that they are now splitting up into runner and gunner teams. The gunner camps the tags and keeps killing people from a safe and high location while the runner collects all the tags.
Are you a hardcore gamer that hates core mode? Too bad, you still have to play 19 levels of core before you can unlock hardcore mode. I understand the need for unlocks to keep players interested but don’t make players play modes they have no interest in. Quick scoping is still in the game and while I thought it was a bug, it seems to be a feature that Bowling himself approves of. Splash damage from noob tubes is still insanely huge and the community still pretty much sucks. You’ll spend a lot of your time building the perfect class just to be able to defend against the people who exploit some of the stuff in this game like the heartbeat monitor.
I love the new Spec Ops modes and play them with my son all the time. There’s nothing like planting 10 claymores and watching your enemies die one by one. In fact, Spec Ops mode is the one thing aside from Campaign that they’ve always done right. This time it’s a lot more fun to play.
Elite is Infinity Wards answer to Bungie.net and they did a damn good job with it. In beta it was a flawless tool to track your stats, customize your classes, check out your vault and drool over some of the events and prizes you could win. In the final version of Elite launched with MW3, I couldn’t even log in for two whole weeks. After I was able to finally get in, it was just as good as it was in beta. Unfortunately, non-premium members still couldn’t use the service for another week after premium members. I’ve entered a contest, tracked and compared my stats with others and setup new builds while sitting at my computer. There is an issue with class synching and I think it’s just a matter of making sure you log into the game when you make changes off line. Some of my changes weren’t taking or were reverting back to the old ones due to browser cache maybe? I’m not sure. For now, I think it’s best to change your classes in game.
MW3 is a venerable beast. It’s destroyed all video game sales records, is the best MW game since MW1 and is addicting as hell. It’s not without it’s problems though. I can’t for the life of me figure out why quick scoping is allowed. I can’t figure out why your allowed to run around the map with a Barret and use it like an assault rifle. Ah yes, it’s an arcade shooter not a simulator. Fans of the series will love this game and I’m happy to see it get back to some of the roots that drew us into it in the first place. Do not skip out on the campaign because it is a blast and one of the best FPS campaigns I’ve played this year.