Title: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Platform: PS3, 360, PC


Publisher: Activision

Developer: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games

Review By: Eric Stuckart

Rating: ★★★★☆

Ah, Call of Duty. It must be coming towards the end of the year already. With Modern Warfare 3, the behemoth military shooter franchise finally sees the end of its Modern Warfare storyline with this game, in my opinion the first in the series that truly doesn’t really see much in the form of innovation so much as doing just enough to get by and get the title out.

While that last statement still rings, keep this in mind: Modern Warfare 3 is still an expertly crafted first person shooter, with all of the flourishes that the series has become known for. It’s just that I’m starting to feel a bit of fatigue from the annual release of these games. There’s only so far one can take this genre, and for some people — myself included — it’s starting to see a logical end. Or a need to go back to the blueprints and start thinking up a new war style to exploit to keep things fresh. But I digress.

Picking up immediately where Modern Warfare 2 left off, the game deftly throws the player into the thick of things, opting this time around to skip the tame introductory missions that opened the first two MW titles. The United States and Russia are embroiled in the middle of World War III, all while the terrorist Makarov is behind the scenes, plotting his next move. Will Soap and Price — now considered enemies on all sides — be able to figure out what’s really at stake and stop it before it’s too late?

Much like past titles, the game switches from different characters in different parts of the world, keeping the battles tightly scripted but still fun. Be it a gunfight barreling down the subways of London or a battle in front of the Eiffel Tower, Modern Warfare 3 brings the battle hard and heavy. However, after the ridiculously over-the-top missions of the last title, MW3 does seem a bit tame in comparison. The action still remains planted firmly in the face of each and every player, but I suppose it’s the fact that the tolerance has been pushed so far that to make it even further would be to jump the proverbial shark, an accomplishment I’m surprised the series hasn’t yet forced players to do.

As far as multiplayer goes, Modern Warfare 3 still has what it takes to be a contender for most players. I’d argue that Battlefield 3’s audience would likely be more into the fight for the tactical aspects of war anyways, so you can’t really compare the two. The only real disappointment that I had with the multiplayer was the lacking Wager Mode, first shown in last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops. While it’s obvious that Wager Mode was an invention of Treyarch’s design, a good idea is a good idea, and if these games are all part of the same franchise, it really shouldn’t matter anyways.

At this point in the game, it all boils down to this: do you care about the wrapping up of the storyline, and do you feel the need to have the latest batch of maps to stay up to date with your multiplayer shooter fun? It’s not a matter of whether or not I like Modern Warfare 3, because I do; while playing it, I couldn’t wait for the next mission, and the story ties up everything rather nicely. It’s just that MW3 isn’t as memorable as other titles in the Modern Warfare series, let alone Call of Duty games in general. To answer the other question, if you’re a hardcore gamer that’s very much into first person shooters, there’s not much to dislike here, with the exception that there really isn’t much new to the game.

For more information, visit callofduty.com

Pads & Panels received a copy of the game courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.