Modern Warfare 3 gets it right

By Ed Zhao

The Call of Duty franchise has grown to be one of the biggest in video games. This year’s rendition stays true to the series’ basic premise of fast, engaging multiplayer while also offering a variety of nuances to change up the gameplay. Smart additions come to the modes and pacing of the online segments while the offline capabilities still impress.

As always, the single player component simply serves as an appetizer to the competitive multiplayer. There are a number of strong set-pieces sprinkled throughout the five-hour campaign, and the action is almost always silky smooth. Sadly, the story itself is incoherent and the jumbled switching to various character viewpoints really only serves to highlight different locales.

Instead, the appeal of Modern Warfare 3 lies with the online components. Players familiar with the Call of Duty series will immediately notice the re-balanced multiplayer as death comes at a much faster pace. The maps feel smaller and your soldier is more fragile, heightening the sense of tension. The sixteen maps offer a good amount of variety and, coupled with the addictive leveling system, there’s always incentive for another session. As each player gains experience, they unlock better weapons, perks and kill streaks. To further upgrade your armaments with scopes or silencers though, you’ll have to continually use that weapon.

A few new modes have been added to the multiplayer, though the majority of online play will still revolve around team matches and capturing points. The most innovative is Kill Confirmed, which will only reward a player when they collect the dog tags of a downed opponent. This adds an element of risk and reward since players must constantly choose between claiming the kill and staying in cover. Gone from the previous entry are the endless waves of zombies and MW3 instead offers the co-operative Survival Mode. Two teammates will work in tandem against an onslaught of foes while accruing currency to level up weapons and abilities.

Call of Duty is the best selling game for a reason. The multiplayer is still as engrossing as ever and the single player will present a number of memorable moments. Most of the online changes also add additional nuances to the game, effectively evolving the franchise. It’s another excellent entry in the series that will appeal to hardcore and casual fans alike.