Videogame Verdict: Modern Warfare 3 Initial Impressions

War is hell and duty is calling. The latest iteration of ‘Modern Warfare’ is upon us. I popped this new disc in the console last night and gave it a good first go. It’s been a blast so far, but is this just a case of “next verse same as the first, a little bit louder and a whole lot worse”?

The ‘Call of Duty’ series has become an annual staple at Activision, and why not? The games sell a bazillion copies every year despite minimal innovation, horrible storytelling and only the smallest of tweaks to the very popular multi-player mode. Why do they sell like hotcakes, to the point that (folks threaten to bomb stores if they can’t get a copy)? I’ll tell you why. Anyone who has had a little taste of this game can’t forget it, because it tastes really good. Of course, Activision is on an every-other-year cycle for the good ‘Call of Duty’ games (‘Modern Warfare’ vs. Old Ass Warfare), so it’s a bit disappointing that more couldn’t be done with this game after two years of development time, but I digress.

So far, I have spent a handful of hours starting the campaign, checking out the matchmaking options and dabbling a bit in the Special Ops mode. Here are my initial impressions: Mama! There’s something special about being thrown right back into the action. Sure, the ‘Uncharted’ series has a much better narrative and a stronger “like you’re in a movie” feeling, but ‘MW3’ is like Activision took the best action movie scenes and jammed you in them. The single-player campaign’s first mission scratched my “I’ve missed the ‘CoD’ campaign” itch exactly right. There isn’t a terrible amount of anything new in the HUD or weapons or character movement or A.I. intelligence, just new set-pieces. But what set-pieces they are! The story is still super convoluted as you jump from mission to mission, but ultimately, this isn’t why you’re playing. The weapons are just as much fun and the gameplay is just as tight as previous ‘Modern Warfare’ titles.

One interesting thing to note is that the game has a warning that one particular scene might be offensive to some players and, like ‘Modern Warfare 2’, you can turn it off if you want. I had to look that up, to see if it would be another Russian airport massacre scene. It doesn’t sound like it’s too bad, at least not as offensive as ‘MW2’. It probably wouldn’t be so offensive if it weren’t so terribly obvious that the developers were going for cheap emotion or thrills. ‘MW1’ had a couple of devastating moments that illicited a bit of an emotional response, but ‘MW2’ was just numbing in the lame attempts. We’ll see how this one fares.

More on the Special Ops and multi-player in my next post, but from what I’ve seen so far, this game has kept all the groovy things from the series, hasn’t added anything crappy, and may just shape up to be the best ‘Call of Duty’ yet.


  1. paramedic0112

    Got mine at midnight on Tuesday. I’ve just been playing online, so can’t say anything about the campaign or spec ops yet. I have to admit that this is alot more challenging than Black Ops. I get killed easier. The maps seem to be much larger and much more detailed. The weapons are also much more sophisticated than Black Ops. My only beef: where is last stand mode (second chance perk)? Is it something I still have to earn? That saved me so many times in the other games.

  2. Last Stand was unlocked a while later in Black Ops wasnt it?

    Been playing only online as well and yes, its harder, the maps really need to be learned and you definitely die in COD fashion, usually because of lag. Thats my only gripe with this series so far, the lack of dedicated servers is a HUGE problem with this game, who ever is on the team with the server connection is most likely going to win, I cant say how many times I’ve been killed because of lag in the game, replays show them killing me before I even fire when on my screen I’ve fired a whole clip at them. Black Ops had the same issue, when you got into a good game with minimal lag they were always great matches, you got into one that had bad lag and it was a joke, one team would completely annihilate the other and it could even be the same team you might have just wiped out a game before.

    Otherwise its good stuff, it frustrates me to no end because of that stuff, but its so damn fun and addicting on every other level 🙂

    • paramedic0112

      So i guess there is no last stand perk, but there is a final stand perk that you get as a death streak perk. Yeah I agree with you totally about the lag. I’ve experienced the same thing when watching the replay of my deaths. It’s incredibly frustrating, especially when you know the people killing you are not even really better than you skill wise. I thought the last stand thing made up for it a bit in Black Ops because a lot of people would put you down and move on not realizing you’re still alive, then you could still take them out if you were quick. Anyway, I’ll still keep playing because I’m also addicted.

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