Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Box Art
System: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, DS
Dev: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games
Pub: Activision
Release: November 8, 2011
Players: 1-18
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language

Of course, there have been a variety of smaller tweaks since COD's last outing. You can now level up each individual gun you use, and there are new weapons including Bouncing Betty mines and a mini-helicopter. The killstreak/perk system has been revamped and renamed Pointstreak, with three different "strike packages" to choose from: "Assault" players earn killstreak rewards the normal way, "support" players can earn rewards in ways besides killstreaks and keep their points through death, and "specialists" unlock different (and better) rewards at higher killstreaks. There's also the (delayed) Call of Duty Elite system, which will handle matchmaking, keep track of your stats, and, for a subscription fee, offer other benefits once it's launched.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot

The multiplayer modes themselves are all the same, save for two new ones: "Kill Confirmed" (in which your kills don't count unless you grab the deceased's dog tags before his teammates do) and "Team Defender" (a variant of capture the flag in which you have to keep the flag for as long as possible rather than bringing it to a goal). The former is an interesting new take on deathmatch, requiring you to make a tradeoff between racking up fresh kills, collecting enemy tags, and collecting your teammates' tags before an opponent can grab credit for the kill. The latter seems more like padding—an excuse for Activision's marketers to say more has been added than really has.

Another point of comparison between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, of course, is the launch. So far, MW3 seems to be faring a little better than BF3 did, but there have certainly been problems. Downloading the game via Steam on Tuesday night was a slow and arduous experience, the developers are frantically adding server capacity, and the delay in Elite implementation for PC gamers is frustrating. However, playing on Wednesday night, I found multiplayer running smoothly, and I rarely waited longer than a minute or two for a match. For those who didn't buy their choice of FPS immediately, neither game should present serious technical issues, and it's not as if no one predicted a rocky first few days for these blockbuster titles.

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Some of MW3's early buyers have been frustrated about the lack of change, and their complaints are well founded. This is a cautious tweak of Modern Warfare 2, not really a completely new game. But Modern Warfare 2 was already a well-oiled machine, and the improvements make Modern Warfare 3 one of the best first-person shooters in existence. It offers a brief but exciting campaign, excellent co-op, and a familiar multiplayer experience with some nice adjustments.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
Even on a top-end PC, this game looks like a decent console title—not bad, but not at the front of the pack.
4.8
Control
Aiming feels just right, and the steady frame rate makes everything feel smooth.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Epic music, frightening gunfire, and decent voice acting.
4.0
Play Value
This is a smidgen better than Modern Warfare 2—but it's also only a smidgen different.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • New Pointstreak system that rewards players both for landing kills and completing objectives.
  • Weapons proficiency system that allows you to customize your favorite weapons, making them more efficient in any map or mode.
  • Online two-player co-op Special Ops Survival mode that earns you experience through sixteen frantic objective-based missions.
  • New play modes, including: Kill Confirmed mode, Team Defender mode, and user-generated match modes.
  • Customizable strike package options based on kill streaks.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Debut Teaser - click to enlarge
    Debut Teaser
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Debut Trailer - click to enlarge
    Debut Trailer
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Multiplayer Briefing - Strike Packages - click to enlarge
    Multiplayer Briefing - Strike Packages
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - The Vet and the n00b - click to enlarge
    The Vet and the n00b
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Facebook and Elite Integration - click to enlarge
    Facebook and Elite Integration

    Screenshots / Images
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot - click to enlarge

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