Call of Duty: MW3 celebrates the 20th anniversary of this much-loved franchise. Throughout the years there have been many highs and lows. Despite the low points, it has always drawn a massive cult-like following. Moreover, the development of Warzone and its intrinsically linked mechanics allow gamers to flit between game modes seamlessly. Yet, I have a feeling that this 2023 title will unfortunately fall short.
This FPS shooter was developed by Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision. Moreover, this iteration includes a beloved Zombies mode and the map package of Modern Warfare 2. Consequently, there is plenty of nostalgia and action to get your teeth sunk into. However, its lack of originality and the painfully short campaign will leave many wanting. Accordingly, though it excels in many areas, there are plenty of shortcomings as well.
Call of Duty: MW3 unveils a disappointing campaign!
Though many gamers flock to this franchise for its multiplayer action, there is a high percentage that love the single-player campaign as well. If you sit in the latter camp, you are going to be bitterly disappointed by the cliched cinematic, horrible one-liners, and extremely short playtime. If you bum-rush every enemy, you can complete this mode in around 3 to 4 hours. Subsequently, you are left with little else to do and a sense of emptiness.
The campaign mode carries on from Modern Warfare 2. As such, you control an elite soldier of Task Force 141. This rough group of warriors are badass and deadly. Consequently, they will chuck themselves into any situation no matter how dangerous. As such, when Makarov escapes his prison you must stop at nothing to kill or capture him.
Sounds exciting, but it falls short.
The idea of an elite band of heroes chasing a Russian ultranationalist is exciting. Yet, the poor execution of many key mechanics and the lack of true tactical nuance was frustrating. Additionally, tackling every enemy head-on was a preferred approach. Therefore, the idea of being stealthy or clever was pushed to the side.
Unfortunately, no matter which level you tackled, this idea didn’t change. Consequently, you wandered each semi-open-world level without a care in the world. On top of this, the dialogue was cringeworthy and didn’t sync up with the excellent writing from previous instalments. As such, you’ll scowl as you sprint your way through a short and underwhelming story mode.
Multiplayer is where it shines.
I’m not going to cover every game mode available. However, I can’t help but gush about the incredible inclusion of each classic Modern Warfare 2 map. The ability to play some of the best-designed levels from 2009 was an amazing choice that filled me with joy and nostalgia. Yet, the distinct lack of originality wasn’t lost on me. Accordingly, if you’ve played these maps to death, you may not wish to relive them again for hours on end.
Luckily, though, the inclusion of recent game modes ensures that there is a fresh take on each arena. Subsequently, players can collect tags in kill confirmed, or defend zones and stay alive as long as possible in control. Alternatively, maybe you’ll tackle the latest game mode cutthroat? This all-singing and all-dancing option pits 3 teams of 3 against one another. Consequently, it is fast-paced, cruel, and unbelievably tough. However, placing this new mode into classic maps was occasionally clumsy. Spawn points weren’t fantastic and this caused unnecessary frustrations!
Zombies are hit-and-miss.
Treyarch’s Zombies mode has always been a winner. However, setting this impressive game mode into the vast landscape of Urzikstan was a mistake. Unfortunately, the swathes of emptiness remove that sense of fear and claustrophobia that we’ve all come to adore. Furthermore, the odd tiering system makes things unfortunately clumsy.
As you navigate towards the centre of the map, you’ll encounter bullet-sponge zombies that kick your ass. Subsequently, you rarely tackle these beasts as the risk vs rewards ratio wasn’t enough. Accordingly, you spend much of your time on the outside looking in. As a result, it quickly becomes tedious and you’ll wonder what’s happened to such an incredible game mode.
Call of Duty: MW3 looks fantastic.
Though the gameplay left me wanting, I cannot complain about the visuals. The modern finish improves every level on offer. Moreover, the cinematic looks incredible and won’t disappoint. Alongside this, the action is seamless and the animation and guns are phenomenal. Subsequently, this is an FPS that runs like a dream.
Despite the poor voice acting, I loved the incredible soundtrack and the impressive ambient sounds. Additionally, the sound effects are loud, realistic, and will blow your ears off. As such, if you have the sound cranked up, you’ll be immersed in the brutal noises of war.
Call of Duty: MW3 is simply awesome to play. The intuitive controls work perfectly no matter your input device. Alongside this, the intelligent control setup and easy-to-follow tutorial allow newcomers to understand the fundamentals. However, if you are a fan of the franchise, this is just like riding a bike.
If you adore multiplayer action, then there is plenty of replay value and longevity. Thankfully, the core maps offer enough depth to keep you coming back for more. Additionally, if you have a great group of friends, you’ll laugh and cry as you compete against other bloodthirsty gamers.
Call of Duty: MW3 is a nostalgia-infused title.
Though many people will bemoan the lack of originality, I loved the nostalgia-infused elements within Call of Duty: MW3. Furthermore, the multiplayer offerings were simply amazing and this papers over many of the cracks. Accordingly, I adored this latest instalment and I recommend that you buy it here! Can you compete with the world’s best players? Pick a class, upgrade your weapons, and enjoy some classic maps.