zor's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PlayStation 3) review

A big budget pop corn action movie in video game form

Have you ever wanted to play a big budget pop corn action movie in video game form? If so then Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is for you. On the other hand, if you wanted a great first person shooter, then you might want to look elsewhere. This is not to imply that there aren't great things about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, like it's scenarios, and graphics, it is just that the other aspects of the game, such as the story, and game play, are below average and bring the overall experience down.

And this is why you always wear a vest when rafting.

An area where the game does well are its scenarios, which I found some of them to be rather epic and awe inspiring. Further these situations seemed design to be fun to play as well as to watch. And this is where the big budget pop corn action movie feel comes from. Since in these situations, the game keeps moving the player forward while it seems like everything is exploding around them. It is this controlled focus chaos that the Call of Duty series has seemed to mastered, and uses it to impressed. And for the first half of the game, this works.

However, the game is unable to maintain its focus which causes the latter half of the game to drag, which is impressive but in a bad way since the game's campaign is only about 5 hours long. The game's story bets heavily on the idea that the player is going to be emotional invested in the characters, all of them, to the point where they would disregard what is actually going on just so that they could see what happens next. And if you are then you might excuse the bad story elements, but if you don't love all the characters then you'll likely get bored, and bewildered by what happens. The game brings back a lot of the characters and introduces a few new ones too. Without spoiling too much, I will say that bad things happen and there are some endings for the story lines in the series. However, these endings aren't fulfilling, and it is these failure that diminish the entire game's story since so much of it relies on the user enjoying the ending. With this story, it is the destination not the journey that matters. There are so many things that they could have done, or should have, that it just makes the game feel like it's half the game it could have been.

I guess everyone gets a window seat now.

One of the areas that they focus on a lot was the graphics, and this is apparent throughout the game since it looks amazing. I can't remember any significant duration of the game where something wasn't exploding and looking great while doing so. From the characters, levels, to the objects it is apparent that a lot of time was spent making this game look as best as they could make it. However, this isn't to imply that it is perfect and that there aren't visual problems. For example I had difficulty telling friendly npcs from hostile ones, but this wasn't due to any kind of poor quality visuals, instead it was just the realistic chaotic nature of battle.

The game makes up for its short single player campaign with two addition modes, Special Ops and Multiplayer. The Special Ops mode has the user playing with an addition player, either a friend or a random person online, running through scenarios. As they do this they earn rankings on these missions, and experience points to level up their profile. This mode seem intended to fill the niche that a co-op campaign would, since in theory you could play with a friend against the computer. Personally, I don't know anyone else who currently has this game, and I found playing with random people online to be dull. It's nice to have a human partner in a map, but running through pointless scenarios becomes boring quickly. The multiplayer aspect of the game is about the same as it usually is, and by this I mean that if you enjoyed it before, you'll enjoy it now, but if you didn't, then there nothing significantly different this time that would change your mind about it. I did not find the experience of playing with a small number of players where reaction times are more important than planning, to be fun, which is why I did not enjoy the multiplayer in this game.

Overall Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is more of the same, which isn't a bad thing, but neither is it good. If you go into this game expecting the bar to be raised in some way, then you'll be disappointed. However, if you just want some quick mindless fun, then you'll probably enjoy the experience. At the end, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 doesn't do anything new or take any chances, it knows what works for it, and keeps doing it. If that is enough for you, then you should pick up this game, but if you want something more, then you might just want to rent or skip this one, and play one of the other numerous first person shooters out there.

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