So I just finished the campaign for MW3 on Veteran mode. Took me a bit over ten hours. I hear you can beat the campaign on normal in about 5-6 hours, so it's safe to say that Veteran definitely adds length to the game, no doubt from the massive amount of times I died. Not that anyone who's ever beaten a CoD game on Veteran doesn't know that already. It's really quite a bitch.
Now...one thing CoD is known for is the fast pacing in the campaigns. The constant moving and shooting that often has to be done in order to get from one level to the next and progress through the story. This campaign is no different. It's just as explosive as the others, if not more so. Vehicles crash, explosions go off all around you, and hordes of enemies swarm you and your allies. I think the main difference between MW3 and the other games in the series is that the story in this game will keep you engaged enough that you won't care about the pacing. You just want to finish the game and find out what happens to Soap, Price, and the respective characters you play as.
Which leads me to my first point about how I was impressed by Modern Warfare 3. Over the course of the MW series (excluding Black Ops and WaW of course) they've been building the two main characters, Soap and Price, into characters the player actually cares about, something that is kind of rare in modern shooters nowadays. It's cool as you're playing to see how the relationship between the two heroes has changed over the course of the games. Soap going from Price's underling to his partner and equal. Since you play as a different character that fights side by side with both of them on most of the missions in this game, you get to see how the two of them interact and I think that adds some depth to their characters. As I played, it was as if I could feel the will in both of them to keep each other alive, so...(MASSIVE SPOILER) when Soap dies, you feel pain just as Captain Price does.
Now, some gamers are no strangers to deep, meaningful characters. Anyone who's played a story-driven RPG is probably saying "wow Crake, you think Soap and Price are DEEP characters?" Compared to the better story-driven games out there, CoD definitely doesn't have deep characters. It's just, I was surprised at how much I cared for them in a game that people claim only focuses on the multiplayer component.
I think it's a shame how many people no doubt skip out on the single player in this game and go straight to the multiplayer, oftentimes not even touching the campaign. I think they're missing out on a great, engaging story with characters that you'll never forget. I also found it cool how they kind of give a tribute to past games with certain dialogue and some of the missions. Like the classic stealth mission. In the first game in the series, it was Price and Macmillan, then Soap and Price in MW2, and then Yuri and Soap in MW3. It's a nice touch that brought a nostalgic feeling for me.
Finally, I'd like to touch on the ending. Man, what a perfect ending to this game. Captain Price gets revenge for all his dead friends (Soap, Gaz, Ghost, all the SAS troopers), Yuri redeems himself for his past misdeeds by saving Price's life, and the world is saved by Makarov and his lunacy at last. And I couldn't even describe the feeling of awesomeness that came over me when you see Makarov's body swinging there, and a wounded Captain Price, who you just used to kick ass, sits down in his own blood and lights a cigar.
I'm not a huge shooter fan by any means, and I do think the rage and hysteria over MW3's multiplayer is a little ridiculous (not that I won't be playing it myself), but all I have to say is: Infinity Ward, Bravo.