Too Little Too Late
Too little too late. This probably should have been the slogan for Modern Warfare 3. Just getting that out of the way, and now on to the actual review.
Since the beginning of Call of Duty (the beginning of time it seems) we have been doused in very well put-together First Person Shooter gameplay and fast-paced action sequences. All of this, only coupled with unrivaled multiplayer. Its not like Call of Duty started off crappy and now its the biggest franchise in the world just "because." Activision was an ambitious company once, and Call of Duty was an ambitious game. All those fancy iron sights. The fuck is this, I can actually aim my gun?!
Yes, you could, and if you want to put it in layman's terms, that little iron sight bit added Call of Duty to the list of innovative First Person Shooters. Of course, the amazing action helped too, but you know, layman's terms.
Anyways, enough history. Point is, Call of Duty was revolutionary. After so many iterations and the adding of different gameplay modifiers, the franchise has just become flat out stale. Throughout the campaign of Modern Warfare 3, the storyline is devoted to playing on your "emotions" for the characters that have returned from previous games. Trying to throw in a couple wannabee controversial moments to spice things up here and there doesn't help to bring out these non-present emotions. I mean, come on, you killed the main character already, think of something else.
Story aside, its the same old Call of Duty. Run into a room or area, shoot some dudes, perform action sequence, shoot more dudes. Rinse, repeat. The ENTIRE campaign is this. Of course the self-acclaimed geniuses at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games try to mix things up, but at its core, its the same old, same old. All these knocks against story line and campaign gameplay are to be taking with a grain of salt, though. Even with its many problems, the campaign is well put together. At a solid 60 frames per second the whole way through, this fast-paced linear action is still the best in the business, even if its overstayed its welcome.
Now to what everyone and their 12 year old brother keeps buying these games for, the multiplayer. Perks. Killstreaks. Guns. Camouflage. Blah blah blah. There really is not much to talk about here, because you are still just shooting dudes, only online with fancy gametypes and that constantly built upon rank up system. The new killstreak (being the biggest change in multiplayer) system has players choosing from 3 different packages, and choosing a set of certain killstreaks from there. The first two are pretty self-explanatory. Assault allows you to choose 3 different killstreaks, unlocking them as you string together kills without dying. Support is more of a, well, support style of killstreak rewards system. Stringing together kills nets you fancy new toys regardless of death, but these toys aren't quite as deadly as the Assault package. The most interesting part of multiplayer has to be the new Specialist killstreak package. Every two kills unlocks another perk for you to use, in addition to already chosen perks. Up to 8 kills, which then gives you every single perk in the game. Pretty sweet, but nonetheless lackluster in comparison to what Call of Duty games have done with multiplayer before.
A return to gun on gun action has most definitely brought a different style of play to multiplayer as well. Much smaller maps and new gametypes have brought back a sense of old-school deathmatch style gameplay. Kill Confirmed is one such gametype, which has players picking up dog tags of killed enemies, only giving the team that kill if said dogtag is acquired first. This return though, has only shed more light on the absolute horrid spawn system in place for the game and outright flaws in some map design. Sometimes players spawn right around the corner from you, and you may have wanted to get over to the middle of the map, but that big ole' rock just HAD to be stopping you from doing so.
Notice I didn't mention the Spec Ops mode or that stupid wave-based survival mode. Mostly because, well its a stupid wave-based survival mode that I wouldn't pay 5$ for.
All in all, Modern Warfare 3 is a decent game. No, not good, I won't give the developers that satisfaction (even if I'm some random dude posting a review). Its a decent game, only because of exceptional production quality and decent action. However, for me at least, Call of Duty is all shot up. Without some huge change in game play, I'm done. I could care less about sales anymore. No more Call of Duty for me, and hopefully you feel the same. Supporting small iteration and not the changing of our small gaming community for the better will only hurt games in the long-run.