Modern Warfare 3 is everything you’d expect it to be, and that’s really its flaw. The campaign is action heavy; jam-packed with dramatic set pieces and plenty of explosions. The frame-rate clicks along at a crisp 60 fps, the visuals are top notch, and the final package is finely tuned to near perfection.
It is true that every thing here screams solid because Modern Warfare 3 is a good, solid game. However, once you take a peak under the hood, its faults become rather noticeable. It starts with a story that comes across as a jumbled mess thanks to terrible pacing and poor character development. No one seems to be concerned about the heaps of dead bodies littering the city streets. Nor is any comment made about the innocent people who are shot and then tossed into the docks. Instead, you wade on past them as if everything is perfectly normal.
The campaign chugs along at lightning pace without any heart. No emotional connection is ever established between the player and the story. One scene was thrown in for the sole purpose of shock value that struck me as classless. This is quite the opposite of the intended effect which was to tug on the player’s heart strings. Even more annoying was that there were plenty of golden opportunities simply wasted. The entire campaign felt rushed.
The multiplayer and co-op modes also offer up everything one would expect. There are plenty of modes that should be familiar to anyone who has picked up a Call of Duty title over the past few years. Multiplayer is a lot of fun but is lacking in innovation. It didn’t take long for the ‘been there, done that’ vibe to set in, and I quickly become bored of it.
There’s no denying that the Call of Duty series is a financial juggernaut. More entertainment sales records are smashed with each annual release. It is difficult to fault the developers for playing it safe when tinkering with a gaming gold mine. You can almost excuse them for merely tweaking the same engine that has been in use since the first Modern Warfare as opposed to giving the franchise a complete overhaul.
However, the formula is getting old. A story without heart and multiplayer without any innovation leaves me with the impression that the series is getting stale. Modern Warfare 3 is a solid military shooter that places “playing it safe” above taking risks in creativity. For me that’s just not good enough anymore.
Title: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Developer: Infinity Ward
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, & PS3
Style: 1st Person Shooter
By D.L. Timmerman