My Morning With Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare, and the greater Call of Duty franchise, are the cheap target of many obvious jokes. They are also the focus of a curious sub group of gaming fans that annually rage against the winning formula that Activision has found. I can understand that. I can see why people look at the wider gaming landscape and despair that what most mainstream onlookers see is Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

Gaming has so much more to it than that, which is why it confuses me that the sub group of raging fans aren’t off playing something they enjoy rather than getting all frustrated about something they don’t. Uncharted 3 just came out, I hear it’s rather good, if a little similar to the previous one…

[drop2]Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 begins with a fancy graphic retelling of the fragmented, explosive plot so far. It throws you right back into the action and the continuing narrative brought through from Modern Warfare 2 with the same self assuredness that you will likely remember from previous Call of Duty games. This game is tightly planned, tightly scripted and exquisitely directed. Whether that makes for a good game is a matter of personal tastes but the opening few missions will be enough to let anyone know that this is Modern Warfare. It’s not trying to be anything else and, in terms of fan base size and zeal as well as series and predicted game unit sales, it shouldn’t have to.

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Missions in the early stages are juxtaposed nicely, barrelling through explosive funnels to a daring conclusion one minute and serenely navigating underwater minefields the next. The overwhelming feeling is one of familiarity and, again, whether you judge that to be a positive or a negative will depend very much on your personal tastes.

It’s worth noting that this ageing game engine is still capable of putting out some quite beautiful visual effort as well as keeping the frame rate silky smooth and at 60fps. It might not be as attractive as recent pretenders to the FPS crown but it certainly matches anything else for pace and atmosphere.

What is unfortunate, and it’s worth remembering that this is simply my early impressions, rather than a full review, is the reliance on tricks that were already pulled in the Modern Warfare series. The shock bait and switch lacks any impact whatsoever when a savvy audience is already expecting it. I won’t spoil it here, of course, but there is one moment which is almost a timed replay of a previous Modern Warfare moment and it was very obvious that it was coming.

Of course, it’s unfair to be too harsh on Infinity Ward at this stage. It’s possible that these early nods towards previous franchise highlights are planned. Certainly one sequence seems like a very knowing nod to the after-credits bonus mission in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. That same area plays host to some of the best moments in the game’s early stages too, as it plays with physics before throwing another brilliantly paced, tightly directed scene at you.

So, it’s a bright start for Modern Warfare 3, albeit with one or two reasons for caution. It’s certainly nothing unexpected – yet – but that’s not to say that it’s not enjoyable. Modern Warfare has always led the industry in the explosive braggadocio that fans seem to adore and if early signs are indicative of the fuller picture, it will continue to do so.

We will be back later this week with full reviews of the single player and the multiplayer.

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36 Comments

  1. Exactly my thoughts, right down to a T, except for maybe the graphics. I love that it’s 60 fps, but it looks very very dated to me. Hasn’t stopped me enjoying it so far though.

    Having gone into this knowing exactly what it was going to be like and not being caught up in the hype train, it certainly hasn’t disappointed, something which MW2 did. If you go into it knowing what you’re going to get, you will enjoy it.

    It’s take your brain out and enjoy type of stuff, and I really didn’t expect or want much more from it.

    • 60fps is a must for online FPS.

      • Agreed. BF3 felt like I was walking through sludge

      • For some maybe for me bf3 is the more enjoyable experience. I can’t compare bf3 to mw3 as I don’t have mw3 but even back to bc2 to blops I found I had more fun and a better experience playing bc2. The graphics looked dated back then in blops I presume mw3 is no different? However I wouldn’t mind a play thru of mw3 sp as the cod sp have been pretty good fun in the past as well as the co-op. in regard mp though I’ll stick with the bf series.

      • 60fps is a must for online? Is that part of the FPS law lol

        I find bf3 (30fps) just as good as MW3, infact it looks better too so not sure why it has to be 60fps.

      • I’m not sure that 60FpS is vital, but it does become more important to aim for the faster paced your game becomes. CoD is often called a “twitch shooter” with good reason, and that’s because it’s always on the go.

        BF3, by contrast, isn’t so twitchy. Sure, you can get stuck right in with close quarters action, and there having good reflexes and as little lag as possible is important, but at the same time you’ll have me trudging through a field 300m away to flank a position, and shoot them in the bum.

      • I don’t notice much difference at all between cod blops and bc2. With bf3 at 30 fps I don’t have any issues. In regard walking 300m I suggest squading up or using a vehicle to get to your destination. Flanking is key to winning rush mode games and is also great fun when you pull it off. I’ll be interested in the review scores for mw3 can you separate them by sp and mp as like you did for bf3.

      • Oh I forgot to ask does mw3 use dedicated servers now?

      • TSA are doing reviews (SP and MP) individually. And I think only the PC has dedicated servers, but not 100% sure.

  2. Ahh good. I’ve been waiting on some TSA feedback all day. I can read plenty of 9/10 reviews on IGN, etc but I always feel you guys give the better overview.

    My copy arrived this morning and is waiting for me when I get home tonight. My brother-in-law is then moving in for a week so we can put some serious time into this game each evening. As long as the campaign is better than the generic shoot-out that was BF3 and the co-op options are a lot of fun then I will consider it money well spent :)

  3. Some nice balanced early feedback. Something haters and fanboys alike can take issue with ;)

  4. il be honest,i sort of knew what i was getting when i opened it this morning,first thing i did was get multiplayer running,still the same type of graphics,looks a bit dated,but generaly fun
    im currently playing through single player ,more of the same,its more like modern warfare 1.3
    i will play multi player but i think i will spend more time with battlefield 3
    im glad i didnt get caught up in the hype

  5. 2 missions in, and apart from some nice graphics & a fancy lighting effect, it makes its rival feel like a last gen shooter, loving it so far. Whilst it’s a linear scripted affair it feels much less so and it’s nice not to be constantly bumped out of cover by the dumbest AI this gen.

    And as for the graphics, nope they’re not comparable to Bf3 in stills but they still damn nice all the same… and then when you take the twice as fast framerate & the responsiveness that brings which makes a tangible difference to the gameplay rather than the shadow on the back side of a stone you’d never notice in the heat of the action it all adds up very nicely… so far, hopefully it doesn’t turn to crap (like I found MW2 did)

    Haven’t tried the multiplayer yet though, probably won’t until I’ve finished the campaign over the next few days.

    • Nailed it!
      BF3 has better stills, but when its a continous picture feed (aka video) framerate is 50% of the quality (both speed and stability).

      I’ve been trying to pinpoint the precise difference for a while :)

  6. I enjoy the survival mode. It kind of reminds me of zombies only with guns

    • Errr… Zombies has guns?

      • I think he means it’s like playing zombies mode if the zombies had guns… & weren’t zombies probably.

  7. My Morning Without Modern Warfare 3. This mainly consisted of wanting to play MW3, reading TSA articles of MW3, and texting the wife to see where the hell is my MW3.

    • My Morning/Afternoon with MW3…..Mine arrived, I popped home for dinner, opened it up, downloaded the patch and the extra goodies, then went back to work……… fail

      • Lol, that must have been painful. Fortunately my wife is doing extra evening shifts today & tommorrow, which means she’ll probably be tired and fall asleep early Thursday too, so plenty of gaming time for me! And I booked Thurs & Fri off work. No doubt tomorrow will drag like hell though and my son won’t go to bed without a fight! :(

      • My wife gets annoyed when I refer to our son as “McTavish” or “Soap”, but it’s only natural that I get this excited and carried away.

  8. looks so much MW2 and thats really put me off it ill just have to wait till thursday for Skyrim

  9. Interesting how this compares to the user reviews.

    • Like the ones on Metacritic? User reviews on that site are notoriously bullsh1t. They’re polluted by people who feel the need to mark down something purely because they’ve pitched their flag to a rival product. It’s childish and laughable.

      I don’t even know why Metacritic allows user scores any more. They’re worthless. If we could truth the gaming public to fairly voice their opinions then there would be some merit to them. Unfortunately there is a still a strong puerile and infantile attitude that permeates the gaming industry where people feel the need to give something 1 out of 10 because they like something else from the same genre.

      I also don’t know why gaming sites are reporting the inevitable. It’s like a football site running a story: “Man Utd. fans don’t like Man City.” Really? I would never have guessed.

      It’s not just TSA. CVG and Destructoid have also run with this “news”. I honestly fail to see how this qualifies as a news story. It happened before. It’ll happen again. When it DOESN’T happen, that’ll be news.

      Rant over.
      :)

      • I agree, the user reviews section just drags the image of Metacritic down and is of no use to anyone (unless you hate a game and enjoy justifying that position by reading someone else’s illiterate, ill-thought-out, reasoning on the subject :D ).

        Metacritic is a great site and is one of the handiest sources available to quickly judge the quality of a game you know nothing about, but someone who visits for the first time could quickly be put off by the “Youtube comment” quality of its users’ opinions.

        I guess the site owners won’t change anything until their popularity decreases or something. I wonder how many page views they are getting from sites running bizarre and pointless stories about MW3 today?

  10. I agree with the overview, MW3 is certainly the shooter of choice for my ps3 at the moment. But I don’t feel it holds a candle to BF3 on my PC. It really feels completely outdated, but more suited to a controller layout.

    Nothing wrong with having the best of both worlds but BF3 will be my obsession and MW3 a quick play from time to time.

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