Guest Writer: Has Modern Warfare Lost Its Way?

Continuing with today’s community sourced content, OrigamiKiller has seen fit to furnish us with his opinions on the Call of Duty series and asks an important question of it.

I’m a big fan of the Call of Duty series. I own nearly every game of the franchise from the home console releases to Roads to Victory on the PSP. Over the past few years Call of Duty has, in my opinion, come to be the best FPS title in video game history. It’s fast paced and exciting, with every game in the series grasping the same formula and pulling it off expertly. However, after playing Modern Warfare 3, I somehow feel lost.

Currently, I’m about halfway through the campaign on Modern Warfare 3 and I don’t feel motivated to complete it in the slightest. It’s the fact that I’ve seen it all before. I am actually bored with the game.

Don’t get me wrong, the gunplay is great and the action sequences are breath taking but I can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing. During one mission I was controlling a remote tank and blowing helicopters out of the sky with grenades. In any other FPS I would find this brilliant to play, I mean it’s clear that this sort of gameplay should be fantastic. However, here it almost felt like a chore to complete.

[drop2]I also find myself losing my way with the story. The first Modern Warfare had one of the best FPS storylines, but after a further two games in the series the story feels thin and repeated. At certain points in MW3 I didn’t know what was going on. A safe house had been attacked by soldiers, I didn’t know if they were Russian or American. In fact, I wasn’t even sure where this was taking place. In general, it’s just become shoot anything that moves and hope that you can find some motivation for it.

By far the biggest repetition in the series comes in the endings. If you compare the endings of Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 everything starts to seem a bit familiar. No, it’s not quite a shot for shot remake but if you look at broadly what’s happening the similarities are glaring (obviously I’m skirting around spoilers here). If Modern Warfare 3 ends with the same scenario for a third time I’ll be exceptionally disappointed.

I was even more shocked to see structures from the previous Modern Warfare games being re-used. For example, on one mission in the UK I walked into a building only to recognise it as a structure in Pipeline – an online map from the first Modern Warfare.

Following that I began to recognise even more buildings from the original Modern Warfare. Most notable were corridors that were exactly the same as those in the Vacant map (again from MW1). It may be me picking up on minor elements a little too much, but from the looks of it there hasn’t been any innovation in the last two games’ single player; Activision and Infinity Ward look as though they are adopting the “rinse and repeat” tactic to a worrying level.

Although the single player really is on a downwards trajectory, I cannot fault the multiplayer. I love it. Every year brings new additions to the multiplayer and I admire Activision for not forcing an online pass (at the moment that is). However, the single player story is suffering as a result of the multiplayer taking priority and for me it has falls well short of the experience that the original Modern Warfare delivered and promised for future titles.

Modern Warfare 3 is a great game, I can admit that. Unfortunately, I think it is time for change. The story in the Modern Warfare series has become thin and weak. The gameplay doesn’t appeal to me anymore due to the fact it hasn’t changed for nearly 5 years. I doubt I am the only one with this feeling. So I ask what are your thoughts on the Modern Warfare series? Do you still enjoy the single player or are you like me and feel it has lost its way? Will we even see another Modern Warfare title?



  1. A FPS has always been about mp for me, will be a sad day if campaign ever takes priority.
    That said, i’ve yet to purchase mw3, so can’t comment on the substance of this campaign.

    • But for people like me who prefer single player experiences to online ones are being left out. I don’t want MP to take priority to the extent SP will suffer, there needs to be a balance.

      • I think your mad as a hatter if you where to even consider buying Cod or BF for a single player only experience , rentals at best ! Ive had BF3 since release day and have done i think only the first level of BF , the same goes for my MW playing friends.
        SP is just so dull in shooters always the same scripted thing but MP is wildly different every time you play it giving so many great moments and for fans of either series an unbelievable amount of replayability .

      • I used to, up until Modern Warfare 1. It wasn’t about the multilayer as much then. I just want to see effort put in to a single player campaign. If there’s no point in the SP simply remove it.

      • Unfortunately a fps campaign could be perfect, but an onscreen crosshair, breaks any chance of immersion for me.
        Don’t need it, don’t want it. Killzone had the right idea, by giving you the option to remove it. I’m afraid Storm, mp is where the money is, due gaming hours expected from it, dlc & now elite.

      • oh & sp name tags, horrible. Even so, I still love all mw campaigns, just not as much as i could, due solely to the hud.

      • “Mp is where the money is” I think this is the main point. They have made their money, but sometimes it shouldn’t be about making money, but giving the customer something satisfying. The world’s changed though…

  2. Good read.I felt the same with MW3 and I never finished it bofore trading it in.

  3. Good read. I’m a massive fan of both the SP and MP. I think IW do the SP perfectly, yes it’s linear, but the story is fantastic imo. I haven’t found another game that captures the emotions of the characters so well, and it’s one of the very few games that actually forces me to feel certain emotions characters die.
    Re-using assets doesn’t bother me that much, yeah it shows they’re lazy but does it really matter if you’ve seen that red barrel before? Or if you’ve seem the same fuel tanker? For me it doesn’t at all.

    I’ll be interested to see where IW go with their next title. I think they’ve already said it won’t be another Modern Warfare – they’ve wrapped up the whole story. What I’m hoping for is that maybe they do prequels looking at some of the other characters, Ghost, Price etc.
    Whatever it is, I’ll end up being excited for it I know.

    • I do not connect to the characters at all. There has been so many thrown about I lose which character that I am playing as. I don’t mind little objects being reused but when I am seeing entire buildings recognisable from previous titles I feel cheated for paying money for the game.

  4. trading it in after 3 days sums up my feelings, just doesn’t grip you like COD4 did. all of them have been downhill since then.

  5. I think its both the single player and multiplayer that have lost it’s way. Single player, as you have highlighted, is more or less the same. Multiplayer though, I have no idea what people see in it. The Kill Confirmed and Drop Zone game modes have worn off their appeal already and it just IS Modern Warfare 2.5. It IS, there is no escaping it. I want revolutionary shooter ideas like Starhawk’s Build and Battle. In fact, MW3 has taken a step BACKWARDS from Black Ops. Where are the COD Points? Where is the dive-to-prone? The little extra map touches like a zip-line? I lost my faith in Treyarch with that game ironically, and the fact that three companys have screwed up the following game even worse means no purchase next year unless the difference is there to see. Hell, why not even wait a year for once? A 2 yearly COD experience seems like a much more viable option to keep people interested somewhat.

  6. Many people felt like this about MW2, however I think if they simply left it a little longer between sequels the feelings of boredom wouldn’t be quite as strong.

    I don’t even think it’s the repeated storyline, duplicated textures and samey feel to the environments that’s to blame, the identical control scheme, gunplay, and movement every 12 months regardless of developer or setting is what’s really driven the game into the ground, players just aren’t given enough time between games.

  7. COD1 had the best multiplayer experience on PC IMO. Best maps, great servers, great clan community.
    COD2 fairly good online but not as good as no.1
    COD3 fun, multiplayer with cars/tanks but not as good competition wise.
    COD4 Brilliant, fresh and modern, hence the name. First game I purchased with the 360, graphics wowed me, online was competetive and fun with friends. But still prefer the experience on COD1 for PC. It still had great maps, great guns and a brilliant levelling up system. The community however was full of little whining kids screaming their heads off at eachother.
    COD 5 WAW nice singleplayer, online experience ok for a while but got annoying and repetitive, and had bad colour shading imo allowing weird dark spots which were camper friendly.
    COD MW2 – The activision money bringer. Hyped, but was just a MW1 expansion pack, except with less skill involved online and more killstreak based meaning its more of a team effort rather than 1 man army to stay alive.

    and well the rest..I stopped at MW2 partly because I was addicted to stat improving, partly due to disliking activision giving us the same sort of game, and thirdly because I just lost interest. I’ve killed enough people online over the years and its all just a bit repetitive now. But I had a great run with COD 1 and COD4, so I thank infinity ward and activision for them, as for the rest, meh.

  8. I wasn’t planning on buying MW3 after seeing the trailer. Looked like MW2.5 to me. My brother bought it and so I got a chance to play it and it looks essentially exactly the same as the game I played for nearly 2 years.
    Didn’t bother with the multiplayer and I finished the campaign. Ending was ok I guess. Nothing special but then again CoD isn’t known for it’s amazing story.

  9. Pretty sure there is a thread around the forum somewhere regarding this….anyhoo, i’l regurgitate my comments:

    MW is finished now right? The story of Soap, Price etc has come to an end. MW1 and Blops have been far and away the better of the franchise this gen and that is because they are new and fresh.

    The problem now is you have become bored of seeing the same thing with a graphical prowess lacking as the years roll by.

    Next year they have an opportunity to bring something that is fresh; new characters, new era, new story…. hopefully tweaking the tried and tested systems of SP and a shinier finish to boot.

    Im perfectly fine to continue to play the games and especially now they dont have an option to continue the MW3 saga.

    • Yeh I’ll have to confess the thread was started as a pre-cursor to this article ^^ Bets to formulate opinions rather than go on MW Rage! In all honesty I hope they revolutionise the franchise again since it really was great. Still I won’t buy it day one, just lost all trust in it.

      • I am looking forward to a new fresh story, with new characters and a new setting (even though they are running out) Im in agreement with DIF

  10. I bought in to hype and got MW2 on release day. Found the story completely confusing, had to double check what happened on Wikipedia after I had completed it.
    I really enjoyed black ops though, probably as I had never played cold war era game. The multiplayer was really fun too. Played until I prestiged then moved on to something else.
    I just don’t feel compeled to get MW3 as the story isn’t a selling point. and while the online is probably fun, it will feel too familiar only a year on.

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