Zero Lives Left – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Released: 2011
Available On:  Xbox 360 (Review), Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC
Genre: First Person Shooter

Before we start: 9 out of 10 times I type it as Modern Warefare 3, so if that happens just roll with it and don’t laugh at me too much. It’s an honest mistake from an idiot and there’s nothing else to it. That’s right, I’m an idiot.

It’s about time that I dive into this one, huh? Modern Warfare 3 is, for those that have been living under a fucking rock, is a first person shooter game that takes place in a modern setting between waring countries. The nice thing about MW3 is that the war going on is a continuation from a story that has been building over the previous two Modern Warfare game’s stories. This allows for all the pleasantries and tedium involved in telling a story to be pushed aside and allow for the player to dive right in and start shooting off enemy soldier’s faces. Basically the story, told in one sentence, is: Russia is fighting everyone in world war 3 due to some Russian terrorists pulling off the bait and switch of a century. If you’re interested in what exactly this bait and switch is you better go play Modern Warfare 2 because I am not going to tell it here. I’m here to review Modern Warfare 3, so let’s get that going!

I imagine most of the screencaps will be like this.

I was reading through the ‘Reception’ section for the game on Wikipedia and was honestly FLOORED by the scores that places were giving the game. I can understand that most video game reviews are completely broken given that they score out of 10 points but really only grade on a 4 point scale (ie: 7 is bad, 8 is good, 9 is great, 10 is greater). It however doesn’t make any sense to me for a game like Modern Warfare 3 to be getting scores like 8 or 9 out of 10. I played the multiplayer on previous iterations of the series and I’m fairly certain it hasn’t changed much, I mean watching my friends playing multiplayer it seems exactly the same. What I played in the past and dabbled in the present multiplayer-wise never impressed me and the single campaign of it all was also very dull, so I must be missing something for not liking MW3, right?

Oh right, that’s what I’m missing: being paid lots of money to review the game.

It’s expected every year for there to be a Call of Duty game released. At this point they are almost becoming expansions to the series as opposed to full standalone games. Not only that but they are making SO MUCH money from releasing these games. They are the biggest games release and each new expansion back is getting them more and more money. That’s disturbing! I would love to see that for games that have much better quality, at least then it would be rightfully deserved.

Maybe that’s speaking a bit too quickly. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a great game. This is when the game was at its freshest and the designers seemed to actually care about their game over their wallets. It had unique missions, a great story, and it never tried to be itself. That’s a strange fault so let me explain it. After the original Modern Warfare every game thereafter sought to be its original. It wanted to be exactly like big brother and although it succeeded at having the same moments as big brother it lost all the impact that big brother had. It’s like if your older sibling killed a deer and brought it home to dad, and dad was really proud of him; you’d want to make your dad proud too right? Well instead of hunting your own deer and bringing that home you cut off the head of the already dead deer your brother brought home and put a hat on it. It doesn’t have the same impact and it’s pretty damn pathetic. That’s what MW2 is doing, and times that by three for MW3.

The mandatory snow mobile section.

The games control well, but they have the exact same control scheme as all of their ‘older brothers’ so is that really something worth touching up on? Yes, in a way it’s worth bringing up because the smoothness and the aesthetic design is pretty much the only thing Modern Warfare 3 has going for it. The game is pretty to look at and is technically well designed, I never ran into any game breaking glitches while playing or anything like that. The gameplay is just so unforgivably boring. Seriously, I’ve done this four times before and when I started up the first mission of this I thought: ‘good, they haven’t done ANYTHING unique.’ When you have the opportunity, you should take it. They didn’t take the chance because that would alienate their huge fan base. Maybe I’m looking at this all wrong and its the fan base that expects a decapitated deer wearing a hat as opposed to something new? No, that can’t be it, but they certainly aren’t helping.

It’s not the blind leading the blind, I don’t want to say that at all or condemn anyone who goes out and buys Call of Duty games. However they are in part over saturating the video game industry. Call of Duty sells well because it’s simple, mindless and easy fun. There are MUCH better games out there though, even within the First Person Shooter genre. The games have just gotten worse and worse and are selling more and more. Call of Duty will stay on top and keep releasing successful games, no matter the quality of them. I’m hopeful this may change, looking over the fan vote totals on aggregator sites Modern Warfare 3 has about a 3 out of 10. 6 points less than the critics. Maybe this is a sign of hope of what’s to come?

RAT-A-TAT-TAT-TAT — you can tell I don’t have much to say here.

I’ve been babbling on a lot about seemingly random things so I’ll jump into the actual review of the game. The story is an alright conclusion, but I can admit to feeling a sense of accomplishment to beating the big bad, no matter how lame of a conclusion it is. The missions are dull and gameplay itself is tired. It seemed that every single mission I’d be forced into an unmovable rail shooting section where I was tasked with shooting random dudes during some hilariously over-the-top set piece around me. You would never pop in a rail shooter and play it in this day and age so why on Earth would you sit through the filth that Modern Warfare 3’s campaign throws your way?

Really that’s all there is too it. The simplicity and blandness is offensive. The price tag they put on the game is obviously just for the multiplayer section of the game, as I’m fairly certain that is their primary userbase. The spec ops missions can be fun with your friends and they are probably the most fun I had with the game. No, scratch that, it’s the only moment I had fun in this game. Even in Modern Warfare 2 I could say that there are some missions that I loved. More its younger brother that puts hats on dead deers? There was no moment that I enjoyed — I did it all just to complete the story and get the achievements. I will go out of my way to play spec ops. I’ll never touch multiplayer or single campaign again in my life. Apart from possibly getting achievements, but even then it’s doubtful.

My score shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Nearly 1000 words of this 1400 word review were spent on just complaining about the general principle of the game. I couldn’t see past all the crap that existed around the general idea of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 so I can admit that I went in with some bias. Usually when this happens I am surprised and find enjoyment in something I never thought I’d enjoy — this time… I was only reminded that sometimes I am in fact right sometimes. Modern Warfare 3 essentially fed my ego, which is something you never want. I get a big enough ego from typing up my opinions on this blog. If you liked the other ones you’ll like this one, especially multiplayer. If you didn’t like the other ones stay as far away as physically possible from this game. Seriously, don’t even go into the same building as a copy of this game.

Modern Warefare 3: 5/10
(9/10 if Activision wants to pay me some money.)

These screenshots are just like the game, bland and boring.

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