First Impressions of Modern Warfare 3


Note:  This is nowhere near a complete review, nor is it my final thoughts about the game.  It’s just a good ole fashioned, knee jerk rambling, born from playing the game for just a couple of days.

Context is everything.  This game, like it or not, doesn’t exist within a vacuum.  And because of that, comparisons are inevitable.  With that said, I’m judging Modern Warfare 3 from the perspective of someone who up until Tuesday had been playing tons of Battlefield 3 online.  As a reference, let me tell you a story.  DorisfromNoris and I logged on the other night and formed our own little squad.  We were playing conquest, and as I jumped into a jeep, a stranger jumped onto the 50cal behind me.  We drove from checkpoint to checkpoint, blasting people away and rising up as the best squad on our team.  When our vehicle was destroyed, Doris met up with us and we three proceeded on foot to continue dominating the game.  We were the Navy SEALs of the game so to speak.  And we didn’t know this other guy at all.  But over the course of a number of matches, the teamwork put in by all three of us not only allowed us to win some major games, but to also become a friend to this new guy.  It was not only a memorable evening, but probably the most fun I’ve had since COD4 came out, in terms of online FPS.

Maybe you had to be there.  Regardless, it was a great time.  Now, fast forward to Tuesday.  I pick up MW3 on my lunch break and go home to play a couple of games.  The first game I get into, the match is already underway.  There is an enemy Huey just decimating my team, so I pop a Javelin rocket at it and bring it down.  Yay teamwork!  Everyone was stoked, and we all agreed to get beers if we were ever in the area again.  Or wait, that doesn’t seem right.  No, they said, and I quote, “Goddamn Mortar, wait until the chopper’s leaving before you shoot it?  Fucking n00bs on our team, what a bitch.”  I’m torn between three options.  Asking why he didn’t shoot it down, trolling him hard just to start an argument, or muting the dude.  I went with the third option; it had been a bad day and I didn’t feel like arguing with some meth addled hillbilly about strategy and the merits of who’s actually a bigger prick.

Though in fairness, he made an astute point.

And that’s when I realized it.  For whatever reason, these two war games gave me totally different reactions.  And Modern Warfare’s reaction wasn’t positive.  It got me mad.  It got my blood boiling.  I’d mute the guys but then immediately spawn on a live grenade.  I’d be in the middle of reloading when my sprinting would cancel the action.  Not to mention the clusterfuck that happens when the game thinks 3 people should spawn on top of each other, causing the game to sputter and rubberband like a Japanese kid watching that Porygon episode.  When Doris got on, we couldn’t party chat thanks to the ingenuity of the PS3, and thus we were stuck in lobbies of people blasting music into their mics, people going so racist it’d make a Klansman blush, and kids screaming for no discernible reason.  I hated to admit it, but from the FPS wars I’d seen in threads, it seemed the BF3 fanboys may have had a point.  And all that time, I’d been on the wrong side of history.

But maybe its not the  games themselves, maybe its the players.  I had to judge the game itself and not its audience.  I love Nirvana, and that love didn’t go away when the goth kids appropriated grunge.  Just because they thought Kurt Cobain would have made a great Slipknot frontman didn’t make Lithium any worse.  It just made them stupid.

Smells like team spirit, amirite?

So I hopped offline and decided to take a stab at single player.  And this is when my frustration subsided.  Because say what you want about Call of Duty, they can still make one hell of a campaign, and this is no exception.  Its so intense and crazy, you’d be inclined to watch First Blood only when you need to fall asleep.  I won’t spoil anything, but there is a certain Inception-like fight scene that totally blew my mind (and eerily resembled a Perfect Dark 64 level, if any of you out there are keeping track).  And here’s where I noticed something else.  Whereas Battlefield is clearly made for PCs, and the graphics dumbed down for their console brethren, MW3 is fully rendered on my PS3.  60 frames per second does wonders for the fast paced action, and the guns are beautifully rendered, complete with Remington or Colt etched into their sides to give that added touch of realism.  And the cities are just great looking.  Ah yes, I was loving this game, and I could finally breath a sigh of relief.  Nothing worse than hating the first 10 minutes of a game you just bought.  That’s certain to bring you down.

See, I loved Black Ops; loved it with a passion.  I didn’t really play games for a year or two there, and so when I got Blops I got into it with a vengeance.  And I played the multiplayer nonstop.  So I was worried.  Just what was it about Modern Warfare 3 that was getting me pissed off?  If all the complaints were that MW3 was just more of the same, that wouldn’t mean I’d be getting this mad at it, especially since I loved the same this was supposedly more of.  And I realized a couple of things.  First, I didn’t get Blops when it first came out, I got it in late December.  By that time the Ritalin munching kids had grown tired of it (to an extent) and so there were more serious players online.  Secondly, coming from BF3 with all its teamwork and mostly polite-player goodness, I was drowning in a sea of teenage angst, the likes of which I hadn’t seen since I was in high school.  And lastly, I was playing the matches that drew in the most weirdos of all, Team Deathmatch.  I decided it was time to hop on over to something a little more serious, and haven’t left Search and Destroy since.  It has made a huge difference.

So what do I think overall?  I really don’t know.  Its still far too early to make a definitive judgment, let alone try and decide which game I like better for FPS of the year.  I will say this, it does have it’s problems, and it isn’t a whole lot different from its predecessors.  The graphics have been improved, and I think it looks better than BF3, at least on the console.  The survivor mode is simply a ton of fun, though I do miss my Nazi zombies.  Last night I got into a group of about 7 of my friends and we all played together, something that just doesn’t happen on BF3 (because more of my friends have MW3, by far).  The campaign is sick, maybe the best campaign of a single player FPS I’ve ever played, and the multiplayer can be very, very addictive, especially if you mute the morans and have some friends to play with.  The maps are small and cramped, certainly in contrast to what I’ve been used to for the past few weeks, and you will die a lot quicker, especially if you have “skills” like me.  Though I wanted to get on here the first day I got the game and trash it like everyone else has done on Metacritic, I had to remind myself that this is a franchise I’ve loved for years, and have had some great times in.  Maybe all the hate had subliminally influenced me and my opinion.  I had to go back and remember what made Black Ops so special, and try to reclaim that passion in this newest installment.  And so far, I have.   The screaming kids didn’t create the game, and they certainly don’t have to define my opinion of it.  So with tons typed and nothing really said, I’ll leave it with a big “we’ll see…”  Not a satisfying answer, but I want to make sure my review, and ultimately my MW3/BF3 comparison, are well thought out and not based upon pure emotion.  So I’ll leave you with this:

Robber attempts to take MW3 at gunpoint

Man threatens to blow up Best Buy over MW3

Criminals tear gas truck, steal 6,000 copies of MW3

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4 Comments to “First Impressions of Modern Warfare 3”

  1. Have you played Spec Ops yet? Me and Doris have been playing it and I LOVE it. I played it back in the MW2 days, and I think they have made it better in this one.

  2. Yes! Me and Staar played it last night, both doing the co-op missions and the Survival mode, and had an amazing time with it. Very fun

  3. very nice submit, i certainly love this website, carry on it

  4. I have located all the hieddn parts in the game, Do i need to buy the rest to get the achievement? My biggest concern is that there are two weapons that I have already purchased and used but the game does not recognize them as being purchased. One is the $300,000 assault rifle/shotgun. And the other is the $450,000 Sniper.

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