Released to an insane amount of fanfare, the 'Call of Duty' series returns to give fans what they have been waiting for, a direct follow-up 'Modern Warfare 2.' No more interrogation chair complexities, this is the grit-and-glamour of Infinity Ward's landmark series. It's time to wash up, Soap is here.

Leading in with the statement, “All warfare is built on deception,” 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3' (MW3) seethes with the intensity the series is known for. Larger-than-life MW3 will not displease fans who are looking for another adrenaline filled modern-war shooter. Expectations are met, and that is critical when dealing with a release of this magnitude. COD (Call of Duty) is something different for everyone, and wether you're an online or offline gamer, this package is stacked with options to keep you busy. However like imagined, the online component is where MW3 really shines.

Another Dot Following Epic
Kicking off with the campaign, MW3 is exactly what we foresaw. Its more of the same, follow the dot, big explosions, action shooter. It's true, MW3 thumps as loud as the rest and like its predecessors you will switch through various characters, each completing another piece of this gun-happy tale. Although the same pet-peeves return; the assisting NPCs that trounce through the enemies like they all have the Captain America super serum, and re-spawning enemies that warp out the 4th dimension. However, since no one else seems to mind, it's back to normal.

"Normal" for 'Call of Duty' means several over-the-top “sets” that varies in objective and location. Truly the series has crafted some of the best “levels” in modern shooters, and while MW3 has its share of rehashed ideas, it also has some spectacular levels like the short, yet fun ambush on a Russian submarine, the terrorist attack during a mid-flight meeting, assaulting a shipping company in a blinding sandstorm, or the dramatic rescuing of Captain "Soap" MacTavish. At times it's simply the joy of discovering that keeps you plugging along. The campaign, albeit a short one (completed on hardened in just under 6h:42m:14s) it is very gratifying. MW3 might not stand out as strong as its forerunners, but its still a lot of fun.

Still Loving the Ops
The other single-player (and multiplayer) component is the returning 'Spec-Ops' mode. Here you will fight through a succession of challenges incompassing various locations from campaign. Collecting stars, 'Spec-Ops' will have you intensely replaying levels trying to get the perfect score. Although mildly shrunken (MW3 has 48 stars to acquire while MW2 had 69) 'Spec-Ops' is still a highlight of the disc. Additionally, 'Spec-Ops' gets some extra love with unique contents like special weapons that you won't find in the other modes. Anything to add a sense of variety works, and even if it was the same old challenges, we'd still love it. Yes, it's that good.

Expanding on the co-operative nature of 'Spec-ops' is a 2 player 'Survival Mode.' This 'World at War' styled wave battling is supremely addictive and the perfect addition to MW3. Not everything needs to be Zombies, and more importantly the formula has been tweaked for the better. This mode is also opened for all multiplayer maps, and better yet, you can earn cash to go towards your normal multiplayer progression. Additionally you can support items to help you like air support, AI reinforcements, auto-turrets, weapons and ammo. Starting weak and working you way up gives a renown sense of accomplishment and with the smaller party size, things are that more intense.

Kill Confirmed!
The competitive experience has been modestly refined to be more well-rounded. Killstreaks are now Pointstreaks with a new approach to ranking and unlocking. Packaged in three groups (assault, support, and specialist) rewards are diversified accordingly to the groups play style along with weapon levelling and perks to go along with this. These changes make MW3 feel like a whole new beast, or at least a new beast to tame. A new Prestige ingredient allows players the ability to use tokens to buy special features like custom weapon classes.

A few new game modes have also been inserted, the most interesting being `Kill Confirmed`(collect dog-tags from killed corpses) and `Team Defender`(a capture the flag styled team deathmatch) Both modes are good additions to the normal staples and require smart tactics and speed. Either collecting dog-tags before they go to waste, or holding a flag for points, the competitive and fresh feeling they bring are welcomed. Additionally, some modes from 'Black Ops' have come along for the ride, along with a few variations on other MP games.

In regards to maps, MW3 has a good selection with an extra emphasis on close quarters combat, although it's not 'Medal of Honor' close. All methods of play are encouraged, however the new system will benefit those who work the system and level up a single weapon. This adjustment has taken away a lot of the snipers power, in place for a more hectic romp. Still small issues like spawning near enemies are an unfortunate annoyance and if you're not already playing, you're going to be hind. Damn kids, you're so quick!

Lastly a new social integration has been introduced called Elite. Available for free or in a premium service, Infinity Ward has created a resource for keeping all your COD information together while allowing you to meet other players, form clans, do clan missions and so on. This is your central HUB for everything 'Call of Duty' filled with helpful information, which includes maps of the multiplayer match-ups. Its even integrated with Facebook allowing you to add the popular social media site to your Call of Duty profile.

We prefer the grandiose
Graphically, MW3 can be an commanding spectacle, particularly when you're running at a brisk pace. While the engine's age is being exposed, the cleaver crafting makes you forget the ageing tech. From its rock-solid framerate to the on-screen mayhem that is always filled with chaos, MW3 is visually more impressive then MW2. Some might might find MW3 too busy, too cluttered, but its the nature of the game; Infinity Ward (and now Sledgehammer) likes the grandiose. MW3 also has the burden of going head-to-head with the "Battlefield" series this year, whose 'Frostbite 2.0' engine is the real star of the show. Compared to its direct competitor, MW3, lacks the subservience of the environments or the range of lighting that "Battlefield" shows off. However that is compared to Battlefield, which is a visual beast. Judged against other modern shooters, MW3 is on par, if not slightly better than most.

The audio component is phenomenal (like expected.) Infinity Ward are experts at making everything pop, while working some magic out of their voice-over talent. Although, MW3 can be a little over dramatic in its soundtrack intensity, but since it's not overused, it works when it comes in. Most of your time within MW3, you will be assaulted with explosions and bullets whizzing by your head. This is definitely one game that truly benefits from surround sound, or playing with headphones on.

'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3' is exactly what we expected, and depending on your stance on the series that's either good or bad. Looking back to our MW2 review, the list of negative and positive points are almost an exact match. At its core, MW3 is tighter, but it is also just more of the same. However, when your "more of the same" is a thrilling campaign mode, a diverse and addictive secondary mode, and one of the biggest shooters online, it more than suffices. Still, we can help but to feel slightly disappointment that MW3 didn't innovate like first two “Modern Warfare” titles. While I don't blame them for playing it safe, MW3 won't be remembered in the same light as the other exception entries in the 'Call of Duty' series.


  • As expected, some great levels filled with that special COD brand of chaos
  • Tight controls, great weapons and detailed environments
  • Two great additions; the new survival mode and elite program
  • Spec Ops and Multilayer adds endless hours of replayablity
  • Still one of the best pure multiplayer match-ups
  • Almost all the negatives from MW2 are carried over
  • Graphics are starting to show their age
  • Gameplay follies still exist, invulnerable NPCs/Respawning enemies
  • If you're just here for the single player aspects, expect it to be overly quickly
  • Doesn't feel as fresh as the prior games
  • Not into online multiplayer? then move this to a rental
  • Poor checkpoint saves, can get caught in a loop of death
Quote: "'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3' is exactly what we expected, and depending on your stance on the series that's either good or bad."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 11.18.11

Similar Games: COD: Ghosts (7.2) | COD: Black Ops (8.5) | COD: Modern Warfare 2 (9.0) | COD: World at War (9.4)


Call of Duty
Modern Warfare 3


Infinity Ward



US Release
November '11


PS3, X360

Players 1-4
Co-op 2
Sys Link 2-16
Online MP 2-18
5.1 Surround
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content