Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3)Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer Games
Release Date: November 8, 2011
ESRB Rating: M Mature 17+ (for blood and gore, drug reference, intense violence, and strong language)
Also available for XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Windows PC
When I first saw the gameplay demo for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 last summer during the XBOX 360 Press Event at E3 in Los Angeles, I was pretty blown away by the intenstiy of the action, the graphics and life-like animation, and, most of all, the sound. Having now played the game at home (thanks to Activision for sending a review copy), I can safely say the game lives up to the hype that began almost a year ago.
To be honest, I am not a big fan of first-person shooters. Not because of the content, but mainly because I’m just not very good at these types of games, and get easily frustrated when I die within seconds of beginning the game. And although that was very much the case with MW3, there is something very addictive about this particular game. A lot, I think, has to do with the sense of realism that the developers have somehow managed to weave into the game. The backdrops are almost photo-realistic, and the characters move and interact in a very life-like manner. The characters may not be photo-realistic, but they are much more fully-rendered than what I’ve seen in other, more recent game releases (X-Men: Destiny is a perfect example). Then there is the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix that is incredibly immersive, with game cues (such as enemy chatter and gunplay) that come at you from every direction, and the game is, perhaps, one of the best demos for how well a subwoofer can perform. The game will definitely knock anything loose off of a shelf.
Since this is, perhaps, one of the most successful game franchises of all time, I will dispense with explaining the plot, other than the campaign mode picks up where MW2 left off (and will import any game saves from that prior entry, keeping your player at the same level and added upgrades when you begin MW3). If you’ve never played before, a good place to start is in the Special Ops mode, which is a series of short battles allowing you to get the feel of the game and earn upgrades. New to the Special Ops mode is Survival Mode, which has you fighting never-ending waves of enemies in the same locale, each one becoming increasingly difficult. Both are playable in solo, local multiplayer, or online friends mode. Multiplayer mode returns, as well, with a revamped reward system that has been retitled Pointstreaks, where you can earn points not only from kills, but by also completing objectives such as planting a bomb or capturing a flag.
Fans of the Call of Duty franchise likely already own the game, but for casual gamers looking for something that will put their game console and home theater to the test, MW3 is hard to beat. Highly recommended!!