The Score: "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3"

Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011 1:40PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

THE SCORE
THE SCORE 9/10
Buy Now
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • X-Box 360, Playstation 3
  • November 8, 2011
Game Informer 9/10
Gamepro 4/5
Gamespot 8.5/10
IGN 9/10
USA Today 3.5/4

It's the time of year again when you come home from a long day at work, turn on your video game console, toss on the headset and prepare to take on your competition with non-stop firepower courtesy of Activision's latest Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare 3.

Fans still holding onto the final scene from 2009's Modern Warfare 2 will welcome the game's continuation from where things ended.

The campaign picks up where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 left off. Our heroes, Soap and Price, are in bad shape, and the villain, Makarov, is still at large. It doesn't take the pair long to get back in the hunt, and soon you're hopping the globe in pursuit of your quarry. You make a few forays into backwater outposts, but the most striking situations are when you take up arms in conflicts that consume entire cities. From New York City to London to Paris, no bastion of Western civilization is safe, and the destruction that has been visited on these iconic locations is visually stunning. The impressive scenery makes the action more impactful, and the campaign shuffles you around to different fronts within each city to make sure you can experience the battle from many different angles. Remote air support control, on-foot firefights, and tense vehicle sequences keep the campaign moving at a great clip in these urban environments, capturing the expert pacing that has made past Call of Duty campaigns so exhilarating. (CNET)

Diehard Modern Warfare heads will also find closure in the series' final title.

The single-player campaign for Modern Warfare 3 wraps up a story that began in 2007 with the first in the Modern Warfare series, Call of Duty Modern Warfare. That game took the series out of World War II and brought it to a whole new level of serious single-player and multiplayer modern-day combat. That move completed the game's shift to "epic realism," which Activision chief Eric Hirshberg says is striking a balance between real world authenticity "where this could be happening" with the unbelievable, Hollywood style epic moments that seem like they're out of the movies. (Venture Beat)

MW3 players once again are forced to keep their younger siblings away from the television set as this year's title warns of violent action deemed inappropriate for children.

Also returning from Modern Warfare 2: the pre-game warning that content on one of the missions might be disturbing or offensive. Players are asked if they'd like to be given the option to skip the content when it arises. This tactic was used in Modern Warfare 2 before the "No Russian" scene in which the player's character infiltrates a terror cell that goes on a killing spree at a civilian-filled airport. In the new game, the episode is less interactive. The player sees the scene through the eyes of a father and husband videotaping his wife and daughter, a young girl perhaps age 5 or 6. It's not a major spoiler -- but here's your alert -- that they are killed as part of the invasion plot. (USA Today)

Keeping in its tradition, fans are able to complete the single player campaign and show off their stripes in the multi-player mode.

The competitive multiplayer still has the basic progression of the rich getting richer. You unlock more powerful equipment and abilities by leveling up, which is just a matter of time, even if you suck. All good guns come to those who grind. But the Killstreak system, which awards the most spectacular toys, has always been a boondoggle for the better players. By racking up consecutive kills before getting killed yourself, you get the best gear. But for many of us, the "not getting killed yourself" part can be tricky. New to Modern Warfare 3 is perhaps one of the single most important additions for us: the Support Killsteaks. (GamePro)

While reviewers respect MW3 as a respectable addition to the Call of Duty franchise, critics pointed out a few flaws in the latest game.

For the first two or three hours, the game hurries from country to country with a jarring narrative that doesn't succeed in getting much information across. All you know is this Makarov fellow is a bit unsavory, and he wants to kill a lot of people. In your efforts to find and kill him, the game finds excuses to have you shoot up the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, protect the Russian president on a jet, attempt to stop a chemical attack in Paris, and watch a supposedly offensive scene that's essentially a less effective and less necessary version of Modern Warfare 2's "No Russian" mission. These early scenarios are more concerned with topping the big set piece moments from previous entries in the series than with putting forth a coherent narrative. In one scripted sequence that's awesome, terrible, and hilarious at the same time, I was even forced to shoot a hyena multiple times in the head while I was in a church. (Game Informer)
When the Modern Warfare scion of the venerable Call of Duty franchise branched out four years ago, the electrifying campaign and addictive multiplayer cast a new mold for first-person shooters. In the years since, this formula has been consistently refined, shamelessly imitated, and widely adored, making it one of the defining franchises of this generation. Modern Warfare 3 stays the course, delivering an explosive campaign, breakneck competitive action, and challenging cooperative play. This is an exciting and rewarding game, but the series' signature thrills have lost some of their luster. Modern Warfare 3 iterates rather than innovates, so the fun you have is familiar. Fortunately, it's also utterly engrossing and immensely satisfying, giving fans another reason to rejoice in this busy shooter season. (GameSpot)

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Check out some Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gameplay below:

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