In a peculiar twist for Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3 makes an entrance with a mishmash of recycled content, attempting to lure players with a dose of nostalgia. Despite the hodgepodge of old ideas and content from previous releases, the continuation of the rebooted Modern Warfare series offers an adrenaline-packed multiplayer experience with fast-paced movement. The addition of an extraction-style Zombies mode adds a layer of engagement that keeps players hooked.
Modern Warfare 3, on the surface, appears to be grappling with an identity crisis, pieced together from various elements of previous Call of Duty games. As a direct sequel to Modern Warfare 2, it exclusively features the map set from the original 2009 Modern Warfare 2 at launch. The inclusion of a Treyarch-developed Zombies experience, borrowing from Black Ops Cold War, further adds to the patchwork nature of the game. Despite the disjointed elements, the game manages to evoke moments of nostalgia that resonate with longtime fans.
Classic Features and Chaotic Movement:
Acknowledging the sentiment of longtime fans, Modern Warfare 3 reintroduces classic Call of Duty features absent in its predecessor. The return of a traditional minimap, a more conventional perk system, and the ability to cancel reload animations contribute to a satisfying throwback experience. The nostalgic yellow XP indicators make a comeback, adding a touch of arcadey flair. The movement mechanics also receive an upgrade, aligning with the swift and twitchy feel of recent Call of Duty titles. The result is a fast-paced action reminiscent of the chaotic movement in Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Modern Warfare 3 bundles classic game modes like Team Deathmatch, Domination, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint, Search and Destroy, and the large-scale Ground War. A notable addition is the “War” mode, initially introduced in Call of Duty: WWII, offering an attack-and-defend gameplay style. While the return of old maps provides a nostalgic thrill, the lack of new areas may leave longtime players craving fresh environments.
Simplified Gunsmith and Progression Woes:
A positive change lies in the simplified Gunsmith, offering five attachment slots and eliminating the tedious weapon-tuning feature. However, the introduction of Armory Unlocks complicates the player progression system, withholding staple unlocks behind the new system. This approach, coupled with an arsenal of weapons and attachments, creates an imbalanced playing field at launch, disrupting the traditionally level playing field during the initial days of a new Call of Duty release.
For the first time in the Modern Warfare series, Zombies make an appearance, adopting an extraction mode reminiscent of Black Ops Cold War’s Outbreak. Set in Warzone’s upcoming Urzikstan map, the PvE environment offers a refreshing take on Zombies, with varying threat levels and a high-risk, high-reward extraction style. The mode successfully captures the essence of a Zombies game in an open-world environment, featuring familiar elements like Perk-a-Cola machines and the Pack-a-Punch machine.
Narrative Progression and Solid Foundation:
Operation Deadbolt unfolds in three story acts, featuring increasingly difficult objectives and cinematic cutscenes. While the Zombies mode strays from the traditional round-based experience, it introduces an engaging mix of DMZ and Zombies, providing a solid foundation for post-launch updates. The promise of seasonal updates leaves players intrigued about the potential progression of the narrative and gameplay.
Disconnected Yet Captivating:
Despite the disjointed nature of Modern Warfare 3 and a lackluster campaign, the multiplayer experience and Zombies mode manage to salvage the game. The disconnected feel, driven by nostalgia, may only carry the game so far. The true test lies in the strength of post-launch content, which will determine the game’s longevity beyond the initial wave of sentiment. Modern Warfare 3 is a peculiar addition to the Call of Duty lineup, offering a chaotic yet captivating journey through the familiar and the nostalgic.