Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 review

Has Activision still got what it takes to go toe-to-toe with Battlefield 3?

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
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  • It is the full package
  • Great scripted campaigns
  • Support Strike Package


  • Graphics engine ageing
  • Only gameplay tweaks

While Battlefield 3 has the best multiplayer component, COD: Modern Warfare 3 is the complete package - even though it is just a series of great revisions

Hear that rumbling over the horizon? No, that’s not some impending earthquake or the steady march of an army. That’s the sound of millions of Call Of Duty fans hurtling towards their nearest retail outlet to snag a copy of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Every year they make this COD pilgrimage. Every year, thanks to them, Activision’s coffers swell, burst and then overflow.

A review of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 feels a little superfluous in this atmosphere. Still, we suppose that we can justify our existence somewhat having played the game, and being in a position to evaluate all the hype surrounding it. Is the game any good? Oh yes. Is the hype justified? Most certainly.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 isn’t going to win any prizes for innovation, and it doesn’t deviate too much from the expectations of the faithful. But what it does do, is deliver one of the best, most action-packed FPS experiences available on console or PC, and it augments this with a shedload of content guaranteed to keep the punters playing it well into next year. And it does this, arguably, better than any game of this type released all year.

COD Modern Warfare 3: Play modes

The violent delights of COD: MW3 are split across three modes: Campaign, Spec Ops and Multiplayer. The first is a concentrated blast of chaos. The campaign’ clocks in at around six or so hours, but that’s exactly the right length for this game. The gun-battles are so overwhelming, the pace so unrelenting and the action set-pieces so ridiculously over-the-top, that to extend the length of the single-player mode would leave players cross-eyed by the end of it. We played through it in one sitting and felt utterly drained by the time the credits rolled.

COD Modern Warfare 3: Spec Ops

Spec Ops offers up two separate modes. The first contains sixteen co-op mini-missions, which are based on scenarios from the campaign, that players can tackle locally or online with mates. There’s a great amount of variety here; players will find themselves hijacking a plane, running an obstacle course and hurtling through a nuclear submarine to stop the core melting down. The missions are short, sharp and perfectly formed, and each of them inspires repeated play-throughs, even if you clock them the first time round.

COD Modern Warfare 3: Surivial

The second part of Spec Ops is Survival, the COD take on the Horde Mode from the last two Gears Of War games. In it, players have to survive wave after wave of enemies who sport more armour and better weapons as the wave-count increases. In between waves, players can spend cash they’ve earned for kills on new weapons, equipment such as gun turrets, and even call in the odd air strike. Unlike Horde, there’s no end in sight to the torment; the mode only ends once both players are dead.

COD Modern Warfare 3: Multiplayer

And then, of course, there’s the multiplayer, the main reason for COD’s supremacy in the sales charts for the next 5 months or so. Everything players expect from the series is in place – the perks, the killstreaks, the close quarters, run-and-gun hi-jinx and the quick-scoping – but the developers have added a couple of new tweaks here and there which both novices and veterans will appreciate. For the former, there are a couple of new additions, such as the Support Strike Package. If you’re one of those players who never gets to use killstreaks because you get killed too often, select the Support Strike Package and have your killstreaks maintained after death. The overall pace of the matches is also a little slower this time round. For veterans there are a boatload of new additions, including weapon profiencies, killstreak customisation, weapon unlockable, tags, titles and, of course new maps and match types.

COD Modern Warfare 3: Verdict

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is set to be the biggest game of this year, regardless of what we have to say about it. But when the hype-machine winds down and all of the reviews and critiques are bagged and tagged, all you’re left with is a game that has to stand on its own merits. In this case, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best games of 2011. Moreover, unlike it's nearest and dearest competition, Battlefield 3, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the complete package.

Whereas Battlefield 3's awe-inspiring multiplayer has to carry a woeful campaign and a tepid co-op mode, all three elements of COD: MW3 are standalone greats and compliment one another wonderfully.

Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 availability: Out now

Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 price: £39.99 on all formats

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