Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cha Ching!

Game: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3)

System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii

Release: November 2011

Here we go again. Another installment of the popular Call of Duty franchise. The last game made by the original creators of Modern Warfare; due to legal disputes with Activision. The tittle forge by three studios--Treyarch (Wii), Infinity Ward, and Sledge Hammer--with support of the new Call of Duty Elite by Beachhead Studios. Can the latest tittle keep the money train running?

Of course it can. This isn't their first rodeo. MW3 offers the tired and true formula with a few minor tweaks to multiplayer and the long drawn out conclusion to the adventures of Captain Price and pals. Spec Ops also makes a triumph return with new missions and a survivor mode. The gameplay is still smooth. The action just as intense and exciting. The story just as ridiculous as ever. It's everything I could have hoped for.

Multiplayer is given the largest overhaul. Players can now create classes with customized kill streaks. There are three categories Assault, Support, and Specialization. Assault is a heavily offensive strike package that is very similar to previous CoD titles. Support keeps your kill streak going after death, and offers more defensive options like SAM turrets and ballistic vests. Finally Specialist classes can unlock additional perks in lieu of strike packages, and after a certain amount of kills, all perks are granted. This can really tare through enemies, and all three categories are a great addition to the multiplayer formula.
Maps and weapons are your standard lot for any Call of Duty. Each map has three major paths. Some favor close range fighting others are more open for snipers. The same old weapon categories exist with a few pristine selections in each. My particular favorites are the PP90M1, Type 95, Striker, and FMG-9 akimbo. This time around weapons have a separate experience bar. Each new level opens additional attachments, color schemes, and weapon perks. The perks offer a variety of new bonuses to the gun that range from increased bullet damage to reduced recoil. Nothing new to the franchise, but presented in a different fashion.

The same could be said about the single player. The campaign is intense, and the conclusion is satisfying.  Visiting major cities like New York, Paris, and London is awesome. MW3 doesn't shy away from destroying national landmarks either. There are more AC-130, sniper, and rail gun segments. The Americas are still fighting the large battles while the British find the evil ring leaders. Russia continues to supply a seemingly endless supply of soldiers to shoot. (Seriously who has the man power to invade the United States and all of Europe.) The developers also do a decent job connecting the events of the first two games to the third.

Finally there is Spec Ops. Players can team up to take on a series of missions like MW2, or they can try their luck at the Survival mode. The missions loosely tie into the main plot which is a nice touch. The survival maps offer a good variety of difficulty, and can be quite enjoyable in both split and full screen versions. Overall a nice update to a previously successful game type.

Odds are you have made up your mind to purchase or avoid the latest Modern Warfare 3. Die hard fans have made this franchise the most successful FPS in console history. The multiplayer formula sees minor adjustments that have big results in game. The story comes to an end--for now--and the Spec Ops mode keeps on truck'n. Add to this CoD: Elite, a separate paid subscription service that offers a variety of downloadable content, and you have a game beaming with replay value. Snerts Snazzy Score is Full Price!

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