Well, "the most anticipated game in history" is here and once again shattered all sales records for the entertainment industry. It also broke the record for most rabid, vocal haters in the history of gaming. So who's side does Abortion Fist take? Read on for his unbiased, 100% fair, and genuine review.
I want to first acknowledge the fact that I am 0 for 3 on my sales predictions for the Call of Duty franchise. I had a debate with Murdernator on Modern Warfare 2 where I took the stance of the game failing to top GTA IV in sales. I then swore my mother's life (may she rest in peace and may this blood on my hands be cleansed of guilt) that no way a Treyarch game would outsell an Infinity Ward one, but low and behold, Black Ops breaks records. Finally, after reading all the pre-launch hatred and noticing none of my friends had pre-ordered MW3, I figured no way in hell the third Modern Warfare would pull a hat trick with a 4 year old engine.
But I hold may head high in losing these predictions. Because when I lose this argument, we all lose. It's kind of like if we all decided to go eat at Golden Coral for whatever reason and you said "wait, maybe we shouldn't eat here again because the last 2 times we ate here, we nearly died of blood loss from diarrhea." And then I responded with "No way in hell that happens again, those last 2 times were a fluke." And then we eat it and shit our intestines out in the parking lot, and with your last dying breath, you say "I told you so Abortion!" To which I respond "Good for you asshole! I hope you're proud! I'll see you in the diarrhea rivers of hell!"
The moral of that story is, the world would be a better place if it would let me be right for a change.
So to begin this review, I'll start with the most disappointing part of Modern Warfare 3, the single player. The first MW had a surprisingly good solo campaign with a coherent story, interesting characters, and unexpected twists told with cutting edge graphics. MW2 followed that up with amazing missions held together by a ridiculous story. And now Infinity Ward finally realized that no one plays the single player so they might as well not put any effort into it.
The story goes a little something like this: "OMG! WALLSTREET IS EXPLODING! LETS GO TO FRANCE! OMG! FRANCE IS EXPLODING! LETS GO TO SOMALIA! OMG! SOMALIA IS EXPLODING! LETS GO BACK TO FRANCE!". This story is told through the perspectives of CIA Delta Force soldiers (who apparently are the front line soldiers of American invasions of Europe), the Rogue SAS squad of Soap and Price, and some others that die. Just about every mission begins with you returning to consciousness from some unexplained explosion and ends with you running for you life from explosions. There's hardly any variety this time around because every time you think you're about to start a stealth mission, something explodes and your objective instantly switches to returning the explosions. Actually, in hindsight its quite entertaining because it's exactly the like the opening scene to Team America, but less intentional.
Hooray! We stopped the terrorists!
There are no memorable moments from the campaign. They desperately try to recreate some of the franchise's highlight missions like the sniper and AC130 missions from COD4 but they're just so unimpressive this time around. All the sequences that raised the bar before, like the slow motion breaching, the predator drones, the giant scale invasions, they just seem so expected. Oh and there's this one mission that starts with this really stupid flash-forward where you play the end of the level for 5 seconds first then it rewinds to the beginning 20 minutes prior to that moment. I have no clue why they did it.
So I've officially put more effort into criticizing the single player portion of MW3 than anyone did making it and more than anyone will playing it. Sure it takes 4 hours but who can be bothered. If you want an amazing single player experience this season, play Arkham City or Skyrim. If you want a compelling, story driven, heavily scripted, extremely linear and short shooter to play, well I guess play Uncharted 3 even though I was disappointed with that as well. Battlefield 3's single player is equally lame but at least it has pretty graphics to look at.
So that leaves the multiplayer portion of Call of Duty. The bread and butter. The cash cow. I've been playing Battlefield 3 a lot lately and having a blast. And I really want to tell you that Modern Warfare 3 is for queefs and all you COD bros can go have fun unlocking your circle jerk perk but I can't. The multiplayer experience is celebrated for many reasons and that reason isn't "mass media brainwashing". It's a genuinely fun and polished experience.
Nevermind the new game modes like "Kill Confirmed" or the new class based perk system. All of the new additions have marginal impacts one the experience. I hardly notice them at all.
3 Classes to choose from: Assault, who specialize in running around and shooting people. Support, who specialize in running around and shooting people. And finally Specialist, who specializes in running around and shooting people.
What makes it great is that it's accessible and it's pretty much second to none in this respect. I can hop into a match casually, play a few rounds and leave. If a match is pissing me off, I can easily switch lobbies and eventually find a new game that doesn't frustrate me with campers and killstreak whores. As much as I love the Battlelog in BF3, I can't stand how difficult it is to join games with my friends and end up on the same team and squad. In MW3, its extremely simple to party up and join a game together. And although the matchmaking system isn't perfect, I have way less 3000 - 0 lopsided matches like I do in BF3.
Playing MW3 online is a pretty consistent experience with no real highs or lows. I always feel like an effective player who can score points and the "spawn and die instantly" is drastically lower in comparison to BF3. BF3 is more of a mixed bag of extreme emotions where one point I'm laughing hysterically at Almasy randomly jumping a jeep into the ocean for no reason or screaming in victory after I C4-ed an APC loaded with 6 soldiers. Then, that very same match I'm punching holes in the drywall after my team has been reduced to one spawn point and are base raped by the other team for 15 minutes straight. MW3, while never that frustrating, rarely has moments of righteousness or hilarity. Don't believe me? Look at youtube and search for BF3 Funny and MW3 funny. See what you find and compare them.
I think the best thing to compare Modern Warfare 3 to is Avatar. It's formulaic and completely expected but still an enjoyable treat. However, when you look at the profit figures it leaves you scratching your head and thinking, "Really? This is the pinnacle of the entertainment industry? All movies/games/books should be held up to the standards set by this?" I by no means believe it deserves all the hate nor does it deserve all the millions of dollars.
The first modern warfare still stands as my favorite based on the impact it had when it released and for being the best overall experience of the 3. The Treyarch games don't deserve the privilege of being compared.
P.S. - One minor easter egg I loved was the return of voice actor Craig Fairbrass, who did the voices of Gaz from COD4 and Ghost from Modern Warfare 2. He reprises a very brief role of a British Spec Ops guy who once again dies in the game. It's kind of like that Treehouse of Horrors episode of the Simpsons where Groundkeeper Willie shows up in every short only to get axed. That's your highlight of the single player.