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Modern Warfare 3 Single Player Review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s single player is your usual action-packed campaign from the CoD series with a variety of missions, different weapons and good cut scenes. But the campaign left one feeling like it could have done more.

I reviewed Modern Warfare 2 in 2009, which was one of the few games I have actually finished. Although short, I thought the storyline was brilliant and felt totally immersed in it from start to finish. So I had high expectations for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 picks up exactly where 2 left off and it’s pretty much non-stop action after a short introduction movie which has some stuttered flashbacks to the ending of Modern Warfare 2. Fans of the series will be pleased to see the familiar names of Captain Price and John “Soap” MacTavish, as well as the evil mastermind Vladimir Makarov.

Gamers will get the chance to play as several different operatives from around the globe, to the extent that some players might find the amount of switching somewhat chaotic. The locations are well-detailed yet diverse, ranging from New York to London. There are a virtual smorgas board [vast array] of beautiful environments, from city to snow to harbour.

Graphically Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 looks good, although it is nothing awe-inspiring. I was very pleased that the engine does actually work (unlike Black Ops) and I could play it properly on my mid-range specification gaming rig without terrible lag. That’s not saying much though. I was particularly pleased with the sound effects of the game, which are as good as you would expect from the series. The music is also classic Call of Duty and helps to set the mood.

The gameplay in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is also just what you would expect; it’s fast-paced and fun but doesn’t require a lot of skill or problem-solving. Bad guys (generally Russians or Arabs) come running at you and you have to shoot them. Then occasionally you get to drive and shoot interesting things, like predator missiles or remote control tanks. Maybe I’m just tired of the series?

My biggest gripe with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is its level of immersion. I simply didn’t feel as sucked into the game as I did with the previous two modern warfares. I think it might be because I like my stories to have a good amount of build-up and Modern Warfare 3 basically begins in chaos and stays that way the whole time. The Modern Warfare series has always been a bit over-the top, but there is a very fine line between over-the-top awesome and over-the-top ridiculous. I found the third Modern Warfare to be teetering on the edge of being silly.

For fans of the series and gamers wanting a formulaic action-packed first person shooter you won’t put a foot wrong with Modern Warfare 3 but I find myself wanting more. That being said, the game doesn’t do too much wrong and it will do what it was intended to.

Trying too hard

Steve Whitford, Do Gaming’s editor, shares his thoughts on the campaign.

I think I agree with everything Stephen as has said. Having finished the game I have to say I was hoping for more. Many gamers have commented that CoD campaigns are always epic. If it’s at all possible, I felt that Activision went too far with the storyline.

Part of the problem I found was that you’re jumping from say America to Russia to Africa, using different characters in each mission. The cut scenes often contain a lot of information, like Russia invading the Europe so each mission is far apart in time.

They really do go over the top – I mean the Eiffel Tower collapsing in front of you is OTT. Some of the buildings looked like something out of the movie 2012 or some other end of the world movie.

The game is so structured and allows no deviation from the task. You have your predefined route and you must follow it to get from point A to point B, shooting everyone in between. It’s just running the gauntlet and shooting everything along the way.

There is nice diversity in term of a change of scenery and tasks. Calling in air support, slowed down scenes where you have to shoot everyone except the hostage, stabbing hyenas with knives in Africa (typical American storyline).

It’s interesting to note that Metacritic has shown a decline in score from 92/100 for CoD4 to 86/100 for Modern Warfare 2 and to 81/100 for Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

The story line is also a massive departure for the Modern Warfare single player campaigns with two major events, so it’s unlikely we’ll see a follow on story in the way Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 picked up from Modern Warfare 2. In all likelihood, Activision will look to reinvigorate the story line next year.

On a positive front, spec ops provides a significant amount of gameplay, with single player only comprising 17 of 50 missions and multiplayer is looking really promising.

On a single player front, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is not bad, it’s just not the epic awesomeness we know Call of Duty is capable of.

If you haven’t tried playing online, now’s the time. However, you need to go into settings and enable dedicated servers before you’ll see the local servers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be played in the 2012 Do Gaming League. A total of R60 000 has already been secured for the competition after Megarom sponsored R50 000 and Monster Energy sponsored R10 000 along with branded clothing and a year’s supply of Monster Energy drinks for each player. The R60 000 will be given away at the DGL Championships which are the culmination of the DGL online legs which are played through the year.

Review Ratings

Overall Rating:8.0
Industry Rating:8.5


  • Diversity of gameplay.
  • Great sound.
  • Fast-paced action


  • Convoluted storyline.
  • Linear gameplay.
  • Immersion factor disspoints.

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