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Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review

8.0 out of 10

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Since I was in a little hot water for my Battlefield 3 Review, I was itching to get my hands on MW3 in order to redeem myself. My main problem with Battlefield 3 was that the story just didn't hit me. At all. And so in all fairness I mentioned that you could add two points to the review if you really, really like playing multiplayer.

You could add 1.5 points to this review if you have a similar affinity for Modern Warfare's multiplayer system. The multiplayer plays well, and it's smooth, and has more than enough distractions to keep you glued to the TV as you indiscriminately kill 15-year-olds who shout homophobic curses through their headsets.

Modern Warfare piqued me early on because, at least at the start, the story was easy to follow. Not only that, it was incredibly new. Oh man, finally, I thought—it's like Call of Duty … only right now instead of during World War II! Man, how cool!

Really. It was that cool. The second game, the story started to get a little muddled. That isn't to say I couldn't follow it, and to be sure there were a few awesome moments in the game, especially toward the end. More importantly, in the first two games, I felt a connection with the characters that made me actually care about them. Soap and Dish, man!

MW3 keeps upping the ante with even crisper visuals, amazing details where it counts, and great sound, especially the effects that occur during the most intense firefights. The environments are great, too, and as always you'll find yourself traveling in a few different places.

This comes at a cost. Instead of staying with Soap and Dish, the two characters who are easily the most loveable and enjoyable to be around, you'll end up in the body of other characters in other areas around the globe as Russia continues its ongoing assault on the world(!) for the purpose of causing general havoc. The problem occurs when you end up on the wrong end of the storyline and suddenly, after an exciting last half hour, the character you play as … well, dies.

So there's that downside. Also, you can expect a fair share of monster closets, only in this case Russians will come bursting out. It gets a little annoying from time to time, especially if you don't trigger the closets immediately and then find yourself flanked despite having checked things out beforehand.

And the story gets more muddled. It's still pretty good, if you can suspend disbelief, and it really really helps that Soap and Dish are back. They're good guys, all in all. They're the ones who are clearly capable of saving the world by finding the madman who started this whole danged war in the first place. And they need your help, no doubt!

I think what really makes me forgive the small problems with this game are the intense creative sequences: the firefight onboard a plane, the battle in the dust storm (which could have been played out way more!), the intense chase through the subway tunnels. All of these moments break up the regular “point and shoot” aspect so well that, for the brief few hours it takes to finish the game, you'll be hooked.