Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Game Review (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Maps)

No, this is not a review of the game - this is simply a review of the maps that are on-disc for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Personally, I found Black Ops to have the best maps of them all, and apparently, I'm the only one. Why did I like those maps best? I really liked the variety - it seemed to have more than any other in the series. From the several snow maps on-disc and as DLC, to Jungle, to Nuketown, to Stadium, to Hotel, to Drive-In, to Hazard, to Zoo... I thought it was absolutely great. But here's MW3. Infinity Ward's last game was MW2, and I really disliked a pretty large number of the maps in that game. But what about this time around?


Arkaden: 4/5 Taking place in a German mall, Arkaden is one of the bigger maps in the game, and probably the map I was most looking forward to. After a decent number of matches, I'm just not a huge fan. It's definitely a good map, and decently layed out (you'll read about stuff like that in a bit, I assure you.), but it's not the best map in MW3.

Bakaara: 3.75/5 This map just reminds me of Crash from CoD4 and MW2. (If you don't recall, Crash was remade as DLC in MW2.) The colors, the way some of the buildings are laid out, and hell, there's a chopper crashed in the middle of the map even! Thing is though, this map has got nothing on Crash. It seems like they really tried to make Crash and improve upon it or something, but they just failed. Worst part is, this map isn't really particularly good in any one game mode. Average.

Bootleg: 3.5/5 And this one? A bit of Kowloon... but I think that's really only because it's clearly in a third-world country and it's dark/rainy. I haven't played this map too many times, but I don't think I have to to see that I'm just not a big fan. It's not that the design is that terrible, but it just feels boring and dull. I'm really having trouble trying to remember all the areas of this map... I guess that's just how forgettable it is?

Carbon: 4/5 Mm. Probably being generous on this one... I sort of have a love-hate relationship with Carbon; I really enjoy a few areas of the map, and just completely hate the others. I haven't played this map yet in S&D, but I have a feeling it would be pretty fun on that, so really that's what's making me fetch this a 4.

Dome: 3.5/5 Look everybody, it's the Rust of Modern Warfare 3! Except, I completely hated Rust, and this map I just deal with. It seems to come up fairly often in the playlist, which sucks, but at least it's not Rust, which I refused to play. Dome's the smallest map in the game if you hadn't guessed by now, and there are very few places you can camp. I think for most this is a map you either like or dislike. For me though, I put it right in the middle. I'd like it quite a bit more if it was bigger... That's what she said.

Downturn: 3.5/5 A pretty big map, yet not all that friendly for snipers. I thought the idea of this would be cool, but it just turned out poorly. It's large, so games drag on (especially TDM), and it just looks shabby. Yep... another average-at-best map.

Fallen: 3.75/5 Here we have an "Overgrown" look-alike map. Fallen plays nothing like it, but the colors and buildings and things like that remind me a lot of it. As I've really said with a lot of these MW3 maps, this map is just... average. Don't love it, don't hate it, but I'll play it. For a small map, Fallen really encourages quite a bit of camping, so keep that in mind.

Hardhat: 4.5/5 One of my favorite maps from MW3... it takes place at some construction site, and it's really just a whole hell of a lot of super fast-paced action in gametypes like TDM. For being as small as it is, it somehow manages to fit in a couple decent stretches where you can look down the sites of your assault rifle and pick enemies off. Great layout. Kudos to the map maker.

Interchange: 3.5/5 Think "Ambush" from CoD 4's layout - in a way - blended with the look of "Underpass" from MW2... slightly. Both of those maps to me were average or below average, so this map reminding me of the two isn't really a good thing. The map just seems random and there's no symmetry to it. The fact that the map is pretty much solid grey isn't helping anything either.

Lockdown: 3.5/5 Another one of the very few fairly large maps in the game, meaning one of the few that is sniper-friendly. The layout of this map is decent, but having so many two-story buildings in it just encourages a LOT of camping unfortunately. Not only do the campers drag this map down a bit, but the pretty bland appearance doesn't help it much either. Still, it's a good map for most objective game modes.

Mission: 3.25/5 Favela, Pt. 2 ... that's about the best way to describe this map. Seeing as how it was probably my least favorite map in MW2 after Karachi, you can maybe guess why I gave it such a low rating. You have one area that's higher with a lot of close-quarters combat, then a lower, wide open area that's there for pretty much nothing. Not a fan of the layout, or the way the map looks - worst map on-disc, to me.

Outpost: 4/5 The lone snow map in MW3! I guess after seeing so many on-disc and as DLC in Black Ops, Infinity Ward decided to put just one in here. And really, it's not too bad. Medium sized map with a good share of inside as well as outside firefights. Nothing extraordinary, but better than most of the maps in MW3. If I really have one complaint, it's that this map doesn't come up often enough in playlists.

Resistance: 4.5/5 A great map - another one of my favorites. The aesthetics, the design, and the enjoyment to be had in TDM and objective modes is just fantastic. There's really not much else to say, other than that this could very well be my favorite map in the game.

Seatown: 3.5/5 Yet another average map. Not much can be said here other than the fact that much of the map feels cluttered and close-quarters, and there are a decent number of small rooms with two floors for people to camp in. I'm sorry I sound so redundant, but the maps have just been designed that way for the most part...

Underground: 4.25/5 A medium-large sized map, Underground doesn't disappoint. Along with Arkaden, this is a map I was looking forward to playing... this one is just better. It's nice to have this map - as well as a few others - that don't force you into pretty much nothing but cramped spaces and almost MAKE you use an SMG or shotgun. Also, there's an area of this map that reminds me quite a bit of "District" from Call of Duty 4. Oh, how I miss that game...

Village: 4/5 Here's another one of not enough spacious-ish maps. Village reminds me of both "Bitter Jungle" from SOCOM II and "Jungle" from Black Ops, almost entirely in terms of appearance. From my experience, this is a good bit of fun in Domination, but I could see it being enjoyable in S&D as well.


How are the maps? As you can see by the scores, overall, not so great. I've found that far too many maps are close-quarters for the most part, with a little area on the other side of the map that's more open. It also seems like with some of these maps they just wanted to throw things up and call it a day, with a fair number of maps seeming "random"... having no rhyme or reason to their design. Sections or all of maps like Bakaara, Interchange, Mission, and Seatown make me feel that way. Unfortunately, I'm really not a big fan of these maps, and I'd say from CoD4 to now, this game may have my least favorite maps. The game is still quite fun, but a few great maps from map packs would certainly spice things up. Overall, I'd give the MW3 disc maps a...


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