The third and final installment - well, final installment as in MW3 will conclude the story started in the original Call of Duty - of Modern Warfare is here. Despite my high rating of the second Modern Warfare, I soon realized I basically reviewed that game out of early hype. Upon more playing, I realized the game was nowhere near as good as I had originally said. A 4.75? Much too generous for a game with so many issues... but that's said and done and a topic for another day. Right now, I'm talking about Modern Warfare 3.
First things first - the campaign. Well without spoiling anything, let me just say that if you're a fan of action, this is probably the best Call of Duty campaign yet. The story is pretty good, but not as incredible as a lot of people are making it out to be. I can tell you that there are some unexpected twists throughout. The number one issue I have with the campaign here is that, well, it's just too damn easy, even on Veteran. Having played Call of Duty 2's, Modern Warfare 1 and 2's, and Black Ops's campaigns, I can say quite easily that this is the easiest. Really, they've gotten easier to complete year after year for the most part. Although the campaign can be completed in roughly 6 hours on Veteran, the story is good enough to keep you interested.
Campaign score: 4/5
Next up we have the Special Operations (Spec Ops) modes, which unlike Modern Warfare 2, now includes a Survival Mode. The Spec Ops Missions mode is just like it was in MW2 - you and a friend work together to complete tasks. Hey, it was fun in '09, and it's still fun now. But that feature isn't new, so I'll try explaining Survival Mode... think of it as Infinity Ward's version of Zombies. While Zombies isn't a game mode here in Modern Warfare 3, I find Survival Mode to be a more than adequate replacement, since I prefer it. The gist of this game type is that you and a friend cooperatively go through several waves - I believe it goes up to 50 or 60...? I'm not sure, don't quote me on that. - of enemies. But unlike Zombies where you shoot at the slow moving undead, these guys fire back. You can expect to see swarms of infantry including juggernauts, as well as attack helicopters. I really enjoy this mode, and am looking forward to playing it more in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Spec Ops Mission and Survival Modes: 4.5/5
And, of course, the multiplayer, what many Call of Duty fans would argue is the most important feature. How is it compared to Modern Warfare 2, in a word? Improved. Many people are going on and on about how Call of Duty is selling the same game every year for $60 and whatever else, but the fact is, it sells as well as it does for a reason: The online play is just addicting. While not huge changes have been made to multiplayer, at its core it's still a very enjoyable thing to play. Sure, Kill Confirmed and Team Defender have been added as new game modes, and you can now level up your individual guns to get proficiencies and stuff like that, but that's not what makes this game's multiplayer better than that in Modern Warfare 2; it's simply the fact that the game is more balanced, and just feels better overall. The different killstreak packages (Assault, Support, Specialist) add a new level of strategy that hasn't been seen in Call of Duty before, and it encourages more team work than any previous game in the series. While this is all fine and good, and really does make for a great experience, there's one big thing that could make it better: the maps. Modern Warfare 3 has 16 maps on disc, roughly 12 of which are mediocre or worse. Personally, I only find Arkaden, Hardhat, Resistance, and Village to be particularly "good," and none of them are really instant-classics. Instead, they're really just buried beneath a lot of maps that are just average, or simply bad, like Downturn, Interchange, and Mission. Hopefully there will be DLC in the future that will be better than the lot of maps that are on disc. Honestly, that shouldn't be too difficult of a task. Despite the lack of enjoyable maps to play online, that's the only real thing that's stopping Modern Warfare 3 from being a great FPS.
Infinity Ward has really done a lot right with Modern Warfare 3. While I tried to not to get caught up in the hype, it didn't work. Luckily, unlike with Modern Warfare 2, I wasn't disappointed with the game. Although it's not perfect, this installment really is one of the best Call of Duty games out there. The campaign is action-packed and enjoyable, albeit easy to say the least, the Spec Ops modes are there for two friends that can't find a group of solid players to play online with, and the multiplayer is, in my opinion, vastly improved over Modern Warfare 2. It may not be the best Call of Duty, but it's certainly one worth buying.