Call of Duty Hands on
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 sees the return of Infinity Wards award winning Modern Warfare multiplayer. But this year things have changed as Infinity Ward and SledgeHammer game mix it up and make the game more about gunplay like CoD 4 was and less about the Kill Streaks.
For the objective based players and those still learning the ropes, this will be a very welcome addition. Also the way the killstreaks are selected between the three packages gives the Modern Warfare 3 a more tactical edge too.
New to Modern Warfare 3 are the Strike Packages, split into three groups Assault, Support and Specialist. Assault Packages are all about going for the Kills so Air Strikes, Support allows you to support your team, so UAV's, Specialist is a mixed bag and more suited to the old school CoD players. But the big addition here is that if you die using Support or Assault, your Kill Streaks are not reset, only the Specialist must start over earning his kills again.
Modern Warfare 3 is reaching out to the players who enjoy CoD but could never really advance at it due to the players who have been playing non-stop, guys like me!
The Kill Streaks aren't the only thing getting a nip-and-tuck, Perks have also come under the microscope. You can still select three player Perks to increase your character in game, but you'll need to look at them all carefully to make sure the ones you want are still there. Fans of Marathon, like me, will notice it has been replaced by Extreme Conditioning, so there is no more unlimited sprinting, just prolonged.
Also some perks have been reclassified by Infinity Ward from Perk to Weapon Proficiencies, Commando being one of them. I also couldn't see Stopping Power, so I couldn't tell if this had been rolled into something else or just completely removed.
Weapon Proficiencies, as mentioned above, is all about leveling your gun up and earning "perks" especially for your gun. Some of these sounded extremely interesting such as Dual Scopes on Assault Rifles and Steady Aim holding your breath with almost any gun were two that caught my immediate attention.
So with all this attention on the player progression has Infinity Ward actually done anything new to the Multiplayer modes? Yes they have. New to Modern Warfare 3 is "Kill Confirmed" which for the most part starts out like Team Deathmatch , but every time someone is killed they drop their Dog Tags. By grabbing a yellow set of tags, your enemies, you'll nab a point for your team. By grabbing a red set of tags, one of your team mates, you'll deny the opposition the points... sounds simple doesn't it!
Unfortunately it's not, because even if you take down an enemy, you haven't got the point until you hold those tags. The team I played with decided to set a little trap for the opposition by taking cover and letting one guy walk out alone as bait. The other team came storming in shot our one man, before being shot, stabbed and blown away, which put the score at 8-1 in a matter of seconds. Even when I broke away from the rest of the team and got a kill I was extremely nervous about collecting the tags, as I feared a repeat of our tactics.
It's clear that Infinity Ward have done a lot to make Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 the most welcoming and entertaining multiplayer experience seen in a CoD game yet. For me it may be just that, Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops are exceptionally good multiplayer games, but when in a room full of Elite CoD-ers or Clans, I never really stand a chance and become canon-fodder. But with MW3's new approach to the un-experienced and intermediate players, CoD just became a very different game.
Visually, Modern Warfare 3 is still rocking an impressive, if not old engine, which keeps the game ticking at a sexy 60 frames per second. The audio is solid with meaty machine gun fire and explosions that leave a ringing in your ears for quite some time, especially if you have a Dolby surround sound headset plugged in which for me, is the only way I can experience the CoD.
Also, there is Call of Duty Elite, which allows you to Connect, Compete and Improve! By hooking into Elite, you'll be able to find the players you want to battle it out with, whether that's players of a similar skill or who share an interest is completely down to you. When competing using Elite players will be able to enter Tournaments to try and win virtual and real prizes. But Improve is the feature that excites me, as you can look at the map layouts to find the areas where you have most trouble navigating, find out which weapon you are most accurate with to name two of the stats you can check out.
Also on the way is the Elite App which will allow you access your Elite profile on the move and change your weapons load out ready for battle when you get off the bus.
I enjoyed every moment of the Call of Duty Multiplayer, the familiar controls and the new welcoming set-up means that anyone can pick-up-and-play Modern Warfare 3. Yes, the hardcore CoD-players may still have the edge, but Modern Warfare 3 has thrown guys like me, the intermediate player a lifeline through strike packages and Call of Duty Elite, and because of this I will be answering the Call of Duty this November!