Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PC3DSWiiDS

Soap and Price are back in the blockbuster sequel.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
Back to game info
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 screenshot
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 screenshot

It is, however, a remarkably similar experience to the Call of Duty you've been playing for five years, and its incremental updates will do little to revive the spirits of anybody fatigued by its annual resurrection. Yet it is also easy and comforting to get sucked back into the breadcrumb trail of unlocks and upgrades across 80 levels and, if you're a Prestigious kind of guy, ten cycles of 1,264,000 experience points.

Multiplayer is an unashamedly hostile experience, and after five iterations of the core principles Call of Duty 4 established in 2007, you can expect to be met by some extremely talented players. Spec Ops is the bridge, then - a two-player co-operative addition of 16 missions and a wave-based survival mode. While it's particularly hard to get excited about the latter, Modern Warfare 3's take offers its own slant by virtue of demanding a greater degree of communication than the usual four-player efforts. The difficulty curve is also nicely designed, picking up the pace in most of the right places, but let down slightly by the fact it takes a few waves too many to get stuck in.

The best co-op moments arrive in Mission mode. Perhaps the strongest scenario puts one player at the helm of a security weapons system, allowing them to help their partner progress through a series of intricate corridors. Most of the 16 missions can be played solo, which means there's only one other mission of this ilk; the other has a player providing air support in an AC-130. It's a real shame there's not more of these specific two-player missions, but the 14 other scenarios do manage to hold your interest.

Then there's the solitary single-player experience: a six hour campaign which takes you through three acts and seventeen chapters, picking up straight after the messy-yet-thrilling knife-in-eye ending of Modern Warfare 2.

Modern Warfare 3's campaign presents its global war with wide panoramic shots of devastation and neatly framed pockets of destruction. The nature of the game flits between shock and awe, plopping bombastic aeroplane raids and vehicle battles right next to the indiscriminate murder or men, women and children. The tone is occasionally a little off, but it's simply fascinating from a geopolitical standpoint. This is a campaign positively delighted to litter the streets of Paris and London with the dying and dead, but one which presents the heart of Manhattan as an unpopulated ghost town. If Modern Warfare 2 wanted to set fire to an American flag while kicking down suburban picket fences, the third now wants to wreak obliteration on as much of Europe as possible.

There's nothing quite like the infamous No Russian on display here, no matter how many times sensationalist tabloids and overeager blog posts try and make it so, but Modern Warfare 3 does run into video games' age-old problem: it is impossible to dump players into a narrative that sincerely deals with death when it demands you to blast enemy goons in the face with a sniper rifle immediately afterwards.

Occasional moments of controversial schlock aside (yes, it does ask at the beginning if you're sure you want to see the notorious content), this is a meticulously directed and focused action piece, one with a far more crafted sense of place than the disconnected world-hopping of its many contemporaries. It's also a particularly smart touch that the game recalls and reworks signature moments of the Second World War with a modern twist; a US beach landing on some German shores is trying so desperately to funnel the spirit of D-Day you wonder why the game doesn't just plonk you in France, which itself finds it the target of a Europe-wide chemical attack at the hands of some nasty terrorists.

The point, of course, is to funnel players through various pop-up galleries and to detonate the rest of the world around them, and in this regard Modern Warfare 3 is a resounding success. Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward have created a string of interesting set-pieces that will be guaranteed to dazzle anyone who can surrender to the fact their player character is little more than an actor on the world's most destructive stage, and while that flaw is plain to see Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward do a far better job than their rivals of smoothing over the cracks.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 doesn't do anything new, but it also doesn't do anything wrong. For better or worse, this is a slick and well-metered trio of modes that make an entertaining package, but Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward are simply looking to augment previous games rather than expand the series into pastures new. Modern Warfare 3 is another beat in the colossally successful rhythm Activision has mastered, but what this year's game lacks in imagination it makes up for in quality.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

SnappyII's Avatar


This game is pretty awesome I am like an awesome sniper and the smg classes just make me better.
Posted 15:27 on 11 July 2012
Bloodstorm's Avatar


New review........7/10.

Since i'm on PC i'm stuck with it......forever and ever and ever....
Posted 13:49 on 21 January 2012
clangod's Avatar


So here I am. Very late to a follow up post, but now that I've played the main campaign I'm neither disappointed nor pleased with the game. Which is pretty much what I expected.

I enjoyed the majority. But all too often the plot line and story were far too cheesy (not an outright deal breaker) . Mix in the poor trigger points and progression then I was just frustrated. Bored even. The entertainment factor was huge but that's only because most of the time there's some spectacle unfolding on your screen. So, yeah. Wow for bits and pieces. Yawn for the rest.

Made another attempt at the multiplayer and I was surprised to feel that MW3 was a lot slower than B3. I don't have any special perks or anything happening. Some of this is due partly to the difference in player movement between the two. B3 certainly has some gravity to it, which I find immediately more enjoyable.

In any case enjoyable enough for the experience but nothing that I'll be going out of my way to play again. Nothing really new to offer, and a recipe that remains the same becomes bland.

So what did I like? Well, the campaign was enjoyable overall and the MP maps look great.
Posted 13:20 on 21 January 2012
draytone's Avatar


You've done it again Invalid! We need to get you a thread or something.

This is pure gold.

I tried quick scoping a real Barrett in Florida for LULZ.
Posted 15:24 on 09 November 2011
InvalidUser's Avatar

InvalidUser@ CheekyLee

My bile pile is for balancing alone. Two mediocre whack a mole SP campaigns, yet two very unbalanced reviews, one went AWOL with a focus on a marketing campaign. Funnily enough I read a product review for a product. So, Amazon it is.

This game is old, we are at the Tony Hawks stage, sure if you happy going through the motions it's a 10 no doubt. Learn the map, learn your runs, learn the spawns and you are soon king of the corridor shooter. I tried quick scoping a real Barrett in Florida for LULZ. COD4 was it's peak, this is tread water.

Past caring about scores, it's all arbitrary, nor a fanboy, both series have glowing flaws, only one seems to garner better PR management.

Map packs soon, with a slice of double XP, time to rejoice!!!
Posted 15:21 on 09 November 2011
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ draytone

There's no injustice here - I've played the Exfiltration co-op mission on BF3.
Posted 12:43 on 09 November 2011
draytone's Avatar


Because he gave an extra point to CoD. Apparently that number that appears at the end of the review has got him a tad angry. At least he is learning about the injustices of life.
Posted 11:41 on 09 November 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ InvalidUser

I get all that you say there, and am giving you a TU purely for the "Journo Pro perk" comment, but want to point out that you are aiming at the wrong target here. I am no CoD fanboy myself, but wonder why your bile is so focussed on Mr. Garstang?
Posted 11:26 on 09 November 2011
clangod's Avatar


Will be borrowing from a friend to play through the campaign. Most probably months from now.

I never did plan on buying MW3 and rightly so given my affinity with the competition. I will gladly pass on this with all the other great games coming out which I find far more interesting.

Apart from that, I just don't need another FPS in my life right now. I saved the world from a nuclear attack just over a week ago.
Posted 01:24 on 09 November 2011
RSHunter's Avatar


Well, it sure has been a while.
I must preface this by saying that I've been saving my pennies for a long time now in anticipation of the releases due out now.
Good review but I just can't get excited about it. I was going to make this a rental but went and bought it today on a whim. It's OK but having played BF3 for the last week I can see that I should have stuck with the original idea. Sure it's fast paced and frantic but it just doesn't feel right and to be honest it feels a little cheap in places. MW2 got me hooked on the COD series. This has firmly planted me with Battlefield.
Each to their own I guess.

PS, hope all you regulars are doing good.
Posted 00:08 on 09 November 2011
altaranga's Avatar


It was a nice review. Currently toying with the idea of using the last of my trade-in credit to buy this or... not. Happy with BF3 multiplayer at the moment, though. I'll probably pick this up when I get bored of sitting on the fence.
Posted 23:08 on 08 November 2011
draytone's Avatar


I loved this line.

I'm just an armchair Battlefield/COD observer, I don't have the Journo Pro perk.

Journo Pro perk? That's brilliant :D
Posted 17:34 on 08 November 2011
draytone's Avatar


No surprise... COD for your single player then when that wears thin move over to BF3 to fly some jets into people. It's a rental for me. I was stung after buying Black Ops.
Posted 17:32 on 08 November 2011
oksftw's Avatar


the whole game is copy and paste, even comparing it to bf3 is laughable
Posted 17:07 on 08 November 2011
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ InvalidUser

I've no idea what your point was either. You must have transcended the conversation with your infallible logic and enlightened perspective. Well done.
Posted 13:55 on 08 November 2011

Game Stats

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Out of 10
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • Entertaining multiplayer
  • Spec Ops is fantastic
  • Campaign has some great set-pieces
  • Maybe not enough new for some people
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 08/11/2011
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC , 3DS , Wii , DS
Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 16,195 150
View Full Site