When it comes to the 15 Perks, spread as always over three tiers, there's your expected mix of returning classics and new ideas. Sleight of Hand, Scavenger, and Hardline make their return, whereas One Man Army and Commando are completely removed. Some old favourites have been tweaked and rebranded a little, too; Marathon has had to make way for Extreme Conditioning, which gives you an extended but not infinite sprint. Then there's completely new additions like Recon, which makes enemies show up on the mini-map if they've taken damage from your attacks.
Call of Duty's RPG-like mechanics now cross over to the weapons themselves, which now level up individually of the player. As your weapon gains in experience you'll unlock the standard bevy of attachments - such as the red dot sight and underbarrel grenade launcher - but also a single selectable proficiency, which allows you to adjust things like weapon flinch, sway, or number of attachments you can bolt on at once.
While the finished game will include a variety of new modes alongside the returning likes of Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Domination, only one was being shown: Kill Confirmed. It's a spin on classic TDM, with players dropping a pair of flamboyant revolving dog tags upon death. These need to be collected by your opponents to actually count towards their team score, and any allied players who retrieve your tags will deny the other team those all-important points.
Kill Confirmed is a fun mode that went down well with virtually everyone who played it, and the ability to focus on and around noticeable objectives will make it easier for new players to make sense of Call of Duty's chaos.
All this would be for naught if the 16 maps weren't up to scratch, but each of the five maps on show brought something to the game. My personal highlight was Team Deathmatch on Underground, a map based around the fictitious Middleton (nice touch, guys) tube station after it's been bombed by terrorists.
Infinity Ward has stated that Modern Warfare 3's maps would be more horizontal than vertical, and Underground shows this off perfectly - the map is set over two spread out levels, with plenty of choke points around the ticket barriers and train platform.
I couldn't possibly make a judgement yet on whether Modern Warfare 3's various subtractions and additions will make for the balanced game that Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games are promising, but what I can say is that I'm looking forward to playing it again.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is due for release on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii on November 8.