With the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 now less than two weeks away, excitement is surely building for millions of Call of Duty fans worldwide, and the countdown to what will surely be one of the biggest selling games of 2011 is almost over. MW3 is Infinity Ward’s fifth CoD title, and the first title in the series to be developed by multiple companies (in this case Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software), and is surely one of, if not the most hyped game of the series, thanks to the recent CoD XP event in Los Angeles, the first gaming convention to be set up specifically for one game, and with all of this hype and the series’ popularity, selling millions of copies every year, it’s hard to argue that MW3 will most likely do just as well as its predecessors.
But, in the eyes of many gamers and critics, MW3 has a lot to live up to, and a lot to fix (mostly on the multiplayer side) after the issues surrounding Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and after the legal issues between the co-founders of Infinity Ward and Activision, which resulted in a large amount of the Infinity Ward staff leaving the studio, which led to the coalition with Sledgehammer and Raven. There were also a lot of issues with Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer after it’s release, with many bugs in it, which players exploited to gain considerable advantage, and there are many worries that this may happen again with MW3, due to the lack of a public beta, and in some cases these bugs took quite some time to fix and angered many players, which added to the issues that the game already had due to unbalanced multiplayer features such as the ability for players to have infinite amounts of grenade launcher ammo, or the large knifing range provided by the commando perk, combined with the abilities to sprint for an infinite amount of time and move at greater speed.
The developers have however done much to address most of the issues within multiplayer, by removing many of the unbalanced parts of multiplayer, such as the one man army, commando, and danger close perks, and the option to equip shotguns as secondary weapons, and by re-structuring many of the core elements of multiplayer, such as the killstreaks system (players are rewarded with ‘killstreak rewards’ such as attack helicopters or airstrikes for getting certain amounts of kills without dying), which has been changed to add more options for players, and to be split into three different ‘packages’ to support different play styles. MW3 has been called “the most balanced CoD to date” many times by its developers, who are confident that they have done enough for the multiplayer experience to be more fair all around and more balanced, so that the newer or less skilled players can enjoy the game just as much as the players that have played for a long time or are much better at the game.
But it’s not all about the multiplayer, as much as CoD is a heavily multiplayer focused game, the story behind the Modern Warfare series of games continues in MW3, as it is said to start off just hours after the events of its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2, and the story of this game; is said to be one of the most immersive yet and the longest of the CoD series, which should come to please fans of the CoD series, especially those who were disappointed by the somewhat disappointing story behind Modern Warfare 2’s single player campaign. Unfortunately however, there is to be no co-operative campaign option, which was last seen in Call of Duty: World at War, however there have been many improvements to the Special Ops mode introduced in Modern Warfare 2, as it now includes a progression system similar to the way players level up and unlock new things in multiplayer, and a wave-based survival mode included.
With all the new features and improvements that have been made to this game over Infinity Ward’s previous titles, and over the previous titles in the series, it’s easy to see that this will be a different experience to any of the previous Call of Duty games, but whether or not these changes will impact the game for the better or not is yet to be seen, and only time will tell whether the changes that have been made will prove beneficial and if they will be enough to change some player’s opinions of Infinity Ward after all the issues that players experienced with Modern Warfare 2.