Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 review

Even in straight-up Team Deathmatch, a regular supply of Ballistic Vests and recon-heavy support keeps a good chunk of the team together like rarely before. There are still plenty of lone wolves – this is COD, after all – but MW3’s objective modes are the best team-focused modes the series has had to date.

These tweaks would be for nothing if MW3 didn’t get the meat of multiplayer right, and it excels: a generous 16 maps come on the disc, and every one’s a corker.

The brilliant Hardhat has a raised and porous walkway that our team ended up referring to as the ‘death bridge’, in the middle of a cramped construction site where you can either die constantly or rack up a joke of a pointstreak.There’s Outpost, a huge Siberian facility built for snipers and shotguns; Interchange, a destroyed freeway; and even Underground – a long London tube station with intricate balconies and bottlenecks, perfect for Domination games.

Levelling is much as before, with one big addition: individual weapons now level, and boast their own stats and challenges. This change isn’t quite as instantly appealing as the others, because while the weapons level up fast enough with a few good rounds, it’s a bit of a heave starting over every single time you upgrade a sidearm or try a new loadout. For players who sink the hours in, this will be a welcome set of extra targets – for weekend warriors, it’s hard to see the benefit.

Spec Ops and Survival are Modern Warfare 3’s final game modes – the first features blister-packed co-op missions, while the second is one of those wave modes that are so trendy these days. Spec Ops has 16 missions, most of which tie into the campaign’s events from another perspective, and they’re a meaty and sometimes thrilling set of hostage rescues, bomb disposal, all-out war and death from above.

There’s not quite the level of invention here as in MW2’s superb equivalent, but MW3’s Spec Ops has brilliant moments: Invisible Threat puts one player in a Juggernaut suit, defusing bombs – against an army of grunts, tanks, and choppers. Luckily, the other player’s in the skies with an arsenal to hand, marking targets and making the enemy explode all around.

Survival is last – and probably least. Although the combat’s as tight as anywhere else in the game, and the mode has its own levelling curve, this is as bare-bones as wave modes get. There’s nothing like the barricades or unlockable rooms in Zombies, and the waves take too long to build up to full intensity. It’s still a great place for new players to practise multiplayer maps, and co-op means our games always had their moments – but while Survival is never boring, it rarely surprises you.

After the Infinity Ward saga, no one really knew what to expect from MW3. The big surprise isn’t that it serves up another great campaign, but that its take on Modern Warfare’s world-conquering multiplayer may be the best yet. With Spec Ops and Survival mode, this is one hell of a package, and sees off the trilogy with a bang: not much has changed, but this is as big and beautiful a game as ever.

 

Our Score

Score: 9