E3: Modern Warfare 3

allistairp

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E3: Modern Warfare 3

After some hands-on time with the latest Modern Warfare, it's safe to say single player is more of the same. Thankfully, there is co-op and it is better than ever.

Single-Player

Modern Warfare 3 [http://www.amazon.com/Call-Duty-Modern-Warfare-Xbox-360/dp/B00503E8S2/] is louder, bigger and filled with more explosions than any Call of Duty before it. Shocking, I know. While the two missions presented at the show offered different setups and locations, they both culminated in absolute mayhem and bombast that has become the hallmark of the series.

The first mission, "Hunter Killer," starts with Frost (the player) and fellow soldiers scuba diving in New York City's Hudson River. After an atmospheric opening, showing off improved lighting that pushes the aging graphics engine to its limit, underwater mines and dead bodies hint at an imminent threat. Upon approaching an enemy submarine, Frost and crew plant a bomb on it and invade.

From this point forward the game plays out like Black Ops [http://www.amazon.com/Call-Duty-Black-Ops-Xbox-360/dp/B003JVKHEQ/]' missions: run through a series of tight corridors, as scripted events play out at every other corner. It makes for a very cinematic experience, but, as with Black Ops, there doesn't seem to be much variety in pacing or freedom in movement. Flashbangs are about as tactical as things get, in this demo. After some macho screaming and a missile launch, the player takes part in a tightly scripted getaway scene on boat. The fireworks on display, as massive boats crash and buildings in the distance explode, are impressive.

The second level, "Mind the Gap," plays out nearly identically. After a brief stealth introduction, complimented with constant radio chatter from A.I. teammates, the player is thrown into a firefight. At first, the level shows promise of recalling some of the larger battle areas in Call of Duty 4 [http://www.amazon.com/Call-Duty-Modern-Warfare-Xbox-360/dp/B0016B28Y8/], but the player is quickly funneled through it. Each couple of steps marks a new checkpoint and scripted event.

The end of the level has its own chase scene, where the player's squad follows a subway car (!) in trucks (!!!) It's the classic, over-the-top set piece that CoD fans expect, but, at the end of the day, the player is doing little more than ducking and shooting. Each new tunnel marks a new checkpoint, wiping away any tension from the scene.

Players unsatisfied with recent CoD entries' restrictive level design and constant mayhem will be sorely disappointed by MW3: a title that might as well have demoed itself.

Spec Ops: Survival mode

In addition to co-op missions, Spec Ops will include a new Survival mode in MW3. At first glance, it seems like a basic Gears of War [http://www.amazon.com/Gears-War-2-Game-Xbox-360/dp/B002GN8HU4/]-esque horde mode. You and one partner kill waves of enemies, and try to survive as enemies increase in number and difficulty. By including elements of Nazi Zombies and multiplayer, Survival is elevated above your average horde mode and has the potential be an the most addictive CoD mode yet.

Like Nazi Zombies, the player begins with a pistol and obtains new guns by acquiring money from kills and spending it at a weapon crate. Not everything is so simple, however. Extra money can be earned by fulfilling specific achievements that change each wave. They vary from "get 10 headshots" to "kill 10 guys without taking a hit." Players can also obtain weapons from enemies, which is crucial in the beginning. Going up against 10 shotgun wielding thugs is a bit better harder than evading zombies.

In addition to a weapons crate, each map also contains an armory and support crate. The armory crate offers defense benefits, while the support crate can summon perk-like offensive attacks. One includes an air strike, while another calls in a back-up squad of A.I. teammates - particularly helpful when you want to distract a heavily-armored juggernaut.

Survival mode is dull and uninspired in name only. It's combination of everything that makes MW multiplayer great, funneled into a challenging horde mode. If every level is as well designed as the one I played, this mode could really be a time suck - a perfect game for those who want to zone out to a podcast and hardcore players that want to set a new record on a map.

In either case, it's the sort of open-ended, challenging experience I once got out of CoD player. It's just been put in a different place and, maybe, improved.

See all our coverage directly from the show floor. [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/conferences/e3_2011 ]

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Megacherv

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So the single-player is gonna be a complete mad linear gun-wank fest? As expected. If I buy this, it won't be at full price.

Survival sounds very interesting though.
 

MiracleOfSound

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Complete mayhem and bombast, and lots of explosions? Good!

Jesus guys, when did these things become bad things in the gaming world?
 

kortin

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hieiwrath said:
Why make a new game if there are people who buy the same game over and over.
Its not the same game over and over. It has similar gameplay, yes, but did you really expect a whole bunch of innovative techniques on a game that already has two games before it?

*I* play MW for the story, and MW3 will expand on that story. I'm looking forward to the (presumed) final chapter of this story.
 

Sniper Team 4

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MiracleOfSound said:
Complete mayhem and bombast, and lots of explosions? Good!

Jesus guys, when did these things become bad things in the gaming world?
Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I am excited about this game, and don't understand why so many people complain about it when almost every other shooter I know of does the same thing.
Survival mode sounds fun. I love Nazi Zombies, but I doubt Survival will be as amusing--in the sense of "I'm laughing so hard my eyes are watering". Unless they take a page from Treyarch and put an actual story behind it, with hidden songs, cryptic messages, and player characters that are completely off the wall.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I was watching some footage from E3 about it and it seems like the guns still sound like toys compared to something like bad company 2
and the game also seems like its trying to out micheal bay micheal bay
 

Silas13013

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MiracleOfSound said:
Complete mayhem and bombast, and lots of explosions? Good!

Jesus guys, when did these things become bad things in the gaming world?
Exactly. They should be fun and awesome and everything else that blowing up random buildings should be. But if Blops taught us anything, it's that Activision really knows how to make destroying tanks with rocket launchers boring and tedious and even shooing down a missile with another missile can indeed be made so boring that I wouldn't have even remembered that part of the campaign if it wasn't for the multiplayer level based on it.
 

Worgen

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MiracleOfSound said:
Complete mayhem and bombast, and lots of explosions? Good!

Jesus guys, when did these things become bad things in the gaming world?
when they happened in games that were supposed to be somewhat "realistic" I was watching
oh hell Ill just link it

the thing looks silly with explosions and hollywood bs, no part of it really looks realistic anymore, it just looks hollywood out the ass now
 

-Dragmire-

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allistairp said:
"...Modern Warfare, it's safe to say single player is more of the same. Thankfully, there is co-op and it is better than ever."
sounds like the usual for CoD games
 

MiracleOfSound

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Worgen said:
when they happened in games that were supposed to be somewhat "realistic" I was watching
oh hell Ill just link it
the thing looks silly with explosions and hollywood bs, no part of it really looks realistic anymore, it just looks hollywood out the ass now
Who cares if it's realistic? Not me.

The cool thing about COD 'realism' is that it's all aesthetic - it has just the right level of visual realism with the guns and gadgets to look badass, but the gameplay is still OTT and arcadey enough to be fast, fluid and fun.
 

The Wykydtron

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So the pacing is still as shot to hell as it was in Black Ops? God i hope they kept the awesomely insane story from MW2, that's all i'm expecting goddammit...



Silas13013 said:
MiracleOfSound said:
Complete mayhem and bombast, and lots of explosions? Good!

Jesus guys, when did these things become bad things in the gaming world?
Exactly. They should be fun and awesome and everything else that blowing up random buildings should be. But if Blops taught us anything, it's that Activision really knows how to make destroying tanks with rocket launchers boring and tedious and even shooing down a missile with another missile can indeed be made so boring that I wouldn't have even remembered that part of the campaign if it wasn't for the multiplayer level based on it.
[HEADING=2]Hold it![/HEADING]

Missle shooting down another missle?! That happened?! Now i know for sure that Black Op's pacing was pure fail if i can't remember something that badass...

[sub]I'll stop using Ace Attorney phases when i'm damn ready![/sub]
 

Silas13013

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The Wykydtron said:
So the pacing is still as shot to hell as it was in Black Ops? God i hope they kept the awesomely insane story from MW2, that's all i'm expecting goddammit...



Silas13013 said:
MiracleOfSound said:
Complete mayhem and bombast, and lots of explosions? Good!

Jesus guys, when did these things become bad things in the gaming world?
Exactly. They should be fun and awesome and everything else that blowing up random buildings should be. But if Blops taught us anything, it's that Activision really knows how to make destroying tanks with rocket launchers boring and tedious and even shooing down a missile with another missile can indeed be made so boring that I wouldn't have even remembered that part of the campaign if it wasn't for the multiplayer level based on it.
[HEADING=2]Hold it![/HEADING]

Missle shooting down another missle?! That happened?! Now i know for sure that Black Op's pacing was pure fail if i can't remember something that badass...

[sub]I'll stop using Ace Attorney phases when i'm damn ready![/sub]
Uhh... FOUND IT! (close enough)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-pJtXbTDkc
 

Worgen

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MiracleOfSound said:
Worgen said:
when they happened in games that were supposed to be somewhat "realistic" I was watching
oh hell Ill just link it
the thing looks silly with explosions and hollywood bs, no part of it really looks realistic anymore, it just looks hollywood out the ass now
Who cares if it's realistic? Not me.

The cool thing about COD 'realism' is that it's all aesthetic - it has just the right level of visual realism with the guns and gadgets to look badass, but the gameplay is still OTT and arcadey enough to be fast, fluid and fun.
the original mw was kind of hollywood realistic, meaning it was still hollywood but it seemed possible, mw2 less so and so far this one seems like its completely abandoned any semblance of realism and is just going hollywood out the ass.
the reason I dont like that is it reminds me of one of the medal of honor games, the game starts you out in pearl harbor and it comes under attack, and during the course of it you can shoot down zeroes with a fucken smg, in fact had multiple parts were the zeroes were just strafing areas that made no sense at all and by the end of the level I had probably killed like 25 zeroes, maybe more. That sort of thing totally breaks immersion for me. if you want to be hollywood fine, but keep it somewhat grounded since too hollywood damages the immersion and enjoyment, would the sniper level in mw have been better if you had to shoot down 5 choppers instead of just killing the pilot in one?
 

Worgen

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One Hit Noob said:
-Dragmire- said:
allistairp said:
"...Modern Warfare, it's safe to say single player is more of the same. Thankfully, there is co-op and it is better than ever."
sounds like the usual for CoD games
Derp
Worgen said:
MiracleOfSound said:
Complete mayhem and bombast, and lots of explosions? Good!

Jesus guys, when did these things become bad things in the gaming world?
when they happened in games that were supposed to be somewhat "realistic" I was watching
oh hell Ill just link it
]

the thing looks silly with explosions and hollywood bs, no part of it really looks realistic anymore, it just looks hollywood out the ass now
So you are criticising a game for not being realistic? Nice.
Im mostly criticizing the game for being hollywood, by that I mean, it seems like the sort of game that would have you shoot down 15 jets with an aa gun just because they thought it would be cool
 

MortisLegio

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so its Blackops pacing with MW2 set pieces and terrible story
hmm... not interested

survival sounds ok but other games have already done things similar