Hello everyone. Look at your clock. Now back to me. Look at your clock. Now back to me. It is Saturday, and I’m writing an article about that game you love. Now that we have the proper day of the week established, let’s hop right in. Going to start with a look at the whole ‘modern realistic shooter’ thing before heading into Modern Warfare 3’s systems. Also important to note, I have not yet started single player. This is solely my thoughts on how the multiplayer is going. My friend said it’s been alright, but I wouldn’t expect BioWare writing or Bethesda word building going into it.

Okay, first on my list is the tirade against the whole ‘realistic modern shooter’ thing, and how much people seem to think that matters. We seriously need to drop it. Last time I checked, real warfare wasn’t done in god-like invincible bomb-disposal suits called ‘Juggernaut Armor’. Heck, even the idea that the more people you kill, the more the army lavishes high-tech, extremely dangerous weapons of destruction on you is even weird. It doesn’t even look all that realistic. Everything feels like it has this pervasive over-layer of dull to it. Yeah, that’s good for building atmosphere, but it’s not like we;re playing Dead Space 2 multiplayer. People aren’t going to pay attention to the atmosphere when it’s going to get them killed. Here is a fun experiment, walk outside for a bit in the day and look around. See how much color there is? The world is a bright place! It has contrast, it has tones, it’s not all just one color. Add a little variety to make buildings (and players) pop from the scenery. Give the levels some actual depth.

"Realistic" Warfare.

Not even getting in to the stupid design decisions. We really need to come up with a better way of informing the payer that they have been hurt than just making it look like someone threw a jar of strawberry jam at their head. This is especially horrible in Hardcore, where your health won’t ever regen. So if someone shoots you, you spend the rest of the game, or until you get shot again, with the entire edge of your screen covered in red jam and your hearing shot all to hell. It’s impossible to gauge any sound once your stuck like that. Who thought this was a good idea? We know we got hit, there is no reason to make our character permanently hobbled until we get hit again. Modern Warfare 2 let the jam go away after a few seconds.

Overall, I feel like the series is trying to take itself too serious while trying to push the envelope. Just drop the pretense to realistic warfare and go nuts. If the guns look real, and the maps are good, that’s good enough for a whole lot of people. And stop throwing jam in my face. I don’t even like Strawberry Jam. As a minor annoyance, there are too many online faction. PMC, African Natives, Spetsnaz, USMC, Delta Force, S.A.S., why on earth do you need so many? Most of them don’t even look different. They just have different accents when talking to you or calling out incoming streaks. Why not have just a little more visual diversity?

Gameplay:

In all honesty, it’s more of the same. If you played and liked the last MW games, you’ll like this. The controls aren’t any different, but the new items and perks do add a little variety to the game. Especially cool are the two new ‘perk’ set ups, Support and Specialist. Support let’s you build up kill streaks even after you die, but the rewards are almost entirely group focused. You can throw down some bulletproof vests (why aren’t we wearing them by default?) to give an hp boost, you can call in a recon drone to ‘tag’ enemies, making them constantly appear on radar until they die, even drop a suit of Juggernaut Armor with a riotshield for yourself or a teammate to soak up some bullets for the team. Specialist doesn’t give you any of the usual kill streaks, but instead lets you activate a new perk every two kills. After six kills, while everyone is running around with 3 perks, you’ll be running with twice that, turning you into something of a versatile one man army.

Or just roll as an army. That works too.

Overall, I think they’ve actually got some really good incentive to be playing as a team now, especially with the Support kill streak system. One of the perks lets 2 assists count as a kill towards your streak, so proper team play could be extremely rewarding when done right. I’ll have to look into competitive MW3 to see how it takes place at the upper levels. Should be more interesting to watch than AC-130 spam.

Maps:

This is probably the biggest one for me. I really, really do not like the maps in this game. They aren’t as bad as Black Ops and I’ve only managed to glitch my boot through a wall once (and promptly died for it. Fix prone please, Infinity Ward), but overall I just don’t like the design. They all feel too samey in a gameplay way. They look different, and some of them look really nice, but the vast majority of it is broken down buildings with cars, trains, helicopters, whatever lying about in the street. Not only does it make the map look ugly because of the sheer amount of overkill they went on for throwing crap on the street, it actively punishes players who like to snipe by giving almost no decision. If campers ticked you off before, it’s going to be worse now since they can only camp one or two spots at best on any map. And these spots are easily defended with Claymores or bouncing betties, making them a pain to dislodge.

I would have vastly prefered some of the old maps from MW2 for the feeling they gave. Long, open sweeps of street on one side of the map rewarded flanking and fast travel, but put yourself in a position to be snipped, while the other street was crowded with rubble and buildings, making for intense firefights. But more than that, you could actually see the level, either by design or by elevation. In Modern Warfare 3, you can only very rarely get into a position to see over the battlefield, and almost never will you be able to look out across the map. It has a way of making them all feel claustrophobic and tiny instead of their true size.

All in all an enjoyable multiplayer, but I still think it’s got some serious issues to it. The gameplay is more fun than ever and the guns feel fairly balanced,  but the maps and some game mechanics just don’t quite feel up to par. Hopefully we’ll see some more open map design with the first few DLC packs.