Modern Warfare 3 was my big question mark for this year’s set of titles, it’s not that I was unsure of what the game was, it was more that I was interested in exactly how they were going to change up the tried and true formula of Call of Duty and actually produce something that I will enjoy for more than the brief period where the new smell still lingers.
I was privileged enough to get my hands on with Modern Warfare 3’s Spec-Ops mode, which like the game as a whole, is a mix of old and new. The old is what Spec-Ops in Modern Warfare 2 was, set scenarios with two players and a 3-Star rating. In the mission that I played with a friendly Sledgehammer employee, I was put in the heavy boots of a Juggernaut (for those of you unaware, a dude that wears extremely dense armour and is hard to kill). This is the first time that the option to play as a juggernaut has been available, it was a empowering experience to be able to soak up so many bullets while firing away the assault rifle. As I moved to deactivate each IED on the street with my co-op buddy sniping enemies from afar, I learnt that I can’t just simply run towards the wave of enemies and gun them down one-by-one. At points I was forced to retreat while my sniper partner picked off any foes that decided to follow me into cover. It’s good to see that the development team have identified what roles fans want to play and have given them the chance to do so.
The other half of Spec-Ops is titled ‘Survival’, in short it’s ‘Infinity Ward’s take on Zombies’ the thing is, I enjoyed it much more than any iteration of Treyarch’s ‘Zombies’ mode. Like zombies, as you clear waves you earn cash and can use your funds to purchase guns, equipment and even air support. One takeaway from my experience was how smart the AI of the ‘Delta Squad’ air support option is, once activated a group of elite soldiers descend from a helicopter you’re your location and will follow you around, help you fight off the waves of enemies as they move into sight and more importantly, will take cover behind walls and other objects when you decide to stop running around. The AI does this with ease and it really shows that there is more to this game than simple follow commands and patrol paths. Interestingly, all survival modes are played on multiplayer maps so, if your getting pummelled in multiplayer, you can jump into a session of survival with a friend and hopefully find some vantage points that you can use in the competitive modes. Survival is a mode that is easy to jump into but also has a great deal of depth to it as it gets progressively harder as each round passes.
A levelling system is also embedded into the spec ops experience that is completely separate from your level achieved in the competitive aspect o fthe game. You receive experience for kills and completing missions amongst other things and you can use your experience to unlock weapons (the sniper was locked for level 60 players in the demo) and buy title cards. Apart from having something to work towards and for bragging rights with friends, the levelling system could also be utilised effectively by those who play the mode with non-friend players on the internet, the level could be used as a measure of how experienced the player is.
I don’t have anything bad to say about my time Modern Warfare 3 at gamescom, my only problem with the mode is, like the Spec Ops mode in Modern Warfare 2, it limited to two players. Other than that, I really enjoyed the mix of old and new components and look forward to playing the game later this year as we near it’s release.
Modern Warfare 3 is being developed by Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward and is set to be released on November 8th, 2011.