Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review (Xbox 360)
Suffice to say, despite attempts to give the impression that multiplayer in MW3 would be a Call of duty game changer, it remains functionally and aesthetically similar to previous outings. GameFront’s Ron Whitaker has already aptly described the multiplayer experience in his review of the PC edition, and I’ll add that indeed, there’s not a lot COD veterans won’t recognize, but new goodies like the selection of warrior type, and the two new game modes, Team Defender and Kill Confirmed, are very welcome and do much to improve things. Especially for players like myself who tend to default into support positions and get easily destroyed by, say, our 8 year old nephews who play COD like they were born with an Xbox controller in their hands.
Of the two new modes, Kill Confirmed is my personal favorite. When a player is killed, they drop dog tags that must be collected in order to collect points for the kill. This means that a team can deny points to their opponent by grabbing a fallen squad member’s tags before their murderer can, ensuring a lively, fast-paced game that never falls into easy, cheese-based play. Team Defender is also a lot of fun, a kind of chaotic capture the flag where the point is to hold on to the flag as long as possible, gaining points for your team.
Strike packages are perhaps my favorite addition to multiplayer. Each package essentially constitutes a warrior specialization with unique killstreak rewards and weapons. The Assault Strike Package benefits experienced COD players who like a visceral combat experience. Killstreak rewards include Predator drone missiles, helicopters and air strikes and really give you the chance to literally rain down insult upon injury. The Specialist Package rewards players with COD expertise and who prefer a more tactical approach to multiplayer. (Snipers, this is your package, believe that). They start with 3 perks but as they rack up killstreaks they can unlock 4 and even 5 perks. Better, Specialists earn points that benefit their team’s score overall.
I prefer the Support Strike Package, which benefits players of intermediate to low skill who still want to be an asset to their team. Not only does it feature weapons like unmanned drones, SAM defense against drones and the like, your killstreaks don’t reset when you die. That means if, as is quite likely if your name is Ross, you die a lot you won’t be penalized, nor will your team who depends on you to have their back while they do the hard work of actually playing for real.
Multiplayer offers 16 maps for a very wide variety of play styles. I found that they don’t all provide the same level of fun. The bootleg map, for example, promises to be good for ‘all game types’, but its size guarantees that if you’re playing a small group, or playing local, you’ll spend a lot more time running around looking for one another than you’d like. But overall, they’re varied and offer lots for players to do, with high ground for sniping, tight spots for fast paced battles and plenty of room to find the perfect spot to dig in. Best of all, they all make camping next to impossible.
That said, even with the new changes, multiplayer in MW3 isn’t a giant change from previous games. On the other hand, the newest version of Spec-Ops mode contains some of the best play in the history for the franchise.