How Different is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 From Its Predecessors: An Analysis
At the time, I noted that the fact that Black Ops is a whole lot like MW2 isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. In fact, Treyarch’s latest edition in the series does a pretty solid job of working with the Modern Warfare formula — things like killstreaks, deathstreaks and the points-based leveling system present in those games — and adapting it into something new. Namely, in Black Ops, rather than just unlocking new things as you progress through multiplayer and level up, you actually can use the points you accumulate to purchase the items and perks you prefer. This allows for customization and strategy rather than just new junk to master every few levels.
However, fundamentally, Black Ops is more a roster update in the style of a yearly sports title like Madden than it is a fresh game, and with Call of Duty updates coming once a year for the last half-decade, it was my opinion that the next entry into the CoD series would need to be a more substantial update than just another yearly tweak to be worth the $60 refresh fee. After getting some hands-on time with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, it’s time for some analysis — is MW3 just a yearly refresh, or an update worthy of the full retail price (at least as far as multiplayer is concerned)?
To answer that question, I delved back into the last four years of Call of Duty titles, with special emphasis on Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare series. Black Ops is thrown in there for good measure, although I skipped World at War because it’s the one Call of Duty title I never spent significant time with.
The first Modern Warfare title introduced quite a few cool new additions to CoD multiplayer — specifically, killstreaks like air strikes, the entire weapon-unlocking leveling system, weapons challenges and the like. All of it was stuff that made the Modern Warfare series what it is today: (let’s face it) the premiere console multiplayer experience. There’s a reason there’s a gajillion people playing the Modern Warfare games, including the original, three four years on — there’s a lot to do, and the games are well-made.
The differences between Modern Warfare 1 and 2 are pretty minimal. MW1 heavily favors snipers, whereas MW2 fixes that (somewhat) with its map design. Both games feature unlockable weapons and leveling, and there are more guns, perks and killstreaks in the second Modern Warfare than the first. Overall, though, the two games are largely identical — MW2 is just a better take on MW1 by most accounts. It’s a substantial improvement, but it’s also an incremental update, bolstered by additional multiplayer modes and maps.
And both games are very similar to Black Ops, which borrows heavily from the formula. More unlockable weapons and similar (although slightly tweaked for the Cold War setting) killstreaks and deathstreaks. Most of the fundamentally similar multiplayer gametypes are there. At their heart, all three games feel really, really similar: the controls are the same, the weapons are basically the same, and without the peripheral changes about how you play, the actual gameplay is largely unchanged. In part, this brings familiarity to the series, which is crucial — but it also means that if you only play Team Deathmatch, for example, you’re paying quite a lot for a fresh set of challenges.
Hit Page 2 for Modern Warfare 3′s similarities to its predecessors.