How Different is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 From Its Predecessors: An Analysis
How Modern Warfare 3 is the Same
Obviously, at its heart, MW3 plays the same way as all the other Call of Duty titles of recent memory. Infinity Ward has tweaked things here and there, but the primary gameplay remains unchanged. Most of the gametypes are still present. In multiplayer in general, much of what you’ll be doing is playing recycled concepts from older games: MW3 maintains MW2′s cooperative Spec-Ops mode as well as the multiplayer mode for which Call of Duty is famous. It has added a new mode to Spec-Ops called Survival, but this is a hybrid of standard Spec-Ops missions and an Infinity Ward spin on Treyarch’s Zombies mode — a fresh take on an old concept.
You’ll instantly know what you’re doing when you pick up an MW3 controller or bring a mouse to bear if you’re a CoD fan, which is both positive and negative. On the one hand, you’ll be familiar with the game and it’ll feel good. On the other hand, there’s little new to learn here, not much to adapt to, and very little that will test your skills. When it comes to similarities, MW3 provides a lot of new toys, but how you play with them is the same as the old ones.
In a word, how similar is MW3 to the last three games: very.
That’s not to say that MW3 doesn’t have quite a few new tricks up its sleeve — more so, perhaps, than previous titles.
First off, the game adds two new modes: Kill Confirmed and Team Defender. Both are meant to amp up Call of Duty players’ teamwork requirements, and they do well in that account. Kill Confirmed adds an additional layer to team deathmatch by requiring players collect dog tags from downed enemies to score points, de-emphasizing the actual kill and emphasizing the team play required to snag enemy dog tags from the line of fire, as well as reclaim friendly players’ tags to deny points to the enemy. It require all new strategy.
Team Defender is like Capture the Flag, but without a place to return the flag to to score points. Instead, when a team captures the enemy flag, a timer starts. The idea is to rack up as much time in possession of the enemy flag as possible, while working to protect your own flag from capture.
Teamwork is a major portion of Modern Warfare 3, and in many ways this game encourages players to work together more than any other Call of Duty title. To this end, the Killstreak system has been completely reworked into customizable “Strike Packages,” which allow players to choose generalized killstreaks based on how they play. There’s the standard Commando package, which includes things like air strikes and is based on kills, just like in other CoD titles; the Support package, which is based on points gained for both kills and objective gameplay, doesn’t reset when the player is killed, and provides rewards based on helping the team excel rather than the individual; and the Specialist pack, which lets players tack on additional perks as they rack up additional kills, but which reset when the player is killed.
This attention to play style follows in the footsteps of Black Ops’ unlock system without emulating it — Infinity Ward has actually found a way to accommodate players who aren’t necessarily sniper savants or shotgun-toting hellions. This means greater teamwork and greater support for more kinds of play.
There’s also the Call of Duty: Elite service, which is in full effect in Modern Warfare 3, even if you choose not to subscribe to it. The free tier of the service offers a lot of advantages the previous games haven’t been capable of delivering as far as stats tracking, social gameplay and the like. There are a lot more opportunities to connect with other players, which is very cool given the number of people who sign on to Call of Duty every day.
Finally, Infinity Ward has found a much better way to make weapons available to players through the Weapon Specialization system. Even though players will be gathering experience points in matches that will unlock weapons and perks for them, there’s now a much bigger incentive to play with the weapons you like. Working with a weapon allows you to “specialize” in it, unlocking attachments and other benefits you can’t get by switching guns a lot. This means you’re able to find weapons you love, get great with them, and reap the rewards on the battlefield. In previous CoD titles, the benefit is always to complete challenges with lots of different weapons in order to unlock more experience and level up faster to get even better weapons and perks.