Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Reviewed, BF3 Compared - HotHardware

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Reviewed, BF3 Compared

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Multiplayer offers MW3 a second chance to shine. The game offers five preset classes (Grenadier, First Recon, Overwatch, Scout Sniper, Riot Control), but encourages players to create their own custom classes. The latter are extremely customizable—players can choose their weapon loadouts, special abilities (Perks), and killstreak rewards. Assault killstreaks are offensively oriented but reset after each death, while support killstreaks improve a team's recon and defense capabilities and continue through death. Players of sufficient level also have the option to forgo all killstreak bonuses and instead claim an additional three perks.



Each of the primary weapons has additional proficiencies that can be unlocked as well as attachments to earn (secondary weapons only have attachments). Weapon experience is earned through use and is tracked separately from player experience. Additional perks and various tactical options are unlocked through the same process. There's no penalty for tweaking item / weapon loadouts in a custom class, but killstreak unlocks are earned by leveling and can't be reassigned. Players can, however, switch from 'Assault' to 'Support' killstreaks without penalty.



One of Modern Warfare 3's strong points is that the game's customization options are very much optional; the five preset classes are more than sufficient for jumping into a quick game. The game's maps are designed for smaller skirmishes, with most games supporting 8-12 players. There are 12-18 player options, but these often feel overcrowded.

Multiplayer Maps:
The included maps are visually rich, well detailed, and mostly boring. This last isn't obvious until you've played enough of the game to be at least passingly familiar with the most popular options—but once you are, they begin to blur together. MW3's maps are, nearly without exception, a series of interconnected small-to-medium spaces, broken by the occasional hallway. In theory, that's fine—but in practice, it's deadly dull.

 
As you can see, the flag is securely placed in...the middle of the street. Maps are well-detailed, but something of a study in the color brown

The maps in MW3 generally lack choke points, defendable positions, sniper nests, blind alleys, or any other form of distinguishing feature. Accessible buildings, rooftops, and basements are virtually guaranteed to have at least two separate points of entry, invariably positioned such as to make covering both impossible for a single person.

It's one thing to design a map to discourage camping and something else entirely to build maps that feel like they were rubber-stamped by a committee. There's no need for strategy or tactics when it comes to assaulting an enemy position; everything is literally connected to everything else. Similarly, there's precious little reason to try a coherent defensive strategy. Control points and deathmatches are decided by who has the quickest trigger finger, and little else besides. Again, there's something to be said for this sort of quick, easy gameplay. If all you're looking for is a fast, uncomplicated game of shooting other folks, Modern Warfare 3 delivers. Leveling up and unlocking items is enjoyable and the customization options are first rate.

Is it fun?  Yes. Is it $59.99 worth of fun? No.

Conclusion:
Modern Warfare 3 has spent the last week smashing sales records; dwarfing even Battlefield 3's impressive debut. Clearly there's an enormous appetite for this sort of game, and we can scarcely blame Activision for being unwilling to make many changes to their cash cow. MW3 is a fabulous CoD-style game (after seven previous titles, it darn well should be), and if you're a player that wants more CoD gameplay, this game delivers.

Being popular, however, isn't quite the same as being good. We've enjoyed the time we spent with the game, but there's nothing hear to make us want to play again. That's clearly not a problem for Activision, but we can't help noting that the game's much-ballyhooed Elite Service, originally promised for the PC platform, has now been pushed back into the indefinite future, likely to address the way game hackers can distort results.

We only saw three instances of blatant hacking in our time with the game, but even one hacker is sufficient to ruin an 18-player map. The combination of aimbotting and wall hacking turns them into nearly unstoppable death machines; it's not unusual to see someone rack up well over 100 kills a round while only dying 3-4x.

Series fans will find plenty to like here. Others--particularly those with limited funds--may wish to consider other options. On that note, flip the page for our comparison on how Modern Warfare 3 stacks up against Battlefield 3.

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"Good rundown, great comparison, bad jokes, r0FL. Overall solid. I have not had the time to play any of them, so I can't give a proper comparison of my own. Blacks Ops was a great experience and I will pick up MW3 at some point. as well as BF3"

"@Joel, out of curiosity, what keyboard and mouse do you use, and for your sound analysis, speakers or headsets and what brand?"

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OptimusPrimeTime,

I use a Razor Tarantula that I bought because it suited me very well for typing and a Logitech G90 mouse. I've also used (and very much liked) the cheaper G90. I can't really recommend either purchase as reason to improve your game, because I'm terrible at both games with both peripherals. ;)

For my sound analysis I'm using a simple pair of Razer Moray earbuds. Very good response on them, but I was surprised at how effectively BF3 models sound on a stereo headphone jack. MW3 isn't bad by any means, but the positional audio isn't as exact. It makes a difference.

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"Thank you. For all my all purpose needs in music, movies and gaming, without bothering my neighbors, I will probably buy the Psyko Carbon that I've read about in Marco's blog http://hothardware.com/cs/blogs/mrtg/archive/2011/04/07/the-psyko-carbon-5-1-channel-pc-gaming-headset.aspx , the Razor tarantula looks cool, but the I'm still inclined to the Merc Stealth. Thanks for your reply."

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The Tarantula is *old.*  2-3 years at least. They've got much newer swag out these days.

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'Infinity Ward serves up a plot so thin it couldn't keep an Ethiopian stripper decently covered'........Classic!!!!

I reinstalled COD MW3 the other day and it feels like a "run and gun" game now after playing BFBC 2. I like a team based game where thinking and strategy is involved.

Thanks for the review of both games.

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That review confirmed everything that that we all thought from the beginning. Battlefield 3 is better...

Call of Duty hasn't been the same since the two founders from Infinity Ward left... Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 looked good but I was willing to only play it's single player and buy Call of Duty Modern Warfare for it's multiplayer... I mean Infinity Ward's decision was a bad one when it came to the PC... I mean no custom servers, what were they thinking?

While this game does have custom servers and does have the Infinity Ward "name". It just isn't the same... Without those two people without the helm. Modern Warfare 3 was destined to suck, though it's single player campaign sure does look fun. I mean it sucks that the two creators had to get into a fight with Activision and get themselves fired but they're at EA and they're probably doing something good over there...

I'm not going to talk about Battlefield 3 seeing as how there's a lot of praise and what I said is somewhere in this forum but I am going to say that if those two win the lawsuit, they should halt any further Modern Warfare games because Infinity Ward (and most of the Call of Duty games) are not the same without them at all.

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BF3 FTW, many of my friends got both and are saying blackops was better... I didn't even bother to get MW3, BF3 all day!

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MW3 is a no brainer, its mw2.5 and its not worth a penny more than a 15$ DLC.

BF3, I bought and played a few days and stopped. The game is pretty and mostly fun but the teamwork is terrible and there are tons of bugs and obvious ommisions in needed content. It's just really hard to have a round where at the end of it you feel "happy" regardless of win/lose.

So much spawnkilling due to bad spawn on sqaudmate options that place you in the largest open area with the most enemies looking stright at you. Team/squad mates don't play together at all and it feels like everyone is going for a different objective.

In Diablo 3 we trust! (black ops until then)

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lipe123:
So much spawnkilling due to bad spawn on sqaudmate options that place you in the largest open area with the most enemies looking stright at you. Team/squad mates don't play together at all and it feels like everyone is going for a different objective.

Obviously, this is common within all games involving teamwork, not just Battlefield 3. Black Ops I can mostly understand (due to the shoot-and-run style gameplay of it) but if you want a team experience then you might want to join a clan...

Otherwise, try to stick with a person as much as possible and remember... You are a spawnpoint, they may be forced to spawn on you and take a different strategy...

Also the anger is mainly because of people taking cheap shots using a rocket launcher, grenade launcher or anything else when a gun would be perfectly fine... I mean come on, your close enough to a person and all you can do is shoot a rocket at them? That's telling me they're either too inexperienced or can't be bothered to use much else...

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For me the best part of MW2 and MW3 is the Special Ops.

All the annoying video in Black Ops killed the game from being great..

The single player campaign in BF3 has some very fun gameplay but there's alot of things that don't belong in a FPS. and some quirky gameplay.

MW3 on the hardest setting is great fun in my estimation.

BF3 is best for the on-line gamers.The campain is short and not worth the money.

I wish a future game comes along where the developer actually gets how grenades really work and they don't bounce like basketballs or can be thrown the length of a football field..I've thrown a few.

Make the games hard to win but don't make them stupid in doing so..

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