War never changes…
The Best of the Best – Complete the campaign on Hardened or Veteran difficulty Gamerscore = 100 Unlocked on 18/11/2011
To kick off my long weekend I powered through the last several missions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Playing MW3 was an interesting experience. I went through a few different emotions as I played the game. Probably the best way to describe my impressions of the game is to describe how the game impacted me through the course of the game. Now this is just for the campaign only, as for the multiplayer, that is a different situation all together. Lets just say at this point I have over-committed to MW3 multiplayer dollars-wise (i.e. Elite). But what is done is done, for now lets focus on how SUPERGHOST faced down The Third World War 3.
First off I will provide a couple of the more tangible details of my campaign. My first playthrough of MW3 dinged in at about 6 hours and 15 minutes (approx.) which was a solid hour or two more than Modern Warfare 2. The difference here though was that I first playthrough of MW3 was on the Hardened difficulty whereas MW2 was on Normal. Realistically though, playing on this harder difficulty may have at best added 30 minutes to my experience. I am far from a Call of Duty pro, but even I found the Hardened skill level to be fairly easy minus a few tough choke points. So certainly a more lengthy campaign than its predecessors…my problem was that I think they may have made it too long than it should have been.
If you have played previous Call of Duty games, you have played this game before, but you may have already played the best one(s). MW3’s story really only felt like it mattered when you were dealing with the events or chapters surrounding Task Force 141 (Soap and Price). Modern Warfare is their story, but in order to pad the campaigns other stories need to be told as well. In MW3 the side-stories did not seem to be as interesting as previous games, they just at times just seemed to be reasons to show of combat theatres in metropolitan centres the world over.
The big set pieces during these missions hit with a thud as well. When you are on that bridge in Paris, you can see from a mile away what is going to happen which steals a lot of the energy from the scene. While I do enjoy a good world tour and seeing the sights, it felt a little hollow. Couple that with the repetitive nature of Call of Duty campaign combat and it is a by the numbers yawn-fest. Very linear, very scripted, there is something to be said for the cinematic nature of that experience, but we have been there several times before so it is starting to lose its lustre.
My favourite part of the campaign, where things started to turn around for me, was when things got personal and the plot twist entered with the Task Force 141 storyline. While not to provide spoilers the game has a substantial revelation about two-thirds of the way through that you do not see coming. This event triggers a cut scene that takes players back to the beginning and through some of the key events of the Modern Warfare story. I really liked this story device and it really motivated me to continue through the story. Where I felt they went wrong is they continued the story a mission or two too long after this event. I would rather they wrapped up the story earlier, and instead of having say one more mission, they should have produced a cut scene to bring the story to its natural conclusion.
I guess the good news with MW3 is that it resolves this story arch. Sometimes you just want a good story to be told, start to finish, and not have it linger on longer than it should. In a way that is how I felt about MW3’s final act. The story, while good, could have use a bit of tightening. I guess in the face of complaints by gamers that the campaign’s run too short, the development teams saw fit to make sure players got more bang for their buck.
After the story is over that is when the multiplayer modes take over, but that is a whole other story unto itself which I will save for another post. I will give you a hint though, I am looking back fondly on Modern Warfare 1 and 2…