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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3!

A contender for Game of the Year before it even releases, Modern Warfare 3 has finally fallen into gamers' hands after months of anticipation. Will the latest in the best-selling "Modern Warfare" series live up to the hype?

First Impressions: Whenever possible, we try to give our loyal website viewers the most video footage and most in depth unbiased reviews imaginable. Part of that development is our "initial impressions" where we offer up our first impressions of the title that we are playing.

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Final Impressions: The final impression is just that, our completed breakdown and overall thoughts on the game based off of our entire game playing time.

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Soap, Price And Their Merry Band: Once again, Modern Warfare's plot revolves around Captain John "Soap" MacTavish (formerly a part of Task Force 141), Captain John Price (formerly an SAS member) and Nikolai, a Russian informant.

All of the main characters are on the run after killing a secretly villainous US Army Lt. General, and are also attempting to pursue Vladamir Makarov, who is a terrorist looking to take over and control multiple countries.

As was the case the last time, you will assume the role of multiple characters over the course of the campaign.

You take will the role of "Soap", Price and Yuri (a new ally), amongst others. Forcing you to take control of multiple characters could seem confusing, but as usual Infinity Ward finds a way to make it work and the storylines of the protagonists blend together very well.

In fact, putting you into several sets of boots over the course of the game gives you a better understanding of where the plot is going, and if you have any knowledge about the storyline of previous Modern Warfare titles, you will undoubtedly find the plot of MW3 very engrossing.

They Don't Call It A Blockbuster For Nothing: Modern Warfare 3 also brings back the classic gameplay that has made the Call of Duty series such a massive hit. As I mentioned, the story is blended together very well and is pretty intriguing by itself, but the action sequences and gameplay make enjoying the campaign that much easier.

You will move through a multitude of varied environments from New York to London and even an airplane that is being high jacked mid-flight! The enemies you face in each area look different and the variety of locations keep the game fresh.

The actual gunplay in Modern Warfare 3 is, in a word, familiar but nonetheless entertaining. You will have a ton of weapons to use (each with their own distinguishable characteristics), and it makes the gameplay even more interesting when you pick up weapons lying around in the field of battle.

If you played any of the previous Modern Warfare titles, you will find the gameplay to be very similar to past titles but that is not necessarily a knock on the game. You will basically move throughout the environments spraying your enemies with everything you've got, and on the higher difficulties you will find that your foes can take more damage as well as put you down much quicker.

Not only that, but the cinematic moments in this title are spectacular, very well done and can be likened to scenes from an action movie. Slow motion and big explosions combined with very unexpected sequences make for a bunch of "whoa!" moments throughout the game.

Zombies With Guns: A new addition to Modern Warfare 3 is the "Survival" mode, which is a part of the "Spec-Ops" mode that returns from previous installments. The "Survival" mode is basically a relative of the Zombies mode that was featured in Black Ops, and tasks you with surviving multiple waves of increasingly more difficult enemies.

You will be able to buy upgrades as you progress through the waves and earn money, and as you clear waves you will be able to buy everything from new weapons, ammo refills and air strikes to predator missiles, sentry guns and claymores, amongst multiple other purchasable options.

The mode can actually be very entertaining and can be played in split-screen or online. It can suck up hours of time as you struggle to make it past the increasingly more durable and dangerous enemies and I believe it is a fantastic addition to the series.

As well as the Survival mode, "Spec-Ops" also features the typical "Missions" mode that takes you through missions and tasks you with specific objectives. It is virtually identical to the Spec-Ops mode featured in MW2, but has a larger variety of missions.

As Glossy As It Will Get: Visually, Modern Warfare 3 looks quite good and doesn't disappoint with its graphics. It is still being on a modified, but still fairly old graphics engine (the same that fueled the original Modern Warfare), but Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games did a good job of keeping MW3 up to date with the hottest current titles visually.

I feel the Call of Duty series is in need of a graphical overhaul next time around, but for the time being I found the visuals in MW3 to be perfectly acceptable and actually pretty polished.

As well as that, the voice acting in the game is fantastic and Kevin McKidd and Billy Murray both reprised their roles of the main characters "Soap" MacTavish and John Price. Aside from the playable characters, even random soldiers and NPCs that you will not see more than once have great voice actors attached to them.

The Social Life Slayer: As has been the case for many years, the latest Call of Duty title has a massive focus on the competitive multiplayer. Once again, you will be able to battle online opponents in a large variety of modes while you use a multitude of customizable classes to outfit your soldier.

The customization options are the biggest change to MW3, as the unlock system from previous Modern Warfare installments has returned. Unlike Black Ops where you could purchase most weapons and perks so long as you had the money to do so, the unlocks in MW3 are determined by your level in the game.

If you haven't reached a certain level, then you will be forced to use less effective equipment for a while until you meet your level goal.

There are also many new weapons at your disposal in MW3, from a bevy of new assault rifles to some brand new and futuristic looking sub machine guns, amongst many others.

Most of the attachments for the weapons haven't changed and you will have your choice of grenade launchers, optical sights and extended magazines to put on your weapons. If anything, there are a couple less options for the sights on your guns, but I don't think it is a substantial remission.

In addition to gun attachments, there are also some new perks and a new system for killstreaks. Most of the "new" perks are slight variations of old ones (Blind Eye and Assassin, both new perks, are essentially like Ghost from Black Ops).

The other new addition "Strike Packages", takes the place of killstreaks for the most part. You can pick between three different Strike Packages with each playing a different role in the gameplay.

The "Assault" package acts much like the classic killstreak system where your killstreak is reset upon death and you get to choose three rewards that will devastate the team and give you more kills.

The "Support" package allows you to select three, more team-beneficial killstreaks (such as Advanced UAVs) and your rewards do not reset when you die. So that means if you set a reward at 3-kills, as soon as you get 3 kills (no matter your current streak), you will get that reward.

There is also a third Strike Package that is unlocked later in the game, and without giving anything away is a very interesting package to choose.

One of the final new additions is the remodeling of the Prestige system. When you hit level 70 and prestige, you will unlock a "Prestige Token" that lets you buy something from the "Prestige Shop". In the Prestige Shop you will be able to buy something that you can use on your next prestige.

From keeping the weapons you have on the next prestige or doubling your experience gain for 2 hours, you have some choices to make whenever you hit that "Prestige" button.

As far as he gameplay goes, you won't see a ton of new stuff in Modern Warfare 3. The gameplay is tried and true, and is as fun and addictive as ever. The difference in weapons and the layouts of the brand new maps can seriously throw you off at first, but the core gameplay is primarily very similar to Modern Warfare 2.

Rent vs. Buy: Everything about Modern Warfare 3 is done extremely well, and this is a very polished and solid game through and through. The campaign can be short (some finished in five hours!), but it is an action packed thrill ride for the most part.

Modern Warfare 3's main focus, the multiplayer, is phenomenal though. Despite struggling early (most people will have terrible games early on) while you learn, the multiplayer is extremely addictive and engrossing.

I felt that MW3 was a fantastic game all around, and I fully recommend it. This game will absorb countless hours of time over the months and perhaps years and I suspect this is a serious Game of the Year candidate based off the familiar, but stellar multiplayer alone.

Report Card

Everything about Modern Warfare 3 is done extremely well, and this is a very polished and solid game through and through. I felt that MW3 was a fantastic game all around, and I fully recommend it. This game will absorb countless hours of time over the months and perhaps years! (Krakrabbit.com)


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