I’m not even sure where to start with Modern Warfare 3. I am probably in the minority of critics who actually like the Call of Duty series and still get excited when a new game is announced. I saw the gameplay trailer that was released and honestly couldn’t wait. After seeing the game in action, that excitement has only grown. We were shown two sections of the campaign, the one that was shown at the Microsoft press conference and a short one that involved the train scene from the trailer. This was the least exciting part of the appointment, mostly due to the fact that after being shown this, I sat down and played the new survival mode of Spec Ops. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a sucker for wave-based defense games, but after playing Survival mode, I can see myself putting more time into that then the rest of the game.
I’ll briefly describe the train scene that we were shown, as that was pretty amazing in its own right. It was clear that the player’s objective was to get to locate a package. From the intel that was provided, this package was inside of a truck in a parking lot. The player fought their way to the truck in typical shooter fashion but when they breached the truck, there was nothing inside. Enemies had starting making their way towards the train station close by, the soldiers followed. After making their way there, they saw the package being loaded onto the train. The train left the station before they could get to it, but let’s be real here, has something like that ever stopped these guys before? NO. They grab some trucks and drive down the subway tunnel taking chase after their enemies. From this, a sequence followed of shooting from the bed of a truck, dodging trains, and trying to keep themselves from dying a horrible death. Unfortunately this doesn’t go as planned when the train flips, knocking out the subway’s support beams. The demo ends with the truck flipping right before colliding with the train.
Here we are at my favorite part. As I said earlier, I love playing cooperative wave-based defense games. It just feels like a great sense of accomplishment that I can play with any of my friends, no matter their skill. Survival Spec Ops plays well to this, very well. Let me give you a basic rundown of Survival mode. Enemies start to attack the player in waves. With each kill, the player earns money that can be used to purchase new weapons, upgrade current ones, and buy equipment that may be useful later on. As the waves progress, more enemies of a high difficulty come into play. It’s pretty much the same as every other wave-based defense game but the fluidity of the combat makes this the best place to experience this.
There are three different types of armories scattered across the map that can be used for purchasing items to boost your chances of surviving. The killstreak armory has all of the things that have been killstreaks the previous games. One new addition to the equipment armory is the Delta Squad. When used, a helicopter approaches and drops a squad of four soldiers who will fight at your side until they are killed. The weapon armory gives the player a place to purchase new weapons, upgrade their current weapons, and refill on ammunition. The equipment armory allows the player to purchase flashbangs, grenades, turrets, and other items that will help fight off the enemy.
I can picture myself losing hours to this game and have already started this trend as I played for a solid hour straight with a member of the development team. We reached wave 22 and it took us about an hour. After the demo ended, I was told that this was the furthest that he had gotten all show, and certainly the most fun that he had.
There isn’t much more to it besides that, it’s Call of Duty. Even though it does feel greatly similar to Modern Warfare 2, it feels as if there are enough improvements to keep it feeling fresh. We only saw a bit of the campaign, but what we did looks like one of the most action packed campaigns of anything we’ve ever seen. No doubt more information will trickle out for the game as the release date of November 8th, 2011 approaches.