The game on everybody’s tongue right now, for better or worse, is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. Between multiplayer maps being pulled for spawn issues and the length of the campaign being heavily criticized, there is much to discuss regarding the actual game.
I’ll start by saying that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III looks beautiful on the PS5. From campaigns to cutscenes to multiplayer, explosions were vibrant, players never seemed to clip, and the overall style was gritty, as expected from a COD title. Because Activision pumps these titles out regularly, we don’t often see a massive visual change, but my experience was glitch-free and immersive.
For the most part, people come to Call of Duty ready with their squads. The multiplayer section will be the most popular amongst the user base, so let’s start there. The multiplayer system from 2011 is back with a modern update for the interface. The interface itself is similar to the party system found in Call of Duty: Warzone, so there is some familiarity there for the current players.
In terms of the actual gameplay, past players will find similarities to the gameplay from the 2011 title, complete with differently sized enclosed maps and multiple game modes to satisfy. Modes like Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Search & Destroy, and Hardcore variations of each all return.
Aim, shoot, die, respawn, and do it all over again really is the name of the game for the vast majority of multiplayer game modes in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, with obvious exceptions like Search & Destroy, which is round-based and not score-based. As basic as it sounds, the formula works equally as well here as it did on the original release. Crossplay is the other big feature here, with players being able to face off against their counterparts on all other available mediums, so if you play on Xbox, you can still expect to match against PlayStation and PC users.
While on the multiplayer front, Zombies makes its appearance known in Modern Warfare III with a brand-new map that is significantly larger than the ones from games like Black Ops 2 and Black Ops 3. This map feels about the same size as the map that you’ll find in Warzone. There are many areas to explore, tons of zombies to encounter and kill, and things like contracts to take on, usually requiring you to find and kill a much stronger zombie. It can be straightforward to wander in the wrong direction and come across something you may not be ready for, but that’s part of the fun!
Staying with Zombies, when you load into a map, you are placed with other players, and that can be good or bad, depending on who you get matched with. It can be great if the people you match up with coordinate and communicate and work towards a common objective. If the opposite is true, then it can be complete chaos, in that people run off to do their own thing, complete their own goals, and avoid teamwork like, well, zombies.
An issue I heard a lot about before diving in for review was poor map spawns and graphical issues. During my matches on PS5, I never came into any problems. Not even clipping like I often see in Warzone. Whether this is because they removed the maps with errors or I got lucky, I genuinely don’t know.
Into single-player content, the campaign has a lot of controversy attached to it. Many people are angry that the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III campaign is so short. It took me around 6 to 7 hours to complete, but I’m an explorer and often get interrupted by real-life duties. For a game that was developed in a short period, the time it took to complete is about what I expected going in.
They did a great job with what was there. However, for a full-priced title, I don’t think it is really the consumer’s fault that the team didn’t have a full development schedule. Yes, it is true; most people stick around in COD for the multiplayer aspects, but I still would have liked to see a full-fledged campaign for players forking out $69.99 to play.
The story picks up where the remake of Modern Warfare II left off with a prison break. Soldiers loyal to Makarov break into a prison to get him out and continue their plan to begin a world war. The premise is just on this side of believable but only just, as it seems out of the realm of possibility that one person and their military group could manage to do what they do. At the end of the day, it’s a video game, and the story itself was entertaining enough.
One of the coolest things for me regarding the campaign is that some levels were open-map, and some were linearly designed. What I mean by this is that on some missions, you could choose what objective you wanted to complete first and how you wanted to do it. Whether that’s sneaky and silent or guns blazing, the choice is yours, and I think this is a great way to make the gameplay more interesting instead of a bunch of linear pathways to a goal, making it a sightseeing expedition instead.
Controversy & Performance
Jumping into this Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III has been an intimidating experience because it is being destroyed across the internet. Hardcore fans are not happy with what Activision Blizzard has done with this latest revamp and have been loud about it. I have to say that a week after release, it feels like I am playing a different game from many of these players.
The game functions well for me, so I cannot dock it for poor performance. Should a game release be broken enough that half of its player base is furious? Probably not. Did I have those issues? No. My judgment on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is based solely on my personal experience and overall cost. COD: MWIII is a fun game to play, and its multiplayer will last long term, but I think it should have been released at a lower price point since it feels like an expansion, more than a standalone title.
Overall, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is a sufficient reboot. Are there areas that could have been improved by a longer development period? Absolutely. That said, I can still recommend COD: Modern Warfare III to people looking for a decent multiplayer experience (with the current fixes) or even a short but sweet campaign adventure.