Here’s what I love about video games sequels: innovation. Gaming is perhaps in a unique position amongst modern entertainment in that it can improve on previous incarnations to everyone’s delight.
The Call Of Duty series has done this a lot, evolving the realistic modern shooter series beyond praise. Until recently.
Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is an annoying thing to keep on typing out or reading, so let’s call it MW3 instead. MW3 is a solid and highly engaging first person shooter. Each level is an action set-piece; throwing you through gun blasting, character exploding, shaky camera missions John McClain of Die Hard fame would respect.
The plot, thankfully, is a continuation of the story that’s been threading the Call Of Duty series together for yonks now. So, if you’re a fan, MW3 is nothing short of perfect.
I won’t give anything away here, and not because, as a Battlefield nut and addict of multiplayer online gaming, the plot passed through my brain like a whiff of fresh bread but because it feels as flamboyant as all other Call Of Duty games. They’re all blurring into one.
It’s just a shame MW3 feels old. Not old like Norman Wisdom before he died; a man famous for his high-energy antics and comedy mannerisms turned into a frail but cheerful version of himself.
No, it’s more like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 4. Kinda cool looking, pretty exciting but he’s only sticking bows and ribbons on what he did in the last one.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, eh? MW3 is a money-making machine, having sold £500 million worth of game in the first five days of its release.
Changing it too much would alienate Activision Blizzard, the game’s publishers, from those they care about the most; their banks. Haw-haw! Seriously, though, Activision cares about its customers. Indeed, it cares enough not to change anything about the game for risk of upsetting those temperamental, easily upset schoolboys Activision has to call ‘fans’. ‘But what about playing online?’ you say. I say, ‘Oh dear’.
Take MW3 online and it’s clear where all my formative current generation gaming hours should have been spent. This is where creeping around tiny corridors and blasting enemies with shotguns originated. This is where your kill count matters more than the objective, whatever that was again.
MW3 is where teenagers with respect disorders and large mouths perfected contempt for his fellow gamer and it’s where team-based, tactical co-ordination is favoured despite no one really wanting to chat to each other while playing, unless it’s with mates.
It’s also where downloadable content money traps were perfected. Want a green gun? Yours is grey, buy a green gun!
Plenty of other first person shooters can take your fancy over MW3; it’s done nothing to innovate its genre. Neither has its main rival, Battlefield 3.
You’d think by now there would be more to war than running and shooting. I’m pretty sure actual modern warfare is more intricate, you know, with commands and orders and teamwork and that.
The online mode is disappointing and only for the Call Of Duty faithful. Battlefield is easily the superior online experience. Plus, you can’t fly planes in MW3, kids!
The main story mode of Modern Warfare 3, however, is a lavishly exciting first person shooter experience as were the Call Of Duty games before that. It’s an achievement to keep that bar high but it’s obvious now Trinity Ward, the developers, need a new bar to aspire to.
Time to do that innovation thing again, guys.