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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review

This is a discussion on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review by Curse Basic Information: Developer: Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer games Publisher: Activision North American Release ...

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    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review
    by Curse


    Basic Information:
    Developer: Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer games
    Publisher: Activision
    North American Release Date: November 8th 2011
    European Release Date: November 8th 2011
    Trophies: 1 1 12 37


    Overview
    Another year another Call of Duty, that seems to be the idea in the minds of the heads at Activision. Whilst innovation doesn't seem to be their main goal, each new Call of Duty breaks records for games sold and pre-orders year after year. It's clear that there's a massive fanbase behind this marmite franchise, so does this years game live up to the high expectations?

    Gameplay
    From the start, this is just typical Call of Duty. The same feel, the same look, and one I can only tell to be the same (probably modified) engine. It works, it's that 'CoD Style' that they've kept recurring even from the early PC call of duties. It's a tried and tested formula that does the job, but the lack of innovation is a disappointment. While it's good in some peoples eyes to have this continuity but it feels just like a new skin on the old game with a few tweaks, which it effectively is. Don't fix it if it isn't broken, this seems to be a recurrent message imprinted into the Call of Duty series. And even though it definitely isn't flawed, it's definitely starting to show its age.

    Tweaks have been made to sections, but if you were to blindfold someone, load up modern warfare 3, enter a multiplayer game, remove their blind fold and let them play. I can guarantee that a lot of people wouldn't be able to tell which game they were playing (Other than the changes in the navigation system etc). I really don't like seeing companies stay within the safety zone just for the sake of selling games. The game has been in development for nearly two years, but there hasn't been two years worth of development made. In comparison (Although the games are completely dissimilar) to the likes of Batman Arkham City, or Uncharted 3 where massive improvements have been made all around, it makes you wonder what they've been doing with their time.

    But despite these negatives, I've still enjoyed the game, I've never been sat thinking that this is a flawed game. A lot of time has obviously been put in designing new guns and levels. The guns feel more balanced and there is a big selection to choose from, a lot of time has obviously been put into creating realistic feeling weaponry. Character movements feel as slick as ever, but not too different to what we've saw from the other Call of Duty games. Nothing is flawed, everything that's there is good, but it was great two years ago. By this I mean that the improvements that were made towards modern warfare 2, have not been replicated again here. Again there's nothing wrong with the gameplay aspect, and I struggle to find any flaws other than the weird lack of development over the last entry.


    The newly designed city levels look great

    Singleplayer
    I like to view Call of Duty campaigns as a high budget, over the top action movie. That way you know what you're going to get, you know what to expect and nothing should really disappoint you. Because that's all it really is, over the top sequence after over the top sequence creating an equally over the top plot. It works if you're into that kind of thing, which I thankfully am. Anybody buying this shouldn't (Quite obviously) expect a realistic reenactment of modern war. Instead you have a fast paced action paced 5-6 hours that follows a plot set in the not too distant future. It gets you connecting to what's going on around you fairly well, due to it being set in familiar surroundings. In one mission you'll be in the streets of New York city, surrounded by a war. Later you'll be in the streets of London, this connection to what's happening due to it being so familiar helps you connect to the story much more. At one point there's a shocking terrorist attack involving pedestrians in London, I'll not say any more, but it's a testament to how far they'll go for shock value, thankfully they pull it off and it fits in well.

    From the start it's clear that a lot of time has been put into the level design of the singleplayer missions. The cities you fight through look incredibly detailed, and they've really tried to capture the essence of the country you're fighting in. Unfortunately at times the cities look a little too cliche, sections of London look like you're fighting in Medieval times in the most extreme circumstances. Other than that, your surrounding areas are terrific, there are little shortcuts where you can try to flank your enemies and the level layout really fits hand in hand with the overall feel of the game.

    As I've mentioned, the campaign only takes around 5-6 hours, and this was playing on veteran. While it's no surprise to see a shooter with such a short campaign, it makes the story feel rushed towards the end. Whilst they build up the story and get you connected to the likes of Captain Price fairly well (Keeping recurring characters from older games worked well) the ending feels rushed, considering how well they build it up. They try hard to keep variating the gameplay style, you'll often be prompted with sections where you breach into a room, often to save a hostage of some sort. There's some stealth sections, you'll be in the gunner seat of an AC130 at times, at times you'll be in a jeep using your primary weapon to try and gun down enemies and you'll find yourself rappelling quite often. This kept the game feeling enjoyable for me, rather than just being given a corridor to shoot down they atleast try to mix things up a bit.

    But my biggest annoyance with the campaign is quite a weird one, and that's the lack of dialogue with one of the main characters that you play as, the guy is called Yuri. At the start you're told that Yuri has this burning passion to kill Makarov, the games main 'bad guy' so to say. Whilst playing as Yuri you never hear him speak, not even in response to commands etc. even though other squad members will be constantly talking to one-another, sharing enemy positions, shouting commands. I'll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, you're given more information about Yuri's hatred during the campaign and you hear him speak his mind quite fluently. Then at another point when you play as a different squad member with Yuri alongside, he's constantly talking in the same sense as every other squad member does. Even though it's quite a minor and weird flaw, this often stopped me from feeling attached to Yuri, and I was baffled at the choice to bring so much dialogue to this previously silent, mysterious character in an area where it isn't needed. Problems like that may not bother everyone, but it certainly left me feeling confused at the choice and not attached to what's one of the games main characters. Overall though the single-player portion is enjoyable, but don't expect too much from it. You're given adrenaline fueled, action packed sequences squeezed into a short campaign, but nothing more than that.


    The game keeps it variated with constant changes in scenery

    Multiplayer
    When I got home with my copy of Modern Warfare 3, the first thing I tried out was the online. After what was admittedly quite a few failed attempts to get into a game I got there eventually, I selected my class, got into the game and started looking around. Immediately my stomach dropped a little with disappointment, it genuinely felt and looked like I was play Black Ops, the previous entry to the Call of Duty franchise. This was until I quickly came into contact with my first enemy, and I soon noticed how wrong I was to judge it like that. They've turned the multiplayer into a much harsher environment in my eyes, the damage given from guns and in conjunction the time taken to kill an enemy has changed quite dramatically. Whereas before, honest players who would move from room to room, using standard guns would feel at a disadvantage to those using the overpowered weapons that we're all familiar with, the game feels like anyone can kill anyone else regardless of weapon. Of course your shotgun isn't going to win a long range battle against a sniper. But whereas before, close range battles could be won using unrealistic tactics with snipers or shotguns, any player with their wits about them can take them out with any gun. Suddenly the game feels much more influenced by your level of skill, not the class you have equipped.

    After a few more games it became clear that I was really satisfied with what I was seeing and playing. Compared to before where you'd see games dominated by those using cheaper tactics, it felt like a completely level playing field in a way. There's the standard large selection of guns, attachments, camo's, perks and explosives to keep you busy for a long time. Each weapon is going to suit a different style of play differently rather than having one or two 'super weapons' being used by everyone. A big addition is 'strike packages' rather than killstreaks. Before, players would be rewarded with killstreak rewards such as choppers and airstrikes for getting kills without dying, but of-course this would motivate players to play selfishly and not help out the team. Straight away this is being combated. There are three different strike packages, assault support and specialist. Assault is in the classic style, your killstreak ends when you die but the rewards are much more satisfying. Support caters for the more teamwork orientated player, instead of being gifted with massive choppers, you gain rewards that help your team. Such as advanced UAV, extra body armor etc. But what's different here is that your streak doesn't reset when you die, which stops you from focusing on not dying, and more on helping out your team complete your objective. The specialist package rewards the player with more perks, turning them into a super-solider so to say by the end. A new feature that again tries to point players in the direction of team play, is that you're gifted the equivalent of a kill on your killstreak for capturing objectives. All of these bring in their own unique dimension to playing the game, and stop the game from feeling a bit stale when you're gaining the same killstreak rewards over and over again.

    There's the standard game-modes featured in every Call of Duty like team deathmatch, domination, search and destroy etc. But the main two changes are the additions of kill confirmed and team defender, and they both try to combat what're viewed as problems by the community. Kill confirmed tries to combat camping (The common name for players sitting in corners waiting for their enemy, rather than going out of their way to find them) in the sense that once you get a kill, you get more points if you go and pickup their dogtags. This brings players out of their hidey-holes and into the open. Team defender is a hectic experience, whoever scores the first kill becomes a VIP and the team objectives are to either defend their own VIP or kill the opposing teams VIP. The team with the VIP earns more points during. Meaning that those wanting to earn more points will try to protect their VIP, again promoting team-work. Those who're liking the sound of Modern Warfare 3's online will be happy to know that there's a massive 80 levels for the player to progress through, and then the prestige system which features ten levels of prestige. You also now unlock 'prestige points' every time you prestige, which can be spent on time with double XP, extra custom classes and a few other things. The game now features a leveling up system for your guns which is how you unlock new attachments and camos. I felt this was disappointing in a way, I always enjoyed getting headshots to unlock camos as a way to show a level of skill, but this is no longer present.


    The more balanced feeling online is a great breath of fresh air

    The maps are varied between size and are all from locations from the singleplayer mode, but in what feels like a new fault for a Call of Duty game, they feel very tied down. By tied down I mean that you aren't so free to climb over everything, climb onto sections of the map or take shortcuts. Instead there are a lot of invisible walls blocking you off, and this felt like a quick way of blocking glitches where the player would have an unfair advantage over others due to the spot they've gotten into. The only other real flaw I found was week one teething issues with the servers. At times it would take five minutes to get into a game due to disconnection to the host in the lobby and a few other problems. This only got worse when playing with a party. There is also the problem of 'lag compensation', where the host feels more lag than others to compensate the difference in connection quality. Again, these only currently feel like teething problems and I'm sure they'll get patched up with time, but I wish they weren't there from the start.

    Ontop of all of the replayability within the competitive multiplayer, there's also spec-ops mode, which features survival and mission mode. Spec-ops is only playable with two players which I found disappointing, it could've been fantastic to organize your way through missions as a four player squad, or to try and survive with four players but still. The mission mode is the same as the one featured in Modern Warfare 2, the player has a set amount of missions, often in similar locations to those found in the campaign to go through with a partner, with varied levels of difficulty. Spec-ops survival is the new mode, you can choose through any of the multiplayer maps, but instead of reaching an objective or facing off against other players, you need to survive against incoming enemies. Sounds like a simple concept, but they've bought in the same leveling system from the competitive multiplayer, meaning that to reach the higher levels you'll want to keep playing and leveling up and unlocking more guns. You'll be fighting against normal ground troops, dogs, enemies covered in C4, helicopters, Juggernauts and other enemies. It gets busy in the later rounds and it's fun to try and navigate it with a partner, using teamwork and communication to help eachother stay alive. Spec-ops is a great addition and brings in even more replayability to the game, but again it's disappointing to have just two player co-op.

    Technical
    I think this may be the first time I've thought it with a Call of Duty game, but at times Modern Warfare 3 can look a little dull. I've tried to stay away from comparing it to Battlefield 3 but I can't help myself here. With Battlefield 3 you have vibrant lights everywhere, buildings dropping around you and it looks and feels like a warzone. With Modern Warfare 3 it feels like you're fighting after the real battle has happened. The city missions and online maps are a delight to look at at times, but when you're battling in a hot country with a sandy colored floor, dusty air and sandy brown buildings, your eyes get a little bored of the amount of brown on display. The game sounds just right, however. The gun sounds sound fierce, the voice-acting is a delight and it really brings the characters alive. Some of the soundtrack work at the end of the online maps doesn't feel that fitting at times. It sounds a little uncharted-esque which doesn't really work at times. The game looks like it's made up of old pre-existing components from other call of duties, other than in the cities. Again that kind of stinks of laziness, which puts a downer on the game at some times. There's nothing wrong with the way the game looks per say. But it's nothing groundbreaking.

    Trophies
    Veteran mode is short and easy, which is disappointing. And the spec-ops trophies don't seem to be mounting much of a challenge. Shouldn't take too long to platinum or cause too much of a headache.

    Closing Thoughts
    I know I'll be playing Modern Warfare 3 for some time online, but the laziness in terms of lack of innovation let it down. The length of the campaign is over-shone by how fun it can be, and the 'copy and paste' feel throughout is over-shone by the thought put into changes being made to the online mode.

    Gameplay: 7/10
    If this was all brand new it'd be a 9/10, it really is great, but it's so lazy considering that the foundations were laid two whole years ago

    Singleplayer: 8/10
    Good fun whilst it lasts, but the length really brings down the experience for me. A few personal problems with it here and there but I can't dispute it being a fun campaign to go through

    Multiplayer: 9/10
    A brilliant experience, they've listened to fan feedback and its worked well. Only a few connection problems let it down

    Technical: 7/10
    I mentioned it during the review and I'll re-state it, the game looks good but it's nothing groundbreaking.

    Overall: 8/10
    Last edited by Gauss; 11-17-2011 at 11:38 AM.

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    Great review, don't agree with the score.

    Still you support your points well and I completely understand where you are coming from... job Curse!
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


    Gauss's Rating Rationale:
    0-1: A game whose very existence is abhorrent to all things creative and intelligent.
    2-4: A just plain bad game.
    5-6: A game that has alot of mistakes, but is atleast playable and has some enjoyable sections. Good for a rent.
    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    I don't think I'd "innovate" either, if I was selling 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 copies every year, and I don't really think it's fair to give low marks for technical and gameplay just because it's the same as what it was... it's the same because it works, and works better than almost anything else out there.

    That being said, your points are all fair and well stated. Nice review.





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    Quote Originally Posted by ONUOsFan View Post
    I don't think I'd "innovate" either, if I was selling 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 copies every year, and I don't really think it's fair to give low marks for technical and gameplay just because it's the same as what it was... it's the same because it works, and works better than almost anything else out there.

    That being said, your points are all fair and well stated. Nice review.
    I think that's the main problem, whilst they're selling that much that they don't need to change a thing to sell more games, which is the ultimate goal they have, to sell games. If they made massive changes and made a better game but it didn't appeal to as many people, I'd imagine that they'd be disappointed. Which is a shame really

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curse View Post
    I think that's the main problem, whilst they're selling that much that they don't need to change a thing to sell more games, which is the ultimate goal they have, to sell games. If they made massive changes and made a better game but it didn't appeal to as many people, I'd imagine that they'd be disappointed. Which is a shame really
    I think this is a matter of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    ONUOs is right. If a formula is right, don't fix it, as it works. But the big question is, how long will this format stay fresh, as opposed to going stale?



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    Very fair review, I can dig it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wandarer View Post
    I think this is a matter of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    ONUOs is right. If a formula is right, don't fix it, as it works. But the big question is, how long will this format stay fresh, as opposed to going stale?
    And if it's so similar, why create another game? Why not just do this as DLC? Oh, because they can get away with adding a 3 on the end.
    Something that's pissed me off with reviews done by 'proper' games journalists is inconsistency in scoring reviews. The main gripe is comparing their reviews of MW3 versus AC: Revelations. The vast majority have said MW3 is practically the same as MW2, but give it a 9 or 10. Then they state that AC: Revelations is the best Assassin's Creed to date, but give it a 7 or an 8. Where is the consistency? I feel a lot of journalists feel pressure to award a high score for MW3 (which they'll never admit for fear of losing integrity and rightfully so) due to the power Activision has in the industry.
    However, I believe that the dickheads going on Metacritic giving MW3 1 or 2 out of 10 are just retarded. Seriously, what the fuck are they thinking? Immature fanboys.
    BTW, Curse, I think your review was great and I think 8/10 is a fair score. Well done.

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    Speaking on the side of the Single-player campaign here, i've just completed it for the 2nd time (on Veteran difficulty, easy as fuck, but helluva lot more enjoyable than any other COD Veteran mode to me), and again I find myself satisfied.


    I'm an absolute sucker for single-player games like this, and MW3 was just the dog's bollocks, even if it was the sameas MW2 maybe, it was just brilliant.

    And I completely agree with you Curse, it's not weird to be disappointed about Yuri, you're exactly right there, barely any character development at all.


    The only problem I have with the Single-player is of course the sheer ridiculous.....-ness of how they avoid 15+ infantry brapping away at them from medium range and not landing a shot (a cliche everyone is already familiar with in every action film ever, and of course every other COD game), and well, any other niggly issues that come to mind.

    e.g:

    Toggle Spoiler

    you know that kinda thing.

    But hell, it's entertainment, I can't rip on such a tradition that's been there since the dawn of time, I hafta let it slide
    ..............bah, humbug.


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    great review bro , i also agree with the score

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ_Keyser View Post
    Something that's pissed me off with reviews done by 'proper' games journalists is inconsistency in scoring reviews. The main gripe is comparing their reviews of MW3 versus AC: Revelations. The vast majority have said MW3 is practically the same as MW2, but give it a 9 or 10. Then they state that AC: Revelations is the best Assassin's Creed to date, but give it a 7 or an 8.
    Um, that's because the same ol' COD is still a lot better than the best AC game to date. Obviously.





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    Good review Curse.

    As a little ti bit for you since you talked about Yuri not talking while playing as him, Frost and Burns were supposed to have voice actors. Don't know what happened to them though.

    I did notice you reviewed MW2 when it came out and gave that a 9/10. Imo, if I was given teh 9/10 and 8/10 scores and had to pair MW2 and MW3 to those scores I would put MW3 at a 9/10 and MW2 with teh 8/10. Not factoring in the Technical or Gameplay ..... I feel MW3 exceeded MW2 in Spec Ops, the SP and in the MP (which only lacks the big maps imo).

    None the less, it was a nice read, good job

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    Quote Originally Posted by ONUOsFan View Post
    Um, that's because the same ol' COD is still a lot better than the best AC game to date. Obviously.
    I shall not hear these words uttered. -.-
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    Quote Originally Posted by ONUOsFan View Post
    Um, that's because the same ol' COD is still a lot better than the best AC game to date. Obviously.
    obviously never played asassins creed then?!
    asassins creed is a far superior game to mw3 if it is a copy and paste of mw2 as it was abysmal

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    Quote Originally Posted by dividsmythe View Post
    obviously never played asassins creed then?!
    asassins creed is a far superior game to mw3 if it is a copy and paste of mw2 as it was abysmal
    Just a matter of personal preference, I guess. I platted ACII and played a decent amount of ACB, whose only redeeming quality was the multiplayer. The SP was nearly identical to ACII and I wasn't all that crazy about it the first time around...

    Anyway, sorry, Curse - didn't mean to turn your review into an argument...





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    Quote Originally Posted by ONUOsFan View Post
    Um, that's because the same ol' COD is still a lot better than the best AC game to date. Obviously.
    I'm not saying one game is better than the other, but these are the same reviewers that gave AC2 a 10 and AC:B a 9. So that's what I mean by inconsistency. If they stuck by how they truly felt, they would have given Revelations a 9 at least as well, judging by how they reviewed MW3, but this has not been the case. They've had opposite reactions for the same reasons, the definition of insanity pretty much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curse View Post
    I think that's the main problem, whilst they're selling that much that they don't need to change a thing to sell more games, which is the ultimate goal they have, to sell games. If they made massive changes and made a better game but it didn't appeal to as many people, I'd imagine that they'd be disappointed. Which is a shame really
    I agree here, I see people hate on games like Uncharted, Batman, Skyrim, Battlefield....almost always mainly because it is a 'rehash'. and yet, some of them absolutely love MW3...which is in effect, a rehash. But more on-topic, I think that when game devs do try to innovate in a game, even if it ends up bad, its still nice to see them take a risk and change it, and usually they listen to feedback, and fix it..I.E. Bioshock, BF3, F3AR, Uncharted 2 and 3, Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, Deus-Ex: Human Revolution, Skyrim..i can go on and on.

    These games all did anywhere from a slight-to-major innovation and tweaks...some turned out great, some...not so much. But the games that didnt, they tend to realize this, and fix their issue...they experiment, they challenge the envelop, they are never satisfied with what they have as their "end-all, perfect" game...nothing is perfect. With other games that dont, it feels like they are just lazy, or like curse said, afraid to make a negative innovation, and have it cost them sales....Its sad that they are afraid that bad.

    ....thats basically it, just wanted to say that for anyone who thinks that the whole "if it works, dont fix it" thing is perfectly, 100% OK to do

    Please....dont rep me thank you

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    yo this a review on COD you can't compare AC to COD. there both different games.

    over all great review and I agree with the score 8/10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevetsteven2 View Post
    yo this a review on COD you can't compare AC to COD. there both different games.

    over all great review and I agree with the score 8/10.
    Yo, I wasn't comparing either game to the other at all, I was pointing at inconsistency in reviewing by most 'official' game journalists. I made that statement to point out just how great I thought Curse's review was in comparision. He did not feel the need to give this game a perfect score, nor did he feel the need to trash it, and unfortunately most people's opinions on the COD series fall into one of two camps- the haters and the players. Curse did not fall into a trap of trying to please anyone else but himself with the review and it shows. I agree with his 8/10 score, I think MW3 deserves just that. It's a great game, but not much of an innovation on previous titles. It's just funny how when you look at IGN for example, they have rated MW3 9/10 and AC: Revelations 7.5/10 FOR EXACTLY THE SAME REASONS, except they stated that Revelations was bigger an improvement over previous titles than MW3. Doesn't make sense, does it?

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    I think this is a fair score, I have not played the game yet but a lot of people are stating it has nothing really new, but is fun. Which I think an 8 is fair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dividsmythe View Post
    obviously never played asassins creed then?!
    asassins creed is a far superior game to mw3 if it is a copy and paste of mw2 as it was abysmal
    AC is awesome don't get me wrong but i wouldn't say that , seems like everyone is saying Modern Warfare 3 is a "Copy & paste" but uhm why would you change something that isn't broken idk its all about opinions , but fanboyism plays a major role in peoples opinions. i for one am a big ass COD fanboy lol which is why i think its the superior game (Online anyways)

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