With Activision’s mega franchise gearing up for yet another spectacular release into the gaming calendar later this year, fans across the globe will be asking whether Modern Warfare 3 can bring the good stuff. The pressure is absolutely enormous on the studios involved (Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer, Beachhead) simply because of just how successful previous titles have been and the time frame in which they have to best their own company’s performance.
For the majority of players, Call Of Duty is all about the multiplayer in the long term. The multiplayer arena is the reason why Black Ops (which came out late last year) is still fetching around £25/$35 pre-owned while Dead Space 2 (released only this January) is barely staying above £10/$20. So the big question is, whether the MW3 multiplayer will amaze and enthuse.
The biggest danger that the studio can fall prey to is the fact that Call Of Duty continuingly regurgitates its ideas, playing everything very safely and innovating very little and in small doses. The franchise is not famous for introducing heaps of new mechanics, game modes, or features at once. Rather, they warily feed their fans bite size updates of new content to keep them on the peaceful side of boredom. If Activision aren’t bold enough and careful at the same time, they threaten to make their multiplayer simply feel like a new set of tires on the same old car.
Sadly and perhaps understandably, we’ve had very little by way of preview info on what exactly the multiplayer will offer. Other than the fair assumption that it will include the usual collection of free for all, team deathmatches, CTF’s, zone control modes, we know very little. We’ve got no indication that wager matches will be making a return, and we’d be foolish to expect the hugely successful zombie mode to pop up in Modern Warfare 3.
Many critics note that the generic cardboard survival mode simply won’t hack it for players who’ve dabbled in undead slaying co-op. Wager matches are often cited as the best thing about the Black Ops multiplayer; the adrenaline fuelled free-for-all quick fire matches proving to be massively popular. Gamers express disappointment that there hasn’t been any more content for Wager matches in the DLC packs. Are they actually going to let the genuinely enjoyable experimental lobby starve itself?
On the plus side however, people seem to prefer the sound and feel of the punchier weapons from the Modern Warfare series. The arsenal in Black Ops was criticized for being a bit ‘soft’ at times (obviously as people got used to it, it wasn’t so much of an issue) with players seeming to find more intuitive satisfaction in using the more modern weaponry. Remember that in FPS games, this is a subtle but important point, MW3 has this advantage over its predecessor already. Maybe come November we’ll see kids setting the gun sounds as their notifications sounds on their phones *sighs*.
The Modern Warfare 3 team teased a while back that some of Battlefields’ most iconic and impressive features will be emulated in the new Call Of Duty game, slyly suggesting they plan to start treading into their rival franchises’ territory. Whether or not Modern Warfare 3 can trump DICE on things like destructible environments and huge scale maps, is yet to be revealed.
Can Activision actually reproduce some of the finest ingredients in the Battlefield chemistry set? And even if they did, would it still play like the razor sharp, ninja reaction Call Of Duty we’re all accustomed to? It’s a very precise balance but would it matter? Also worth considering is that Infinity Ward isn’t really the same studio that produced MW2, a huge chunk have left and formed a rival company under EA, including the two lead figures.
The final biggest obstacle MW3 potentially faces is post launch problems. Blacks Ops notoriously had to undergo a full course of multiple patches designed to amend any major problems players were encountering online. Even after all the modifications, fixes and plugs, Black Ops still has frustrating and inexplicable bugs.
Bugs, glitches and all related jazz were the single most significant category of criticism Treyarch’s game suffered at launch. Infinity Ward recently confirmed that they had enlisted the help of an outside group to help play test the stability of the multiplayer further while it is still being developed. They have to get this right, because this area in particular is going to be under close scrutiny in November and probably until the following November.
Please share your thoughts below folks, what do you make of all this?