A number of mistakes have been made with the launch of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare III. Let’s list a few:
- Activision rushed the game out the gates, for one thing, which mostly resulted in a half-baked campaign. But honestly, 99% of players don’t care that much about the campaign.
- The feeling that this was all supposed to be DLC before a major pivot has created a stink around the whole thing, and the campaign is the best evidence that this is true. That the maps are all MW2 (2009) maps lends credence to this theory.
- Call Of Duty HQ is a mess, forcing players to load MWIII and then quit and reload if they want to play MWII or Warzone. Very clunky and not user-friendly.
But to me, these are all side issues when it comes to whether or not the game itself is any good, and the answer to that question is: Absolutely. In fact, the more I play multiplayer (which is the core of any Call Of Duty experience) the more I’m enjoying it, to the point that I am quickly having more fun than I’ve had with any Call Of Duty in years. It very much feels like a blend of MWII and Black Ops Cold War, and that’s a pretty great combination. Add in all the nostalgic maps from 2009—but with better graphics and way better movement—plus a bunch of new guns, and I’m having a blast.
Here’s the thing, though. The game has an identity crisis that I think is mostly caused by something that at first I thought sounded like a good idea: Carrying forward all those guns from Modern Warfare II. All your guns and attachments follow you from that game, leading to a huge arsenal to choose from in MWIII.
And that sucks. Honestly, it creates an unwieldy, unbalanced monstrosity. Players can join lobbies kitted out with all the guns they’ve been using for the past year, fully leveled or decked out with powerful blueprints. I can only imagine what a balancing nightmare this is for the developers.
More than that, however, it changes the nature of what we’ve come to expect from a new Call Of Duty title at launch. Normally, everybody is on a relatively level playing field, unlocking all the new guns and gear and so forth at the same time (obviously some players will do this faster, but you get the point). Now, instead of everyone competing using essentially the same limited arsenal, instead it’s just this madhouse of weapons from across both games.
It’s also harder to track what you have from each game. There’s not a filter to just turn off MWII guns so you can focus on the new stuff. Instead, you have to wade through far too many options when you’re putting together loadouts. It’s annoying. I find myself annoyed whenever I’m killed by someone using a gun from MWII. It feels cheap and it makes this game feel less like its own thing.
I get why Activision made this call, and I was happy about it in theory. But in practice, it’s just messy and it takes away something special from these first weeks of a new COD going live. And honestly, I think this applies to Operators and skins as well. Usually we have this month-long period of mil-sim style Operators and no Bunny Rabbits or Snoop Doggs. The game eventually descends into all sorts of silly, but for a few weeks at least we’re not up against Nicki Minaj and a rat dude. Again, a filter turning off stupid skins would be nice. (I’m not against stupid skins like this, but it would be cool if we could only see mil-sim defaults if we wanted to).
In any case, I’m still loving multiplayer. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty damn fun. Don’t listen to the reviews and pay no mind to the constant wailing and gnashing of teeth at reddit. MWIII is a blast. I just wish it got to be its own game, and not some weird hybrid existing in the liminal space between the DLC it was originally intended as, and the full game release it eventually became.