On November 2nd (or 1st, depending on where you live), the Modern Warfare 3 campaign went live exclusively for pre-order customers. However, it quickly became apparent that many of those early-access Call of Duty fans were overwhelmingly disappointed with what was on offer, slamming the campaign drawn up by Sledgehammer Games and ranking it as potentially the worst in the history of the twenty-year-old franchise.
Is MW3 That Bad?
Modern Warfare 3’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it campaign can be crushed in around three hours, making it the shortest story to ever grace the series. It’s almost an afterthought, with each mission lasting what seems like mere minutes, unable to be meaningfully extended by the thinly spread pretence of choice, consequence, and a multi-faceted approach to objectives.
Seriously, there are perhaps two missions that require a specific approach – every other task can be accomplished with a run-and-gun attitude that’ll see you eat up each stage in no time at all.
Let’s get damning for a second.
Makarov’s presence seems wasted and he ultimately becomes a mere tool to advance the plot – and even that’s done haphazardly.
Everything is too fast – we travel the globe and go from country to country in the blink of an eye, leaving no sense that anything is ‘important’.
There are duplicated sequences in missions and three or four times, players are tasked with killing an HVT to obtain a keycard to open a locked door – that’s it.
There’s a major death that feels like an absolute waste of time and is used as more of a checkbox than anything else.
There are strange time jumps in the plot and the whole thing feels unnecessarily convoluted, with Makarov’s core plan unfolding with a bizarre sense of overcomplexity.
They’re some of the core reasons why the community at large seems to be incredibly disappointed with Modern Warfare 3.
It’s short, speedy, and serves as nothing more than a brief extension to Modern Warfare 2’s story, and potentially a segue into Modern Warfare 4 (yes, I’m calling it).
If the carry-over content wasn’t a damning enough indicator, the scope and duration of Modern Warfare 3’s campaign basically prove it was, at one point, designed to be a DLC expansion for Modern Warfare 2 (2022). It could have been something like Modern Warfare 2: The Rise of Makarov, you know?
There are plenty of quirky one-liners and some easter eggs to be uncovered, but ultimately, it feels like nothing was designed to long the game out. In some ways, it feels like Call of Duty: Warzone with a narrative. Some elements are stripped directly from the battle royale game, leaving a familiar but confusing taste in some players’ mouths.
If there’s anything positive to say about MW3, it’s that the characters are well-acted (as always), the graphics and visuals are absolutely mind-blowing, and the gunplay gives us a neat look at what’s to come in the multiplayer offering.
Modern Warfare 3 will launch in full on November 10th, and players can start getting their teeth stuck into the multiplayer and Zombies offering.