Ah, another Christmas, another addition to my CoD collection. This year, I finally got my copy of Modern Warfare 3 - arguably one of the most talked-about games of 2011. I expected great things from IW's latest release... and I was not disappointed.
Right from the start, MW3 wastes no time in plunging you into action. One of your first missions demonstrates this perfectly. You are Frost, part of a Delta Force team* sent to destroy a Russian jammer on the roof of the New York Stock Exchange that is holding back the US war effort. The whole city is a warzone - buildings are levelled, Hinds buzz past overhead, fighter jets streak across the sky. Make no mistake. This is not some little "conflict" - this is an all-out war.
MW3's campaign, admittedly, is a little short (approx. 5½-6 hours for me on Recruit), but it is one of the most intense campaigns I have seen in a game, period. From the streets of New York, to the jungles of Africa, to the snowy Siberian plains, MW3's campaign doesn't let up for a moment. One of the most memorable scenes of the game, IMO, is at the end of Iron Lady. Your squad is trapped on a bridge in Paris, desperately holding out against what looks like an entire battalion of Russian soldiers. The feeling of fighting in a "last stand" scenario like that is fantastic. Then, as the evac choppers finally show up, we see what is arguably the most impressive scene in the game. Friendly fighter jets come in on a strafing run - and then the Eiffel Tower slowly, incredibly, topples over. I am sure that you will agree with me when I say that that scene is 100% deserving of a deeply impressed, "Wow".
Sorry, I seem to have gone off on a bit of a rant there. I'll just say that the campaign is epic, and leave it at that.
Now, the graphics. I was suitably impressed by them as well - the MW3 engine does its job well. I was a bit disappointed though to see that there were still a couple of minor glitches that hadn't been ironed out - enemy ragdolls still judder about on the ground after you kill them. It's not a major issue, but I still would have preferred to see them fixed.
I haven't gone online as of yet, so no comment on MP for now. But, if it is half as good as SP, I will be more than satisfied.
So, in conclusion, MW3 is yet another triumph for Infinity Ward. I'll be enjoying it alongside another great FPS, Resistance 3, for many months to come.
*Some people will tell you that playing as a member of Delta is stupid, as they would never be sent onto the front lines in real life. These are the same people who will tell you that the AK-74u should be called the AKS-74u. Ignore them.
Lasting appeal: 19.5/20
Total Score: 93.5/100