The latest Modern Warfare 3 Campaign has taken a lot of heat, even IGN gave it a 4 out of 10. Fans were disappointed as they expected the norm they got from all past Campaign modes, a cinematic Hollywood-style storyline. It also got a user score of 1.6 based on 512 user ratings on Metacritic. It fell short of these expectations as the campaign mode is one the shortest ones yet and has barely any interactive cinematic sequences. The Playable Campaign Missions has 6 open-combat ones that resemble DMZ from Call of Duty: Warzone. In contrast with their multiplayer, Call of Duty shines ever so bright with multiple engaging game modes, cross-play, and weekend events that will have players hooked for a year till the next instalment.
What kind of name is Soap?
Since the First Call of Duty back in 2003, The franchise has come a long way in its rich two-decade history. With titles from the last generation till the latest, Call of Duty has stayed strong in developing blockbuster cinematic campaigns, with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare having the most iconic one in the series. In the past, Call of Duty games had richer and more interactive campaign missions where players would deeply engage with the protagonist and truly feel his anger towards the terror groups he was taking down. However, the multiplayer scene was not their strong suit.
There has been a shift of focus from Game developers to emphasize more on online-play rather than the campaign story. This has been due to the microtransactions surge in online games, gone were the days when players would meet up at their friend’s place to play HALO or Call of Duty among each other on just one screen. Those were simpler times, but dull if compared to the Online FPS scene now. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 might have a rushed story, but by keeping it secondary to multiplayer, it did not deserve so much hate from critics.
Where It Fell Short
The Modern Warfare 3 campaign has been getting a lot of hate, especially among game giant critics. I mean IGN’s review was a bit too harsh. That has to do with the campaign being shorter than usual, fewer cinematic sequences, Open-Combat Missions, and the abrupt ending that got under everyone’s skin. To those fans who feel betrayed, stating that they paid for a $70 DLC instead, Captain Price and Task Force 141 will be redeemed as you read further. Let’s dissect each argument to see why it is not as bad as everyone is claiming it to be.
Short yet Sweet
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 campaign is by far one of the shortest in their history. We can’t go around this one. You can complete it in a sitting for 3 to 4 hours, if you want to enjoy Open-Combat missions, then that could take the max to about 7 hours or so. This is still too short, and there is a reason for it.
The focus has shifted to online multiplayer, which we will discuss further in detail. Modern Warfare 3 had an amazing start to their first mission. The water effects, rain, the sound of the storm, it is all beautifully set. Playing as a soldier from the other side, working your way with NVGs to get Prisoner 627 out was gorgeous. This time, Prisoner 627 wasn’t Captain Price. It was the man you should direct your hate towards. Another mission, named Passenger, was one of the most haunting, adrenaline-pumped missions in the series. You must play it to experience it.
The Choice is Yours
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 campaign is exactly what you would expect, with the addition of open-combat missions that make us feel like re-attempting missions as we did back in Metal Gear Solid 5. I understand why this got so much hate because it broke from the narrative. It changed the pace of play. I remember playing “Precious Cargo” and being utterly confused about how I had the option to go anywhere I wanted, it did throw me off initially. However, the more I played, the more it got me hooked.
On the bright side, you can try attempting Open-Combat Missions in many ways, and once you have unlocked all weapons and gear, it adds to the fun. Try out quietly assassinating everyone on the map with suppressed weapons, or just use explosive force with heavy hitters and cause destruction. The choice is yours. The downside is it feels like a DMZ Mission; however, it was very enjoyable, and there was a change of pace during gameplay.
If you look at the story, it is a build-up to more campaign stories ahead for fans to anticipate because Makarov is back with blood-thirsty vengeance. He was the antagonist in the old-generation Modern Warfare Series. This time, he is more ruthless, volatile, and dangerous than ever.
A Shift in Focus
Times are changing, and so are FPS-style games. There was a time when the maximum number of players on a map could just be 8 players. There was a time when 4 friends could hook up their console to a TV and play a game of Halo or Call of Duty on just one screen, times have truly changed. Most first-person shooters are focusing more and more on online multiplayer. That is where the true competition lies among Shooter Games. Aaron Halon, studio head at Sledgehammer Games has stated there will be a whole year of new content coming.
The plus side to multiplayer play is that the game stays alive. Developers can keep adding content to their games for players to buy through DLCs. Everyone stays happy. The single-player mode has become less of a focus for game developers. Battlefield had one of the nicest campaign modes, but they got shorter over time and completely removed in their last Battlefield 2042 release, now it is just another online multiplayer title. The amount of time developers take on creating and refining multiplayer play has also increased. There are multiple online game modes to choose from, if you want to further read, click here.
Respect to the Developers
To be fair, the developers got 16 months to bring this game to life. Previously, Call of Duty Games were on rotating three-year cycles. This title has the shortest dev cycle in Call of Duty History. There have been rumours that initially Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was going to be an expansion of Modern Warfare 2, and Activision later decided they wanted a ‘real’ Call of Duty game to be sold during the holiday season of 2023.
Activision denies this now, but a dozen current and former employees say that’s what they were told in some form or another. In such a short amount of time, getting the campaign, multiplayer, and zombies ready for release is I think a big win for developers. Under pressure they didn’t mess up, it’s just fans have high expectations from this franchise as the last two campaigns from the series have gotten a lot of praise.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is a brilliant, story-driven game with great cinematic visuals, intense gunfight scenarios, and emotionally fueled traumatic scenes that players can easily reflect on with the current situation of wars around the world. We can have high expectations for the next instalment of Call of Duty Campaign as the complaints from fans and their harsh reviews have been heard loud and clear.