Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Preview

Everyone cant wait to their grubby little hands on the newest offering in the Modern Warfare franchise and the excitement is palpable. Everywhere you look people are talking about it, Tweeting about it, or otherwise just being a general nuisance about it. Call of Duty has morphed into pretty much a franchise that gives us a yearly offering, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. There's also a supposed COD-killer du jour that we have to consider every year as well. With all the excitement, and a dash of skepticism, out there let's take a second to look at what we can expect.

Same Old, Same Old or Something New?

No matter what developers have worked on the Call of Duty franchise we have seen improvements in every new game that comes out. In single player, we get more control over our character, better set pieces, and better graphics. In multiplayer, we have developers that actually listen to the community and pay attention to what's going on in their matches. As such, everyone's online experience playing that game, generally speaking, gets better and better as time goes on.

The downside, of course, is that with a new game hitting the shelves nearly every year you have to wonder if developers infinity Ward have had enough time to really implement any meaningful changes. Gamers are a notoriously fickle lot, however, and the developers of the COD franchise seem to be playing us like a drum. In other words, on one hand they know there are a lot of us looking for something fresh and new enough to make us want to sink our hard-earned money and time into it and on the other there is a good portion of gamers that fear any sort of change. All these gamers want is new maps, new perks, and new guns. Give them that and they'll be satisfied. Change the game overly much, even if only to make it more accessible (and thereby selling more copies), and they'll be crying and moaning to anyone that will listen.

Modern Warfare 3's developers have this down to a science. They aren't going to blow your mind by doing something unprecedented, they're going to keep doing what they've been doing - and dominating the market in the process. They've got professional athletes and celebrities playing their games above all others and promoting them seemingly for free because they love the games. They do shooters right and if it ain't broke don't fix it one could say.

What We've Seen and Heard

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 PreviewThe trailers we've seen for COD: MW 3 as far as single player goes look great, and that's to be expected. Buildings are destroyed, there's some weird environments and battles, a real bad guy to hate, and mayhem ensues. Nothing particularly new there, but it's done so well that not many can really turn their collective noses up at it.

Some of the aspects of the multiplayer is undoubtedly where there has been the most interest. These kinds of games are really all about the multiplayer, let's face it. For Modern Warfare 3, Infinity Ward has focused on accessibility. You can practically hear the collective groans already, but ultimately they are always going to look to appeal to a broader market - that's just the way it is.

To do so, they've altered the killstreak system somewhat. Instead of just killstreaks for everyone, they've developed "Strike Packages" that let people play in three different styles of play and still be rewarded like those who are going purely for a good Kill/Death ratio. Strike Packages fall into three categories: Assault, Support, and Specialist. The Assault Package works pretty much like the old killstreak system - if you hate changes to your precious COD you'll want to stick with Assault.

The Support package focuses on being a team player; you get awarded points for capturing control points and generally being supportive of your team (and killing those on the other team of course). You keep the points you earn even after dying, which eliminates the connection to killstreaks nicely.

The Specialist package is really a nod towards expert players that don't want to play the standard infantryman. With this package you unlock perks that you can play instantly in the match when you rack up kills. So in other words, you start out with the three perk slots you've chosen, and a few minutes into the game you could have doubled that amount if you're good. This allows you to focus on pure speed/movement perks to get you to a control point, for example. By the time you've reached that control point, you've probably killed a few enemies and unlocked additional perks that will allow you to better defend that control point. You lose all those perks when you die though, so you have to be good to take advantage of the Specialist.

As if all that wasn't enough, we have a weapon-leveling system that lets you get better with a weapon the more you use it and a new game mode called Kill Confirmed in which you collect dog tags from fallen enemies by running over their fallen body. So instead of long-range combat, Kill Confirmed will get those campers out of their corners and perches by making them run out and collect the dog tags from the guy they just shot from 100 yards away. You can rack up all the kills you want, but you don't get the points until those tags are collected. Infinity Ward has also previewed user-generated game modes that may allow you to see your private game work make its way to the general gaming public, a "prestige shop" and a system of loyalty awards - all of which we'll undoubtedly learn more about in the days to come.

Let's Face It - It's Gonna Be Awesome

By all appearances, Modern Warfare 3 is going to be another smash hit. Enough people love it that the developers could conceivably coast on their success, but they're actually making improvements to open the game up to casual gamers and those like me that play way too many games to sink hours into just one game but still want to play the current Big Thing. What do you think? Will you be playing MW3?

Article by - Brett Huffman

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