by Will Murtha
The Call of Duty series is seeing great success, but mainly for its multiplayer gameplay. However, what the franchise does really well is its single player campaign. Picking right up from the ending of Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3 starts out with a bang. The first two missions titled “Black Tuesday” and “Hunter Killer” have you trying to stop invaders from taking over New York City. From there the game never really slows down. This fifteen mission campaign has you traveling all over the world, across London, Paris, Berlin, New York City and Sierra Leone, among others. The storyline revolves around two main characters, Captain Price and Soap, and a new character, Yuri, trying to take out Vladimir Makarov, the leader of a Russian terrorist group called the Ultranationalists. With part of the campaign focusing on Price, Soap and Yuri, the other part has you playing as America’s Delta Force and Britain’s SAS forces trying to counter the terrible acts of terrorism by the Ultranationalists.
While the campaign is hard to follow at times because of the constant jumping around from place to place and faction to faction, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer seemingly created the best campaign in the series. The constant battling you face during each mission keeps the adrenaline pumping especially while the difficulty is set on veteran, the highest it can go. Seeing acts of terrorism, along with the destruction of cities such as New York and Berlin, helps you rally behind your character and the team you’re fighting with, which is good because not caring what happens in any story of any game can ruin anyone’s experience. This game offers up two of the most epic first person shooter missions around in “Blood Brothers” and “Down the Rabbit Hole.” Overall, though, all the missions are very good, and enjoyable to play through. But, like other Call of Duties, the campaign is very short. I beat it in five hours and twenty minutes.
If you don’t want to play the campaign or you’re tired of multiplayer, you can sit down to play Spec Ops. This mode, returning from Modern Warfare 2, has you executing missions alone or with a friend in which you must complete an objective together. Your tasks include killing a specific target, freeing hostages, or quietly sneaking into an area to take some intel and escape.
As you continue down the list of missions they become increasingly difficult. A brand new mode added to Spec Ops is the Survival mode. You and a friend are put up against endless waves of enemies. Like Zombies in Treyarch’s Call of Duties, the survival mode gets harder as you increase in rounds. The enemies you face are different each round. You could fight helicopters, dogs, the regular infantry or the heavily armored juggernauts, which are a real pain.
Spec Ops is a great change of pace from the multiplayer. It’s something that allows you to kick back, relax and enjoy. Playing through the missions won’t get your blood boiling like the multiplayer will. Survival is a great addition. It adds something for people to keep coming back to. You can only beat the campaign and the Spec Ops missions so many times. Survival will have people coming back, trying to get into higher rounds than before. The players also can try different strategies then the last time. The ability to purchase kill streaks such as sentry guns and predator missiles helps you deal with the massive amounts of enemies and aircraft. Survival mode ultimately gives the player more replay value in a game with a ton to begin with.
The graphics are not too different from Modern Warfare 2. Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer utilize the same engine as before, with only minor improvements. Granted, everything looks cleaner, especially the environments. Guns also look better with much more detail.
Single player is often lost in the shuffle in Call of Duty games. But the roller coaster campaign tosses you between very intense moments of all-out war and discreet stealth objectives in a matter of seconds. This campaign brilliantly wraps up the story that began with Call of Duty 4. And if that’s not enough, Spec Ops is a great way to spend more time with the game. Regardless, the single player portions should not be ignored.
Singleplayer/ Spec Ops score- 8.5 out of 10