Crisp visuals enhance gameplay

Crisp visuals enhance gameplay

provided by Activision

A screenshot from “Modern Warfare 3,” the eighth installment in Activision’s “Call of Duty” franchise, shows the game’s attention to graphical details.

Martin Chang, Online Editor

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” has a campaign that is a focused, well-realized thrill ride that offers detail and variety at a higher level then previous “Call of Duty” games. Yet, other than some new multiplayer tweaks and modes, the game play is too similar to the previous games.

The game picks up directly after where “Modern Warfare 2” ended when a rebel group of Russian soldiers are trying to prevent the series’ villain, Makarov, from plunging the world into World War III, which has begun its first battles.

The World War III motif is used as a way of spanning the globe. The locations you travel to are everywhere from Wall Street, to German castles, to London, to smaller scale moments like preventing an assassination on a plane and crawling in London’s sewers. The events at these locations are never boring, huge buildings are exploding and the place you are standing falls apart right underneath you, the action and excitement keeps up throughout the entire campaign. In this campaign, you experience all the different situations and action set pieces a player would want out of “Call of Duty.”

The developers were wise to set much of the campaign in urban areas, the destruction and killing always had the most impact when set in the places people live and know. The gunfights in expansive European streets are the highlight of the game. It gives the campaign a focus on the plot and a focus on what is best about the “Call of Duty” single player experience.

The thing that really makes this campaign stand out from the others is the attention given to the details and design of the campaign’s visuals. People have long complained of the “Call of Duty” franchise looking grey and boring. That criticism was taken to heart, and the game’s visuals pop at a higher level.

The leap in visuals was achieved by an attention to detail. The use of lighting and color give the game a dynamic look that the games have never really had. When you go to the same kinds of places, each looks different. For the first time in three games, the world of “Call of Duty” seems alive, instead of empty and sterile. Even the explosions and building destruction seems to have been created with more care and thought.

These elements make the campaign the best of the last three games in the series, but one thing holds it back from being perfect. That’s its stringent adherence to the “Call of Duty” game play formula. It is a pattern familiar to fans of the series. You duck behind cover and shoot many enemies. You pilot vehicles in on-rail sequences. Oftentimes, you do these things in the same order from level to level.

Some players, especially returning ones, will find themselves getting bored of doing the same thing again. They will simply go through the paces in order to see and experience the campaign while others may not mind doing these familiar tasks.

The same attention to detail and variety in the campaign has been paid to the multiplayer maps. The maps look more interesting and the locations feel more varied, than they have in the past. In the same way, the maps feel more alive.

The competitive multiplayer offers the same heart-pounding, level-based gameplay that has made the series popular.

The most exciting addition to multiplayer is the survival mode. In it, you fight wave after wave of enemies, and in between rounds you buy and upgrade your weapons.

It has its own leveling system, and feels like a significant addition to the game. It is fun and satisfying to shoot these waves of enemies with the snappy feeling of the multiplayer. For those that have wanted this in “Call of Duty,” it is the experience they wanted.