Stepping Onto the Battlefield: Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer First Impressions
Dropping into the middle of a firefight with no idea which way the enemy is coming can be quite the experience. And it is one I live for! I am always excited to get into a new game, at least new to me. With school constraints this past semester I wasn’t able to hop into Modern Warfare 3 as soon as it came out but I was able to pick it up yesterday for the first time. Let me tell you something, when the game has been live for a little over a month and a half…you get worked the first few matches. So I am going to talk about some of the stuff you can expect in the next installation of Modern Warfare.
The maps in this game feel a lot smaller than previous versions. I have yet to find my favorite map, which is strange because I usually find it within the first couple hours. For example, Overgrown and Crash were two of my favorites in Call of Duty 4. Sadly there are no standout maps for me this time around, maybe after a few more hours of play I will come to love one. I hope.
They all fell really small, compact, and fast paced though. I think this helps a lot with camping issues, and keeps the match on a players toes. The other upside to these smaller maps is less chance to get sniped. The downside is of course if you are a huge fan of sniping. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many times I have been sniped, but it is considerably less than in previous version of the game. The other downside of having such a small map is that I found myself getting stuck on other players, that resulted in me getting killed because I couldn’t get to cover. I think making players be able to move through friendlies would help with the quality of game play in the long run.
The usual cast makes it appearance. You choose from Assault Rifles, SMGs, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles and of course the Riot Shield. There has been some rearranging of the gun unlocks, with some new future weapons included in the list. Most notable being the Barrett .50 Cal as a starting Sniper Rifle. Something new this time around is gun leveling. So far it doesn’t take to much to level a gun up and get attachments and camouflage/special sights. I actually prefer this method of unlocking new items for a gun, because all it requires you to do is use it. Every gun has its own level, so you will need to level each one individually. I am keeping my eyes open for a gun to get my first gold camouflage for at the higher gun levels!
Perks and Kill Streaks
There isn’t to much difference in the perks category. it is mostly the same. I will point out one new perk though: Stalker. It allows the user to run faster while looking down the sights, and its pro version delays the detonation of things such as a Claymore. The entire list can be found here. The kill streaks are actually quite interesting this time around. Each class setup gets its own kill streak setup. You unlock new kill streaks by playing with your set up. The more you play with it the more unlocks you get, naturally. But there are also three different kill streak modes: Assault, Support and Specialist. You might be wondering why there are three, and I will tell you why!
Assault plays the way it normally has with up to 3 kill streaks chosen. If you die the kills reset and you have to regain the kill streak. Support on the other hand has more defensive perks, with things such as upgraded UAV (like the old blackbird) and kills dont reset on death. Yeah, you read that right. Kills don’t reset on death. This is great if kill streaks are not your strong suit or if you are more of a defensive player. But its not all defensive, stealth bombing is one of the perks under this category. Finally, specialist follows the rule of Assault and resets the kill streak upon death. But rather than giving the player UAVs, Crates and Planes the specialist gives the user perks. Pretty much every perk in the game is available, but it allows the player to switch perks mid life. While this might not be optimal for most players, it gives an interesting min/max effect to the call of duty series that has not been seen before. If used right, this can be a deadly kill streak system.
In Modern Warfare 3 the ranks go from 1-80. Of course there is prestiging in this. It wouldnt be a Call of Duty without it! This time there are 10 levels, but there is a new addition to this as well. After prestiging the first time, you unlock the prestige shop, where you can customize what you get. You can get new titles and emblems, double XP for 2 hours, another class, or anything else on the list with 1 prestige token. You get the token for prestiging of course. And if you prestiged in any other CoD, you get a maximum of 1 token per game. This is an interesting way to help out and give players an incentive to prestige. I spent my token from Black Ops for double XP and that was a really nice boost when I started out!
This is going to be another really solid online experience that myself, and many other will sink hours of their time. Just be ready for small, action packed maps. Aside from my few map complaint, I can’t wait to get back into the fight. I have many more hours before I retire this game to the shelf!