Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 preview
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"Sorry mate, I can't revive you yet - I'm sexting"...
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is extremely likely to be the biggest selling game of the year. I know it, you know it, and even your grandparents - who’ve never so much as looked at one of them new, fangled game machines - probably know it.
And why shouldn’t it be? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest selling game of 2009, while Black Ops sold an even higher number to become the most popular title of 2010. So, it came as no surprise to see Activision’s hype machine in full force at The Eurogamer Expo in London’s Earl’s Court centre, with plenty queuing for hours to get their hands on Modern Warfare 3. Many of them will certainly line up again to get a copy as soon as it’s released on 8th November.
Most players will dive straight into the online multiplayer, the thing that’s helped established Call of Duty as the most successful game of our time. However, dig a little deeper into Modern Warfare 3 and you’ll find a new game mode, the one that Activision was showing off to the crowds at Eurogamer. It’s called ‘Survival’ and it combines two of Call of Duty’s co-op gameplay modes; it brings together the two player gameplay of Modern Warfare 2’s Spec Ops and combines it with Black Ops’ popular Zombie mode.
Like Zombie mode, the goal of Survival is to do just that, survive for as long as possible. But this time it isn’t zombies that’ll be causing you trouble, but the more familiar style of enemy resembling those of the Modern Warfare single player campaigns.
The Survival map being shown off at Eurogamer was ‘Dome’, with the landscape being dominated by - you guessed it - a giant dome; one abandoned, Cold War era desert command bunker. There isn’t much of a story here - you and your co-op partner are dropped off at the scene and told you’re on your own. The goal is to survive as long as possible while waves of enemies attempt to kill you as quickly as possible (Black Hawk Down anyone? - Ed)
Things start of simple...thankfully... as you’re only armed with a pistol to begin with. However, with only a handful of lightly armed enemies running at you, with a role that seems to scream ‘bullet absorption', I wouldn't be too worried. However, things quickly get more difficult and by the fifth wave or so you’ll have seen vast swathes of regular enemies, suicide bombers and even a combat helicopter. Each enemy you kill rewards you with money; money which can then be spent on items that will give you a better chance of survival. You see, at the end of each wave, you're not only given time to relax, but also to compose your thoughts and purchase new ammunition and gun-power.
First of all, don’t ask why as a Special Operatives soldier you need to provide your own equipment, and secondly, don’t even think about how the magic item dispensing crates even work. All you need to know is that so long as you have the cash to spend, they’ll help make your life a lot easier.
There are three crates to choose from. The first is your standard guns and ammo stash which you visit to replenish your ammo supply and buy new, more powerful weapons. There’s the stash you go to for grenades and armour, both of which are useful to the Spec Ops soldier with a desire to survive. And finally, there’s a special stash containing a variety of perks designed to make your life much easier.
My chosen perk during my time with this Modern Warfare 3’s new addition was a deployment of A.I. controlled allied troops which were effective. ‘Why do you need the A.I. to help you when you have a human teammate?’ Well my friend, my team-mate, was absolutely useless. Now I’m not the greatest CoD player in the world - in fact I’d probably struggle to be classed as below average - but at least I was attempting to play the game by using cover, moving around and killing enemies.
My teammate however, despite having queued up for some time to get his hands on Modern Warfare 3 seemed more concerned about texting. I needed support to take down the oncoming militia, but I had to get it from grenades and A.I. soldiers rather than my teammate. It was frustrating, but demonstrated how very important teamwork is in Survival.
In order to succeed in this mode, watching your partners back is the key as enemies spawn from all around you. If you are unfortunate enough to be taken down by your foes, you have 90 seconds – or until the round ends when all your enemies are dead – for your teammate to get you back on your feet. That’s right, to win a round, both of you need to be on your feet to progress to the next wave.
Unfortunately, when my Spec Ops soldier was shot down I didn’t have anyone coming to my rescue; I slowly bled out as my “partner” stood their concentrating on his mobile phone. So that was it, my time with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s new survival mode came to an abrupt end because of an inept teammate. Is this why soldiers don’t take mobile phones to war?
Nonetheless, despite my look at Survival being cut short, it’s evident that this co-op mode could become popular among Modern Warfare 3 players. After all, it combines the action of Spec Ops with the addictive ‘let’s see how long we can last’ nature of the ever so popular zombie modes. It’s the simple, fun gameplay, combined with this hook that has kept Call of Duty fans entertained over the years. It looks like Modern Warfare 3 has found a new way to help achieve this all over again.
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