Modern Warfare 3 Comparative Review

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Bim
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You knew it was bound to happen. I just had to compare the two, even at the risk of getting trolled hard by fanboys. Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 are two very distinct games, one cannot deny the fact that they're vying for the same market. So, in this review, we'll discuss which game wins me over. Don't worry, I won't come out with a cop out result; there will be a definitive winner. Oh, and I won't be fanboying, either. I played a decent amount of Battlefield 3 and enough Modern Warfare 3 that I believe I can make an unbiased review. I hope I can, at least.

Single Player Campaign

One of the greatest things about the Modern Warfare 3 campaign is the fact that two other Modern Warfare games came before it to establish a mythos. The first two games' superb voice acting and script made the gamer care about the characters. You wanted to know if Soap or Price died; you want to avenge Ghost. If you had played the first two games, you had something to go on.

But even if this was your first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game, you'd still be awestruck. With a full blown World War III raging around your ears, this has got to be the most epic Modern Warfare title ever. You fight in the streets of iconic cities, and this familiarity gives you have a sense of urgency. You know what you need to do and why you need to do it, and you know that you need to do it now. If you don't, more innocent people are going to die. More than fighting to win, you'll be fighting to survive.

So, yes, it feels awesome. But can you understand the story this time around? It makes a little more sense than the Modern Warfare 2 story did, at least. While cliché and convoluted, you can't say it wasn't a fun ride. You felt like Rambo; you felt like James Bond.

The one thing I hate is that there are too many sneaking around sniping missions. Sure, it added great flavor in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and it was certainly fun in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but there was just too many in Modern Warfare 3.

How it stacks up to Battlefield 3:

The Battlefield campaign had its moments, but it was just way too short and the overall package suffered. While still very much engrossing, it took itself a little too seriously. I guess it's easy to say that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 wins this round.

Multiplayer

This is the meat of both games, and this is where they both shine. Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer is practically the same as it's always been. This is, by no means, a bad thing. The formula works great and if it ain't broke, right? It's twitchy, it's fast, and addictive. Maps are small for intense action, though they are a bit circular. There's a dude gunning for your face at every corner, and two kids calling you a fag every four minutes or so. It's just very frantic, and by golly, is it ever fun!

Guns seem to be well balanced, and the Support Strike Package isn't as broken as I thought it'd be. I still find myself going for the Assault Strike Package, though, just because it's what I'm used to. Even though the ACR may be the next AK-74u, weapons are pretty much at par with each other, so it all boils down to how you customize your load-out and how well you take advantage of your chosen weapon's strengths.

Progression feels a lot more satisfying and non-restrictive this time around. In Modern Warfare 2, unlocks depended on certain actions taken while using a weapon, which caused problems for me because I never really got good at the tube or liked shooting with the FMJ. Now, your guns progress while playing the way you wanna play. Unlocks are based on gun experience, which makes total sense. Proficiency adds another layer of customization to your soldier, without breaking them in any way.

Perks are now pretty much broken up into components of their former counterparts. That essentially means that to get Ninja Pro, you need to equip two perks. It's still totally possible, though, but you sacrifice something else. Unless, of course, you have the Specialist Strike Package.

In terms of game modes, MW3's bread and butter is still the Team Deathmatch, although I'm finding Kill Confirmed to be a hoot and a half! Having to pick up those dog tags adds a whole other dimension to gameplay. I'm digging Spec Ops, too. It's like zombies, but the zombies shoot the fuck back.

How it stacks up to Battlefield 3:

So, which is it? The twitchy, easy-in, easy-out, quick and dirty Modern Warfare 3 or the intense, strategic, more grounded in reality Battlefield 3? Honestly, just for the player progression and customization, I'd give it to Modern Warfare 3. That doesn't mean I don't find Battlefield 3 fun; it's just I don't have a lot of time to play so I'm happy to go for a quick few games and pop outta there. When I do have time to commit, though, then I would totally see myself blowing choppers up in Battlefield 3.

Graphics

Modern Warfare 3 is, by no means, a bad looking game, even on a 5-6 year old console. Everything looks crisp and fluid, even though the particles and effects look dated.

The polish just looks fantastic, and the textures are nice and shiny, but it doesn't look like much of an improvement on Modern Warfare 2. Glad to see it's leagues better than Black Ops, though. It runs at a smooth 60 fps on the PS3.

How it stacks up to Battlefield 3:

On the PS3, it may seem like Battlefield 3 might be at a disadvantage since the PC version of Battlefield 3 is knock-your-pants-off gorgeous. However, that's not really the case when pitting it against Modern Warfare 3. While the PS3 version of Battlefield doesn't have the really nice sheen that the PC does, it still looks a lot more advanced than Modern Warfare 3. I'm not saying MW3 is an ugly game, because it really is not. It just looks a little dated compared to BF3, even if the latter does run at 30 fps only.

Not only does the Battlefield Frostbite engine render light and shadows much better than Modern Warfare 3's Quake engine, the guns look shinier, too.

Sound Design

I think this is where Modern Warfare 3 disappointed me the most. While the score is just heart poundingly moving, I found the foley effects to be a little weird. First and foremost, the guns sound like toy sound effects. Suppressed weapons give out that Hollywood "pfut pfut pfut" sound. Guns fired in any environment sound the same. Footsteps and explosion don't echo. Shells barely make sounds as they fall to the ground and don't react like the way you would expect them to depending on what they fall on.

How it stacks up to Battlefield 3:

The 7.1 sounds so much better on the Battlefield 3 than on Modern Warfare 3. Voices, footsteps, explosions, gun fire sound the way you would expect them depending on the environment. There's real depth to it, too. Bullets zip past your head when they zip past your head. I'm inclined to believe that the whizzing bullets in Modern Warfare 3 are canned to play when it does. Voice acting is better on Modern Warfare 3, but Battlefield 3's sound design just blows it out of the water.

Weaponry

Here's the list of guns for Modern Warfare 3, here's the list for Battlefield 3. Thank god both games have the G36C, or that would have been the deciding factor right there. I'm totally in love with MW3's M4A1 and the MP7 and BF3's M416. That said, Modern Warfare 3 has a bunch of new guns, and they brought back favorites (YAY G36C!). The attachments are super fun, and the hybrid sight alone makes MW3 worth the $60.

How it stacks up to Battlefield 3:

Honestly, I'd say this one is a tie. MW3's gun list has a lot of variation, especially when compared to the BF3 list, but the BF3 list is just larger. Battlefield 3's got more gadgets, too, but it's restrictive to use because they're dependent on which class you're running. Also, BF3 pistols rock my socks off.

Verdict:

I gave Battlefield 3 a 4.5 out of 5. Modern Warfare 3 gets 4.7 out of 5. The edge is in the single player campaign and the fact that since I don't have as much time to commit, I'll be playing Modern Warfare 3 a lot more.

   

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