Boot up MW3’s multiplayer, and it feels like a reunion with a long-lost friend. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3’s remastered maps, stellar gunplay, engaging progression, and customization make MW3 a blast. However, a few setbacks dampened the experience.
CUSTOMIZATION AND DOPAMINE
Launching into a match is a cinematic experience, with squad arrivals ranging from convoy ambushes to helicopter rappelling. These intros set the tone perfectly. The movement is slick, the gunplay is responsive, and familiar maps feel fantastic. The customization and progression systems are top-notch, offering a plethora of weapons, attachments, gadgets, vests, and gear for hours of tinkering. The transition from perks to gear adds a refreshing layer to loadout customization. The constant flow of rewards and XP, accompanied by satisfying sounds, keeps the dopamine flowing.
Zombies mode has been a huge surprise for me. Surprisingly I enjoyed it so much because of how weirdly calming and relaxing I find it. Zombies this time around is very similar to Warzone’s DMZ component. But in Zombies, it is only PvE. The absence of PvP here fosters a friendly atmosphere among players. The shared objective of scavenging, completing contracts, and infiltrating strongholds creates a unique, cooperative experience.
Because there’s no PvP, most players I encountered were very friendly, helpful, and just there to have a good time. My favorite memory is the time I heard a group of folks hollerin’ as I drove near them. They said their vehicle ran out of gas and asked if I could drive one of them to the nearest gas station. 10/10.
Zombies is also the ultimate old man, get off my lawn simulator. As I found it super chill to prop up in a water tower and snipe every zombie within a mile.
The big pull for zombies is any weapons or special gear you extract with; you can insert next time with those weapons and gear. Adds a nice flavor of risk vs reward to each insertion. Pro tip you can unlock weapons in multiplayer by extracting them in zombies.
Kudos for keeping the split-screen alive! Sometimes, you just want to kick it old-school with friends and enjoy COD like it’s 2007.
SKILL BASED MATCHMAKING
There is a lot of chatter regarding skill-based matchmaking. And I can only offer my personal experience on the matter. This game currently is a nonstop sweatfest. In my first couple of matches, I rocked a solid 1.10 KDR. After 3-4 matches though? I was constantly placed into matches with people who were doing 720 kickflips into pistol-sliding around-the-corner headshots and somehow were already 50 levels higher than I was. Now, this might be because it is simply the launch, but I hope this is resolved. As of right now, playing MW3 casually is a rare occurrence.
The time-to-kill increase from MW2 isn’t consistently felt, leading to you only taking one bullet to kill, but enemies taking 12. Desync issues plague matches, causing discrepancies between perceived and actual gameplay experiences. When functioning correctly, the game offers fair and enjoyable matches, but persistent problems overshadow these moments. In the current state, TTK feels somehow simultaneously too slow and too fast. Now, when the game is performing properly, it feels great. And in those matches, I can say:” Oh yeah I definitely got outplayed there,” or “Even though we lost it felt fair and fun.”
There’s no light way of putting this. Spawns are in a horrendous state right now. There is no such thing as map control as you’ll spawn on your team’s side of the map, take 5 steps forward and an enemy will have spawned behind you. Heck, you’ll even spawn on the enemy’s side of the map. Because movement is so much faster than the original MW2, it might be these remastered maps might be ill-suited to the new speed of operators, but I digress. I’ve spawned on objectives, I’ve spawned in plain sight of an enemy as they’re sprinting towards me, and I’ve spawned behind multiple people to get a multi-kill. It’s an absolute mess right now and it really detracts from the fun element.
Assault and battle rifles, in my opinion, are the only weapons you should be using right now. Marksman rifles, SMGs, etc can all easily be beaten with an assault rifle. Every other weapon is extremely unbalanced and falls flat in comparison. I hope as the game moves on, that weapons can become more normally balanced.
END OF MATCH XP
Like most games, MW3 shows all your XP progression after a match, however, it is agonizingly slow to show you and you can’t hit A to skip to see each individual item you’ve unlocked. You can only skip all. It takes so long to show what you’ve unlocked that you’ll load into the next match before it’s over. Leaving you wondering what you unlocked.
MW3 boasts one of the worst UI designs in a game, I have ever seen. Without being hyperbolic, I do believe this game has the worst UI of any game I have played in the past few years. It’s all menus within menus within menus. Nothing is a simple button press and it’s extremely cluttered and hard to navigate. Sure, you can get used to it, but it drastically needs an overhaul.
NUMBER OF MAPS
The game only contains the 16 remastered Modern Warfare 3 maps. Nothing more. And War mode, my favorite mode, only has one map. Criminal.
You can unlock weapons via progression, but some are unlocked via challenges. Such as unlocking Semtex requires you to get two kills with Semtex. Or by completing 8 daily challenges you’ll unlock the sidewinder. And once you complete all the dailies, the challenge is to win games. This would be fine, but the challenges don’t track correctly. I’ve played this game for multiple days and have only had 1 challenge halfway through accurately track. That’s pretty frustrating as some players are making their progress so they are progressing further than you are.
I know it seems like I have been crazy negative on the game, but I just want to inform y’all of what you are getting into. Every problem I’ve mentioned though is fixable and not something in the game that will stay broken forever. When the game is functioning properly, it is amazing. It’s probably the best gameplay of any COD in the modern era. But when we look at it from the current state it is in and the value proposition, I have to say wait for a sale. Black Friday is just around the corner and I would recommend picking up the game if it dropped 15% of its price.