The Call of Duty series has felt up and down to me in recent years, ranging from strong points like the 2019 reboot of Modern Warfare to real lows such as Modern Warfare 2. Therefore, I felt skeptical about diving into the beta for Call of Duty: MW3 worried I would be disappointed again. However, with the beta taking place this past weekend, I saw an opportunity to decide whether the game would be a return to form or fall in line with other mediocre modern FPS.
I have been interested in the newest entry for a while as it looked to return to the more classic formula of fast-paced gameplay and movement. As I was loading up the beta, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was wearing nostalgia-tinted glasses or if it was exactly what I would expect: an updated version of the 2009 classic Modern Warfare 2. I finally got my answer after investing time in the beta this weekend.
“It’s always been a plus to me when a shooter title offers a good range of weapons, and Call of Duty: MW3 looks to fit the bill.”
The MW3 beta offers players a variety of over 20 weapons to experiment with, and details suggest there will be much more when the game launches next month. It’s always been a plus to me when a shooter title offers a good range of weapons, and Call of Duty: MW3 looks to fit the bill. As with its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2, many weapons range from assault rifles and shotguns to battle rifles and pistols. The amount of guns to choose from in the beta is a good indicator of what to expect when the launch comes, as it allows keeping things fresh for a while, and with the inclusion of Modern Warfare 2 weapons carrying over to the newest entry, there is going to be plenty to play with.
However, with the plus of weapon content comes a strong con that I noticed within my first few beta matches. Although you can choose from plenty of tools in your arsenal, it seemed to boil down to just two or three real contenders. I’m confined to choosing the MCW assault rifle or Striker 45 SMG, which many other players do. One of my favorite weapon classes, the battle rifles, feels completely outmatched in every scenario, even when filled with attachments. It’s something that the team can work on, but it was noticeable right away and needs to be fixed.
“Because it is shared across both generations of platforms, it has made it look the same as last year, making it feel like no innovation was made.”
The game plays extremely well on PlayStation 5 (which is the platform I played on as the open beta for all consoles is next weekend); even with all the chaos in matches, I was not dropping below 60fps from what I noticed. Having been like this since Black Ops: Cold War, it is good to see that it still keeps up. Overall, the gameplay quality felt smooth and consistent throughout my time in the beta.
However, on the other end, with the game’s performance comes the visual aspect of it. It is disappointing that the visuals haven’t changed much from 2022’s Modern Warfare 2, when the game could benefit from becoming a next-gen-only title and, therefore, having a vast visual upgrade. Because it is shared across both generations of platforms, it has made it look the same as last year, making it feel like no innovation was made.
“It feels like a return to the form of the classic Modern Warfare 2 days when I play different modes on the original maps.”
Regarding the maps in Call of Duty: MW3, there is nothing but strong points for all moshpit maps. Although part of me feels nostalgia when playing on them, I put that behind me and realize they are made well. The way the game plays and with the player’s movement, the maps feel fluid, and there aren’t any dull moments in a match. It feels like a return to the form of the classic Modern Warfare 2 days when I enjoyed playing different modes on the original maps.
Popov Power Plant, the Ground War map, does not work well from what I have played. The stark contrast between the classic maps and the ground war map seems jarring, as the gameplay styles seem completely different. The matches in Ground War mainly feel like they consist of every player sniping and minimal objective play. The mode feels like something that should have been left in last year’s game, especially with the shift back to a faster movement style of older games.
“Despite some cons presented in the Call of Duty: MW3 beta, things seem to be going in a great direction.”
Despite some cons presented in the Call of Duty: MW3 beta, things seem to be going in a great direction. There are indications that the game was likely meant to be a DLC for last year’s Modern Warfare but for players looking to revisit the 2010s Call of Duty games, the newest entry looks to deliver that.
The different weapons we get to utilize, plus bringing back the roster of skins and guns from last year, only add to the gameplay variety of MW3. Also, returning to the classic three-lane map formula and having the movement feel similar but modernized allows the game to prosper much stronger than entries from the last few years.
All-in-all, Call of Duty: MW3 is a great entry point for new-era and classic players. After slogging through a few years of different first-person titles, I look forward to experiencing everything the game offers when it launches. I am confident that Call of Duty may be in many players’ graces with this newest entry.