Here’s the first “review” for the The Anti-Social Gamer column, and it’s for Modern Warfare 3, which is the latest game I’ve played since my semester started. Unlike a regular review I’ll just cut to the chase (somewhat) and list out the game’s strong and weak points when it comes to anti-social gaming.
Short. In terms of anti-social-ness, that’s about the best adjective for the campaign. On Normal difficulty you can finish the game within 5-6 hours, which can literally be done in one sitting. Even if you took your time to get all the mission-specific achievements along the way, you could still complete it in that timeframe. Veteran might take you 1-2 hours more depending on your skill, but it probably won’t go beyond 10 hours.
Quality-wise, it’s what you’d expect if you played the previous games. If you loved them, you’ll love MW3 as well, but it’s still short. You might end up replaying it once or twice though, and perhaps on a higher difficulty, so the single player might last you for 5-20 hours ultimately.
There’s a free-for-all mode, but the rest are team-based. In Team Deathmatch you can run around and do your own thing, which is probably what everyone else will be doing as well (unless you’re playing against players in a Xbox Live party or against clan members). In objective-based matches teamwork is more essential. However, unless you’re playing against party/clan members, most people will probably be just as likely to run around on their own so it depends on your teammates. Some just like to kill people without bothering about the objective, but usually they’ll help out on the objective (protecting the flag carrier, defending the place while another player defuses the bomb etc.). This (I like to call it “implicit teamwork”) somewhat makes up for the lack of actual teamwork so you can still have fun playing without being in a group.
The Mercenary Team Deathmatch playlist, which is TDM without parties, is back. Which means that like-minded anti-social gamers can play together without people chatting away and without having to play against a bunch of people who might have played together since forever. Or at least, that’s what I think Mercenary TDM is for.
Even if you’re only playing TDM, the core gameplay is still a blast which will have you hooked. And there’s also the levelling and weapon customization system which entices you to keep playing and unlock the next weapon or attachment. Unless you’re on the receiving end of a noob-tube 75% of the time, in which case you might want to return the favour.
Spec Ops is back with new missions, which you can play co-op or solo so plus point there. Although, if you die in a solo game you’ll have to restart from the beginning whereas you can revive another player in co-op. As with MW2, some missions will require 2 players, or at least, another controller plugged in. Good luck with the latter on Veteran though.
MW3 also introduces a Survival mode which pits you against waves of enemies. Again, you can play this solo but you won’t be able to revive of you get killed (there’s a one-use perk which auto-revives you but it’s possible to still get killed if you’re overwhelmed). Although MW3 doesn’t have bots (unlike Black Ops with its Combat Training mode), Survival is a decent alternative. As with multiplayer, you earn levels and unlock weapons and other equipment for purchase.
If you’re planning on keeping the game, it’ll be for its multiplayer, unless you are really, really against playing with humans. Or if you only have an Xbox Live silver account (which simplifies matters). In which case, it depends on how much you’ll want to keep playing Survival.