Modern Warfare 3 really is trying to garner as much of a positive vibe from the Call of Duty community – particularly those on YouTube, and Twitch – as it can. Sledgehammer Games, the lead developer on this one, has sort of positioned itself as the studio that “corrects” the wrongs made by the developer of the preceding Call of Duty.
Even going as far back as Call of Duty: WW2, a leadership change at the studio resulted in fundamental tweaks to the gameplay that were much better received by CoD content creators. For as much crap as it gets, Vanguard did the same coming off the very successful (but divisive) Modern Warfare 2019.
With Modern Warfare 3, it looks like Sledgehammer has embraced that mantle yet again, with the developer making key changes that look to be a response to how some of Infinity Ward’s decisions with Modern Warfare 2 have been received.
The biggest indication of this changing of the guard is in the minimap behaviour. Infinity Ward took a stance that many found strange, which was to get rid of the classic style. Originally, the minimap would show all unsuppressed fire, provided no perks that counter that effect were present.
Modern Warfare 2 adopted a more convoluted system that wasn’t very popular with a certain section of the player base, and it’s those same players who will be happy to see the return of the classic minimap.
Modern Warfare 3 is also throwing stealth players a bone with the Covert Sneakers perk, which looks to be an always-on footstep dampening perk. While similar options exist in Infinity Ward games, they can only be used sparingly, and not on 100% of the time.
Another major change introduced in Modern Warfare 2 was how perks worked. In that game, players would unlock their chosen perk packages over the course of the match, which is not how it worked in past titles. Modern Warfare 3 is bringing back the classic behaviour – where all perks will activate at the start of the match.
Map voting, another feature that often comes up in YouTube rants, will return in Modern Warfare 3. The feature gradually disappeared from the more modern Call of Duty games when matchmaking changed to scramble lobbies after every match. It remains to be seen whether map voting is going to matter when lobbies disband after every game anyway.
Movement is another area Modern Warfare 2 toned down considerably, particularly coming off Modern Warfare 2019’s broken slide cancelling. Modern Warfare 3 will bring back the ability to cancel the slide animation, but doing so won’t reset Tactical Sprint – which is seemingly how Sledgehammer wants to balance it.
That said, prepare for another year of ultra-fast players incessantly darting around the battlefield, because Tactical Sprint now lasts longer, and it can recharge during normal sprint. Players will also be able to fire during, and immaterially after a slide. What’s more, mantling animations have been sped up, and you’ll be able to mantle over objects without breaking your sprint.
Generally speaking, Modern Warfare 3 aims to steer the game towards to the more arcade style of gameplay, and away from Infinity Ward’s authentic/realistic gameplay. Another result of this approach is that partial reloads can be cancelled to allow players to continue firing when running into an enemy mid-reload.
Finally, and perhaps the one change that could end up being the most divisive, is the increase of base HP in multiplayer to 150, as opposed to MW2’s 100. That obviously lengthens the time-to-kill (TTK), making players a bit more survivable.
Modern Warfare 3 will launch with 16 core multiplayer maps, all of which are remakes. The game arrives November 10 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.