Modern Warfare 3. It seems odd to call it Activision’s worst-kept secret, given that we all knew that a sequel to one of the biggest-selling games of all time was going to happen.
But its big announcement was spoiled when details about the game were leaked ahead of the publisher’s pre-E3 showcase earlier this week.
So you probably know some of the basic details already - and if you don’t then it’s not going to take a stretch of the imagination to make an educated guess as to what happens. The story follows on from the events that take place in Modern Warfare 2
, with things blowing up all over the world map.
In particular, the USA’s Eastern Seaboard continues to rage with ongoing battles for power, and you begin your new campaign joining Delta team as they aim to turn the tide against the Russians who have occupied New York City. Expect more controversial scenes depicting the destruction of city landmarks, more snow climbing in the mountains, Middle-Eastern sieges and more dramatic moments of bad guys pointing guns directly at your face.
A collaboration between Infinity Ward (minus a lot of old hands) and newcomers Sledgehammer Games, Modern Warfare 3
gives us a glimpse into what could happen if a World War 3 ever broke out, and what the circumstances would be. Although the released trailer details “Am3rica,” “3ngland” and “Franc3” (sigh), I’m told that there will also be scenes set in Russia, Africa and the Himalayas. This is going to be a world war in the true sense of the word.
The first of two levels I saw was called “Sandman,” which is set in New York City. Starting off trapped in a downed helicopter, your squadmate helps you out as the roads and streets are caked in debris. Even as you start receiving your first objectives, there are more choppers in the air taking out enemies and hitting skyscrapers - with huge slabs of building falling down like concrete rain.
Your mission in this stage is to battle through Wall Street and reach the Stock Exchange, where a jamming signal has been placed to prevent friendly communication. Tanks roll past you when you’re firing on enemy targets in the almost-claustrophobic streets to give you backup, and abandoned storefronts provide the perfect cover for an ambush on Russian soldiers.
As you would expect, the graphics have been beefed up, but it doesn’t really show until you get to see some of the more explosive set pieces in the game. The effects are dazzling, especially as it all runs at a smooth 60 frames per second.
Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer seem best to demonstrate these effects thought the art of helicopters, though, which I found amusing. You’re either flying inside one, running away from one, or finding one crushed in the side of a building. Hello, dead bad guy. On the roof of the Stock Exchange, you engage in hot heli-on-heli action, flying through NYC firing on enemy targets.