Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in the test - the multiplayer: in-team experience

Author: Petra Schmitz
Date: 2011-11-10 18:27:00
Modern Warfare 3 proves the usual quality of its predecessors in the multiplayer test. At the same time, Infinity Ward's Shooter brings an innovation that one is not really used to from the series.

Who would have thought that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer would surprise us with teamwork-enhancing elements and game modes?
While in the predecessors of the Call of Duty series, almost everything was designed for quick kills and quick individual successes, the developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games are doing something new with Modern Warfare 3 (at least in the multiplayer part). And it even works!

Launch confirmed!

The developers have apparently been inspired by Crysis 2 for the first of the new game modes in Modern Warfare 3 - keyword "Dog Tag". In Crysis 2 you unlock shooting rewards when you collect the dog tags of killed opponents. In the new Modern Warfare 3 mode "Kill confirmed", the small metal plates also want to be collected. Because only then does a team get the point for the kill. That doesn't sound very spectacular at first, but it becomes exciting simply because every player can pick up the dog tags. Even if he's not the one who took down the enemy.

So far, so lame, after all, dog tags would only be a delayed way of calculating points. But not every shot, not every dog tag necessarily means a counter, otherwise the detour via the identification tags would be meaningless. The trick is that every player can really collect every dog tag. So that of a dead teammate to outsmart the opponents.

Both teams must therefore always watch out for tokens lying around, their own as well as enemy ones. Anyone walking past it with their eyesight should be pulverized with the Predator missile. However, one shouldn't blindly rush to every dog tag either. Clever players like to use them as bait and lurk in poorly visible corners for careless brand collectors in order to get another shot.

Team defender

The second new game mode focuses even more on clever teamwork. Or in other words: He promotes it more directly. "Team defender" (stupid name) is actually about a flag. The group that owns the pennant gets double points for kills. It is therefore not only important to the team, but also to every individual player to carry the flag as long as possible in their own ranks.

Ultimately, Modern Warfare 3 is again about climbing the ranks of soldiers and unlocking weapons and perks (special abilities such as higher damage or reduced recoil). The result of the lure: Even with teams that are randomly thrown together, the cooperation works surprisingly well, the teams actually try to protect the flag bearer - or to eliminate it.

In addition to the two new game modes, the well-known classics such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy, Dominion and Capture the Flag are also represented again. As usual, you don't have access to all multiplayer variants from the start, the selection depends on your level. With the (darned quick) achievement of rank 20, you can finally tackle the whole boom on hardcore (no ammunition display, no crosshairs, team fire, bullets cause significantly more damage).

The attack packages

Surveillance drone? Attack helicopter? Or would you prefer a stationary gun? Those were, and still are, the questions when Modern Warfare is about streak rewards. In Modern Warfare 3, however, it works a little differently than before. Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer have put the rewards into packages, divided into "storm", "support" and "specialist".

While "Sturm", as the name suggests, is still about more and more kills (thanks to the attack helicopter, for example) and "Spezialist" is about constantly adding perks, "Support" gets interesting. This package contains unusual rewards such as the bulletproof vests that can be placed in the level and which team members can cheerfully help themselves with in order to be better protected.

The player who made the vest available will receive 50 points for each security fumble they put on. The reconnaissance drone, which is used to mark opponents for those of fellow campaigners, works in a similar way. If they then turn off a spotted enemy, points are awarded again. The highlight of the support package: The shooting series are not reset when you bite the grass, but just keep increasing and increasing. On the other hand, the classic way of doing things is “Sturm” and “Spezialist”: If you jump, you have to shoot your way back to the reward.

The weapon levels

In the past, the individual improvements for individual shooters depended on the challenges, today the weapon levels are decisive. The more often and better you use the Scar-L to get on your enemies, the more equipment you unlock for the rifle. And only for this one rifle. If you want to try a fresh weapon, you have to re-acquire aiming aids, silencers, camouflage patterns and special perks (reduced recoil or higher cartridge damage).

The cards

First of all: If you get lost in your own apartment, you should better avoid the multiplayer mode of Modern Warfare 3, because most maps are not at all catchy. Many angles, narrow paths and dead ends let the first games degenerate into real confusion.

It takes a lot longer than, for example, Call of Duty: Black Ops to find your way around. In our opinion, potential classics such as "Array" for Black Ops are also missing - none of the maps from Modern Warfare 3 is really outstanding. Even so, the card design is all in all good, because in very few cases snipers are preferred. However, in Modern Warfare 3 you shouldn't run around as much as in the past, otherwise the next enemy from the next corner will definitely bolt you a load of lead in your back.

The matchmaking

Infinity Ward said it clearly in advance: Modern Warfare 3 is working again with the console-based peer-to-peer matchmaking via the IWnet, which annoyed us in the second part with interruptions to the host and with waiting times in the lobby. In any case, we have to accept this horse's foot if we want to rise in the ranks. And please, who doesn't want that? There are also dedicated servers, as announced, but they are all about pure gaming fun, without any achievements or level increases.

We welcome the free choice of servers on the one hand, but on the other hand we want to earn new weapons and perks. Incidentally, that's what the majority of players want right now, which is why there is currently comparatively little going on on the dedicated servers. And our pious wish that Modern Warfare 3 might simply switch to the Black Ops server system should remain a pious wish.

The Spec-Ops mode

One of the great strengths of Modern Warfare 2 was the co-op operations, the so-called Spec-Ops missions. There are also in the sequel, 16 in number. In fun variations we fight our way with a human fellow rider through sections known from the solo campaign, only with different goals and under different conditions.

In Prague, for example, in a sniper mission we should not only advance and sneak up to the end of the level, but also rescue as many rebels as possible who are being held captive by Russian soldiers. It's tricky, because if we're discovered, the prisoners always have to believe it first.

On the Russian President's plane, we do not shoot as Russian security officers who have to protect the head of state, but take on the roles of kidnappers. The missions, in which the two co-op players have different tasks at different locations, are particularly successful: For example, one player has to race through the warehouses and docking facilities of Canary Wharf in London under time pressure, while the other sits at a camera system and automatic guns steers to shoot the way clear.

to survive

A little tip: Before you dare to try the co-op variant »Survival«, you should definitely play a little Spec Ops. Because in both modes you rise in rank (regardless of the rest of the multiplayer), but it's faster in Spec Ops. You need the ranks in order to be able to buy essential equipment such as protective vests in the struggle for survival. Only co-op soldiers from level 10 have access to them.

Survival - that's what Survival is all about. The game incites the two co-op fighters more and more waves of opponents on the neck. At first it's just a few normal types of shotguns, later helicopters and heavily armored Juggernauts arrive. The two buy new ammunition, weapons, rockets & Co. at terminals with the money they have earned from kills and round bonuses. It gets tricky not only because of the strength of the opponents, but also because the shopping terminals are often what feels like kilometers apart. Agreements about purchases and a joint approach are extremely important, otherwise it will soon be overdone.