Recently we were invited by Activision to check out Modern Warfare 3 and partake in the Spec Ops Survival mode. Prior to gripping a controller we were told we ‘must’ check out the single player first. Not one to argue with authority, or the big burly man that is Glen Schofield of Sledgehammer Games, I complied. We sat down in front of a very large HD Samsung TV in what was a very dark room other than the light brimming from the open door. At that point I knew, I was in for something special.
Glen stepped in after us and introduced us to another member of the Sledgehammer staff and showed us the screen that had two things written on it: Black Tuesday and Hunter Killer. He explained that we were going to be seeing Hunter Killerand Mind The Gap. Right there, I was sad we could not see the sure to be epic opening sequence. Alas, he explained how the game takes place merely hours after the story ends in Modern Warfare 2 and all hell has broken loose as Russia has declared all-out war. It looks to me like Shepard’s plan from MW2 worked out after all. As he left, I was left with nothing to light my notepad but the gleam of the 50” television. I stared hard at the details of every nuance and at the water. The mission starts out with the player (referred to as Frost) in what appears to be a Navy Seal wetsuit and on a motorized underwater vehicle of sorts. Your goal at this point is to follow the Russian submarine. At a set point you must come to a standstill and wait as the sub passes and then plant a mine on the tail of it and detonate it once you get clear. This causes the sub to surface and you and the rest of your team to begin its assault, you are partnered with Sandman and are given the goal of retrieving the launch codes for the missiles on board the submarine. After some room clearing we get the ‘In The Interest Of Time’ notice and are shown a later part of the mission. Frost and Sandman now place a kicker charge on the door and breach the control room with shotguns blasting in glorious slow-mo. The particles go flying and the blood goes spraying in slightly higher detail than ever before; I was very impressed. Once you an Sandman successfully launch the missiles it is time to hightail it out of the sub and onto a speedboat akin to the ending chase from Modern Warfare 2. You fend off some enemies in epic Michael Bay type explosions from the fires of hell and into the helicopter for a mission complete.
The Train Flipped…Again
Well,at that point my day could not get any better – after seeing that amazing spectacle for myself. However, it was only the beginning. The player bent over and switched outputs and Xbox consoles to another console which already had another mission loaded: Mind The Gap. In this you seem to be a British SAS soldier named Burns. The first part of the mission is all about sneaking and silent kills in a way that I love, which is the same as the other Modern Warfare titles. The snow missions were my personal favorite. Your goal is to sweep and clear the warehouses as you dodge patrols, spotlights and chopper lights and take out enemies silently. After a half a dozen dead bodies you get to cargo trailer, and you are asked to open it. To the surprise of the player and all of your squad, it is empty. Right then a helicopter rides by and spots all of you, the enemies come out from the woodwork and you have to fight your way through and the order to ‘go loud’ is given. Another ‘In The Interest Of Time’ pops up and I let out an inner sigh as it’s like having a commercial during that part of a movie where you’re getting really sucked into the moment. No matter, because at this point a few more enemies are killed and you end up at a train station with a pickup truck and you are given the order to stop the train. I would assume it is either full of enemies, or they have something against public transportation. An amazingly epic, tooth and nail rail shooting sequence ensues. If this mission follows the last it would be odd to have two right next to each other but the gameplay is astounding. It is full of glass shattering, pieces of debris flying everywhere, last minute lane changes as an oncoming train is about to make you into subway chow. In the end you take out everyone no board and the train sort of goes at a ninety degree angle and starts an epic flip from hell. I would have to say it flips around four to five times and every time it is amazing with debris flying everywhere and people screaming. It is simply one of the coolest action sequences I have had the pleasure to see in a Call Of Duty title ever. Oh, and that ended the mission.
So what did we get out of this whole amazing experience? The game has improved graphically at the more than capable hands of Sledgehammer Games, who have proved themselves as worthy partners to the infamous Infinity Ward. The lighting and the textures on the walls, guns, and even faces were so much more detailed. It may take a minute to notice but it is there. The game will have a lot of returning weapons. We spotted the P90, AK-74U, G18, UMP45 and the ACR to name a few. The Spec Ops Survival also showed off the AK47 and the Model 18 which now seem to have a slower reload time. The missions feel more diverse except the fact that two driving sequences, boat and truck happen right next to eachother seemingly if that is the final order of the story missions. It is possible that the order was just there seeing as they take part in two different places on the globe. We were also later told that New York, England, and the aforementioned cities in the trailers leading up to the Modern Warfare 3 reveal were just the beginning they are looking to travel to a lot more locales and they emphasize that this is a global conflict and that this is the buildup that Infinity Ward started with Call of Duty 4 and this is the ‘big payoff’. So, why does November have to be so far away again?