Call of Duty has been getting a lot of flack lately, with critics complaining about rehashed plots and visuals that never to seem to change. But when it comes to multiplayer, few games can say that they enjoy a following as widespread and popular as this franchise. Addictive gameplay, massive rewards and weapons that range from ludicrous remote controlled mini-car bombs to awe-inspiring air strikes, its a formula that COD tweaks and improves on every year.
With their own convention having recently finished over the weekend, fans from around the world got a look at what to expect from the latest iteration of the franchise, and this time, it seems that Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward are going all out, looking to deliver the definitive COD online experience.
Taking the stage at Call of Duty XP, Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling explained that Modern Warfare 3 will have "More changes to the core experience than we ever have before", and "The most balanced multiplayer experience we’ve ever done". Together with Sledgehammers Michael Condry, the duo gave details on the following changes to the COD multiplayer formula.
Strike Packages and Pointstreaks
Are you a fan of Killstreaks? Do you love not dying and racking up the kills, so that you can call in a team of assault dogs to tear the opposition apart? Well then, bad news, as Killstreaks won’t be available in MW3.
Instead, we have pointstreaks, 28 different ways to call in some much needed back up when things get too hot. While killing the opposition will still net you some points towards these power-ups, you’ll also earn points from completing certain objectives, such as defusing bombs or capturing the flag.
Its a system that is designed to allow all players to earn take part, including those who helped with a kill assist, and not just allowing players who are dominating the field to have access to all the unique weapons and gift packages.
Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling explained the reasons behind ditching killstreaks, explaining that "The killstreak system was optimized for one game type, Team Deathmatch." The change now means that participation and objectives count just as much as constant kills.
Pointstreaks are available in three flavours, or Strike Packages. Players can customise themselves with one of three Strike Packages, Assault, Support and Specialist, with each class having their own specific abilities that can be called in.
The Assault package is all about inflicting as much damage as possible, which is why you’ll see players calling in missile strikes, attack helicopters and armoured juggernaut suits. Every time that you die however, your winning streak resets back to zero, meaning that all these bonuses will have to be earned again.
Support lives up to its name, as it is focused more on aiding your team than personal glory. Defensive options mean that players will be littering the battlefield with kevlar vests for your team, sentry turrets or a gunship that also delivers care packages. The best thing about support emembers however, is that their streaks will not be reset back to zero if they die.
And then you have the Specialist class, a perk heavy option for those of us who want to be a super-soldier like Captain America. Only with more guns and less spandex. The perks will all pile up as you tear through the battlefield, but get a streak of eight kills, and you get every single perk available. Definitely a mode for lone wolf players. Some of the new perks include:
- Recon – Explosive damage means more mini-map targets
- Blind Eye – Air support and sentries cannot detect you
- Assassin – Nothing can detect you, except for actual eyesight
- Quickdraw – Quicker aiming abilities
- Stalker – Move faster while aiming
- Marksman – Identify targets at longer range
Infinity Ward has dropped several perks however, promising players that there will be "No One Man Army, no Nuke, no Commando and no Last Stand".
In previous COD games, weapons were chosen based on stats, and suitability. Now however, there’s a new weapon proficiencies system, that will allow guns to grow with you. Use an assault rifle to certain extents, and you’ll find the weapon has better attachments to add on, less recoil and does more damage.
New Gameplay Modes
Multiplayer will be getting two new modes to toy around with, Kill Confirmed and Team Defender. A points based mode, kills only count if you snatch the dog-tags off of a fallen soldier. However, the opposing team can also grab those dog tags, boosting their own points in the process, while the glowing dog-tags also paint a target on the backs of anyone who goes after them.
Team Defender is a Capture The Flag variant minus the option of returning the actual flag. Grab an enemy flag, carry it for as long as possible, and stay as together as a team in order to win.
One of the more exciting prospects however, is that multiplayer will also allow for private customisable matches, with custom modes for players to battle through. These modes will also feature on Call of Duty Elite, and favourites can be voted on so that they are available for public consumption.
Private match modes include:
- Infection – Get killed by an infected enemy and you join their side.
- Drop Zone – Hold the opposition at bay for more points and care packages.
- Team Juggernaut – One of the teams will have a juggernaut on their side. First team to reach the score limit wins.
- Juggernaut – Kill the Juggernaut to become the new Juggernaut.
- Gun Game – Be the first to dominate a game with every gun.
- One in the Chamber – A favourite mode that is making a return. Start with one bullet, and kill everyone else to gain more ammo.
And there you have it. Modern Warfare 3 is a substantial overhaul of previous multiplayer mechanics, mixing old and new with some exciting ideas and some great looking fun. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be available in November this year.
Last Updated: September 5, 2011