Will the acquisition of Activision/Blizzard by Microsoft actually change anything? We hope so, or else this might be the start of the end for 'Call of Duty'.
Rumours persist online that 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III' was initially planned as downloadable content (DLC) for the previous release, 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II', which was initially released on the 28th of October 2022. With the then-imminent finalising of the Activision Blizzard sale, many speculate that a decision at C-Suite level was made to try for one last cash grab.
There’s little to no evidence available to actually prove this, of course, but playing the roughly six-hour campaign and mostly recycled multiplayer, the reasoning holds water.
Just as the campaign is getting interesting, 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III' hits you with the credits. Left as a cliffhanger, it might as well be a neon sign reading “buy the next game!”. After playing through a flawed yet overall decent single-player mode, this reeked of desperation.
Possibly the worst part about the campaign is that this hit quite unexpectedly. We all know it doesn’t take long to get through, but the story gets progressively more interesting to a point where you don’t notice you’ve played it for six hours in one day. Then it just ends, leaving you with a sense of shock and withdrawal. “We’re not ready to stop yet! We want to keep going! We have to get Makarov!” – Tough luck. You’ll have to wait ‘til next time, which is rumoured to be 2025 as Activision skip a 'Call of Duty' release year. This will be the first time since 2004 when they left a gap year, which was between 'Call of Duty' (2003) and 'Call of Duty 2' (2005).
As expected, the game looks great on a high-end PC, or your console of choice, runs quite well – no crashed our side so far – and is generally fine operationally. It has the usual 'Call of Duty' movement that you’ll be used to if you have played any of the more recent entries in the series, familiar gunplay, slightly simplified weapons attachment system (which is a good thing), and even a few new “open” single player levels that are reminiscent of completing missions in DMZ mode. This was a nice step away from the totally linear affair we’re used to, but was only featured a handful of times.
Speaking of DMZ – this has been replaced by zombies, the almost identical PvE mode, which still has some gun-toting human enemies, but mostly has you and your team facing off against a variety of different – you guessed it - zombies. The contracts are still there, “contraband” weapons, keeping anything you escape with, the time-limit, helicopter extractions, the list goes on. It’s a reskinned, spooky DMZ without any PvP element, and another example of what people will use as evidence of lazy development.
If you’re buying 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III' mainly for multiplayer, don’t expect a whole lot new here either. As mentioned above, you’ll already know the maps as they’re all refreshes from 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2' (2009). There are a few new weapons, but the majority of the weapon list is old guns from 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II' (2022), which if you’ve already unlocked will carry through to the new game.
Considering the game basically works, it would be kind of unfair to be too hard on it, keeping in mind some of the disastrous release days and weeks we’ve had for triple-A games in recent years. But for a new game which has so little new content, is it really fair to charge €69.99? No, it’s not. And don’t forget, that’s not including the battlepass.