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Developers: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games
Additional work by: Raven Software
Treyarch (Wii version)
Publisher: Activision, Square Enix (Japan)
Distributors: Activision (retail), Steam (online)
Designers: Glen Schofield, Michael Condrey
Writer: Paul Haggis
Composer: Brian Tyler
Engine: MW3 engine
Version: 1.03 (PS3)
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii
Release date: November 8, 2011
Genre: First Person Shooter
Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
Media/distribution: Optical disc, Digital download
The player assumes the role of various characters during the single-player campaign, changing perspectives throughout the progression of the story. Unlike its predecessors, the campaign is spread over different days. Each mission features a series of objectives that are displayed on the heads up display, which marks the direction and distance towards and from such objectives. Damage to the player is shown by blood splatter shown on the screen. The player's health regenerates as time passes. Objectives vary in their requirements, ranging from having the player arrive at a particular checkpoint, to eliminating enemies in a specified location, to standing their ground against enemy squadrons, and planting explosive charges on an enemy installation. The player is also accompanied by fellow soldiers who cannot be issued orders.
Modern Warfare 3 features a new mode, called Survival Mode. This game mode features one or two players fighting endless waves of enemies, with each wave becoming increasingly difficult. Despite being much compared to the World at War Nazi Zombies mode, enemies do not spawn at fixed locations like the zombies do; instead, they appear at tactical positions based on the current location of the player. The mode is available on all multiplayer maps in the game. In the mode, players earn "cash" for items such as weapons, upgrades, ammo, air/ground support and equipment. Special Ops also returns from Modern Warfare 2. These challenge missions feature up to 48 stars, unlike its previous installment, which featured 69. Some weapons in Spec Ops are exclusive to that game mode, and are not available for play in Multiplayer mode.
The entire Killstreak reward system has been revamped. Killstreaks are now known as Pointstreaks, and kills are no longer the only way to increase the player's pointstreak. Completing objectives such as planting the bomb in Search and Destroy or capturing a flag in Capture The Flag awards points towards the player's Pointstreak. Pointstreak rewards are organized into three different "strike packages" called Assault, Support, and Specialist. The Assault strike package works the same as the Killstreak reward system in Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops, offering rewards like the Predator drone and attack helicopters. The Support strike package offers support-style rewards, such as UAVs and SAM Turrets. Rewards from the Support category do not reset when the player dies, but accumulate over the course of a match. The Specialist strike package rewards players with perks of their choosing after every second consecutive kill. After eight kills, they receive every perk in the game, but reset back to none upon death. Players are allowed to choose which Pointstreak rewards they want to use when they gain it during the match, rather than choosing them between rounds.
Along with revamping the entire Killstreak reward system, Modern Warfare 3 also has a completely modified Ranking and Unlocks system, which does not use a currency system for unlocks. The player's primary weapon levels up alongside the player, and unlocks a number of "Proficiency" perks such as Attachments, (allows two attachments and is a successor to the "Bling" and "Warlord" perks), Kick (reduced recoil while aiming down the player's sight) and Focus (stay focused under fire). Only one Proficiency can be put on a primary weapon. Another new addition is the ability to equip "Hybrid Scopes" on a weapon, such as a Red Dot Sight and a magnifier similar to an ACOG on the same weapon, and the player can switch between the scopes. Modern Warfare 3 introduces a new "Prestige Shop" which will unlock only after the player has selected the option to prestige for the first time. The "Prestige Shop" allows Prestige players to use tokens they gain from using the Prestige option to buy exclusive features such as double XP and a extra custom weapon class.
Several controversial perks in Modern Warfare 2, accused of being overpowered, have been removed in Modern Warfare 3. Diving from standing to prone, known as "dolphin diving", has been removed due to balancing issues. Modern Warfare 3 will utilize Treyarch's hot fix system to fix bugs and glitches. Modern Warfare 3 features a local and online split-screen option.
Several new game modes have also been added:
"Kill Confirmed" requires players to collect floating dog tags from the corpse of a downed enemy before the kill can be registered. However, the opposing team can pick up the dog tag as well to deny the other team of a kill.
"Team Defender" requires both teams to try to capture a flag dropped by the first person who gets killed when the match starts, and hold it to gain double points per kill while the team without the flag only gets the default amount per kill.
Private matches also now include pre-made game modes including: "Infection" (where the infected kills enemies to recruit them to their team), "Drop Zone" (where the player must hold a drop zone for points and care packages), "Team Juggernaut" (each team plays alongside an AI Juggernaut character), "Gun Game" (be the first to get one kill with every gun in the game) and "One in the Chamber" (in which players are only allowed one pistol with one bullet and three lives where they can only get more bullets by killing other players). Along with this, players are allowed to create their own game modes with customized settings such as number of players and time limit.
Call of Duty: Elite
Call of Duty: Elite is a new free/subscription-based service developed by Beachhead Studios for the multiplayer portion of Modern Warfare 3 (as well as the previous installment in the series, Black Ops). It was first showcased at E3 2011 and was released on November 8th, 2011 to coincide with the release of Modern Warfare 3. The free version includes features such as lifetime statistics and social-networking integration. The subscription version is priced at $49.99 per year and includes monthly downloadable content, daily competitions with virtual and real life prizes, the ability to level up your clan, pro analysis and strategies, and more.