So expectations were high for our first night of Modern Warfare 3, and in the end I was not disappointed. Sure there were some disappointing things about the evening, but overall it gave me what I craved.
It seems a large portion of the teaming masses of CoD fans reviews are critical of the game, but I don't know what exactly to think of that. If you hate the game, and I don't know why you would - you're not exactly sending a clear message to the publisher. As they say, given money and bullshit - each enjoys a decided advantage at talking and walking, respectively.
So how did we fare? It was a mixed bag - with team composition changing fluidly, scrambling around alien new landscapes, clumsily brandishing and reconfiguring our WMDs (weapons of minimal destruction). There were some big rounds, there were some terrible ones. We were lucky enough to encounter a few generous merchants of humility, to reset any butthole kicking expectations we had going in. There is definitely much to learn, study, and tweak. There is also much that hasn't changed. Unlike so many of the unsatisfied gamer-warrior-poets out there, that's all I really wanted. I can tell already that I could play this game for years. I probably won't, but I still think that's something worth appreciating.
My opinion could be changed if there is some hidden taint I've yet to discover, but for now it has at least made a good first impression.
I think I can pretty much imagine what the Activision exec's were going for when they pitched this game - "Let's make a game that everyone will pay for and play year round." Most of the changes they've made seem to be around a couple of things - making the game a little more balanced towards new players and non-TDM game modes, and making Prestige a lot less painful.
I could see myself going All The Way (10th Prestige) this time around, which is a very unusual feeling for me. In previous CoD games I quickly tired of climbing the experience ladder, and even in Reach it seemed just absurd to consider getting max rank. According to what little data I was able to glean from the Elite website in the short time it's been working since launch, I should be ready for prestige # 1 in about 2 weeks of play. I usually hate having to re-get my Pro perks, but I maxed out 2 of my perks on the first night of play. Add in the prestige tokens and it feels like Prestige-ing has been heavily encouraged this go-round.
The one problem that I'm having is that it feels a bit more dumbed down than previous games. I've got one less resource available (the 'equipment' slot has been rolled into the tac/lethal grenades) and the maps feel small, almost Nuketown or Rust sized. There's also a lot of recycled content, and some balance issues. For instance, the quickscoping on sniper rifles is brutal. The scoring of things like the recon drone feels lopsided - I can get one of those in a match and top the leaderboard even though I'm easily 5-10 kills behind the kill leader.
I think, though, that I'll be playing this for months and I'll probably pay for their stupid Elite service so that I get maps all year. You can take my money, but I'm going to be bitching about it the whole time. Bastards.