Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a sure fire hit. The Call of Duty franchise has become a household name, smashing sales records and dominating online statistics. It's also a cultural icon in the gaming community.
And I won't be buying it.
"GASP! How could he refuse the second coming of Jesus?". "God damn BF3 fanboy!". I can already envision the comments on this article, and the backlash that will follow on Twitter. Never the less, here are five reasons why I won't be buying Modern Warfare 3.
12 Month Subscription Fees Are Outdated
Everyone seems to know that 12 month subscription fees are outdated; a number of MMO's and shooters are launching as "free-to-play" these days, however Call of Duty still manages to steal your hard earned cash every twelve months.
The secret to publisher Activision's diabolical plans is that it doesn't call it a subscription fee. Instead it just churns out a new CoD game every year that has the same gameplay mechanics, the same graphics engine, and the same downfalls with minimal changes. The developer re-skins the game, throws in a few nifty multiplayer features and kicks it out the door with a premium price-tag. Everyone is so excited for Modern Warfare 3 yet they don't realise they have already played it. It came out in 2007, and it was called Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Over Before It's Started
One thing that CoD has always done well is to craft an action-packed, single-player experience. Call of Duty 2 had one of the best experiences of its time, and CoD 4: Modern Warfare was truly an epic adventure that changed the face of the entire genre. However the series seems to become a little more complacent with each subsequent release.
There's no foreplay, it's just balls to the wall action that sets the scene for an adrenalin pumping thrill ride. The stories become ridiculous and completely over the top, and just when things are getting into a rhythm, it's all over and you're left with a big mess on your hands. Nothing is resolved, we're given a weak answer to our problems and we're asked to leave $14.99 on the nightstand for some upcoming DLC. Call of Duty has never been about character development, but when that action is so condensed into a 4-5 hour experience it doesn't give you a chance to breathe or take it in. Draw it out a little guys, return to the pacing of CoD 2 and things will be much better for it.
1337 Skills Not Rewarded
Most online shooters demand a dedication to learning the game, developing strategies and bringing in some 1337 skills to pwn your opponents. Battlefield 3 requires you to learn the subtleties of bullet drop and Team Fortress 2 will have you learning how to rocket jump and the best tactics to being a successful spy. Call of Duty doesn't require said skills, which is a double edged sword: it makes the game easy to pick up and play however it doesn't promote those who are truly elite.
Running and gunning isn't frowned upon. Rather, it is openly encouraged in the CoD world we live in. There may be team based modes in the multiplayer gameplay, however it all comes down to one thing: the kill-to-death ratio.
Players who meticulously learn their classes and develop strategies for every map won't be rewarded highly, not when some punk who hasn't even earned his wings can simply run around the corner, spray and pay and collect an XP boost. Obviously players who possess some form of 1337 skills will fare better than most, but they aren't as important as other games seems to emphasise.
The Fossil Syndrome
Graphical advancements are coming thick and thin this year. However Modern Warfare 3 will be using a tweaked version of the same engine that powered Call of Duty 2 back in 2005. While it doesn't look bad, it's certainly starting to age a little when compared to other titles out there these days. Sure, it runs at a smooth 60fps, however gamers demand graphical prowess, and the IW Engine is starting to slip.
Another Step Towards Destroying The CoD Namesake
Believe it or not I was once a huge advocate of the Call of Duty franchise, jumping ship from the Medal Of Honor train when that series started to go downhill. There is no question that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare transformed the face of multiplayer shooters, and gave the FPS genre a much needed boost, however it seems that each release since then has brought down the quality of the series inch by inch. I don't want the series to fail, I remember the days when Call of Duty was "Medal of Honor but more realisitc", yet now many are probably making the same claim with Battlefield 3.
Will Modern Warfare 3 revolutionise the series? No. It will offer more of the same content that we've been receiving since 2007. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, however it isn't exactly ideal. The series is slowly coming to a standstill, and soon it will be lacking innovation completely. Other titles may not be able to come close in terms of sales, but they are rapidly surpassing Call of Duty based on experiences alone.
By Stephen Heller
Who's steering clear of Modern Warfare 3 this week?