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As they’ve done at least once in the past, Activision has allowed week-early access to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 campaign ahead of the release of multiplayer.
However, given the extremely short turnaround time between the two Modern Warfares, yes, it seems a quite few corners have been cut, and the campaign is getting criticized for both its quality and its extremely short length, even for a Call of Duty campaign.
While it’s not uncommon for COD campaigns to be on the shorter side, 5-7 hours maybe, Modern Warfare pushes its luck at just 3-4 hours, the shortest in a long while, and no doubt it could be blitzed through even faster than that.
Almost all chatter online, especially from those who did indeed like the last two MW campaigns, seems to be trending negative for the quality, not just the length. There is no metascore up for just the campaign , nor is Metacritic allowing user reviews despite the early campaign drop, until the full game is released on November 10. But here’s a sampling of criticism from early players:
- “Modern Warfare 3 is a DLC, despite what the developers say, you need MW2 to even access the game in most cases.” - @ShirrakoGaming
- “My full review of Modern Warfare 3's campaign will be live tomorrow, but all I have to say for now is....woof” IGN’s Simon Cardy.
- “The campaign trailers for Modern Warfare III were so good and made it seem like the stakes would be on a similar level to that of the original MW3 and then you actually play the campaign and it’s like [boring emoji, snooze emoji] bar a few moments.” - @TheGamingRevo3
The launch of MW3, even outside of this, has been thorny:
- Players are wondering why on earth that the file size of the game is 200 GB, requiring serious hard drive cleaning in many cases to get it installed. Then there were problems even starting the campaign for many after the install.
- Other players are upset that Microsoft is blasting a full screen ad for MW3 when you log into Xbox for the first time.
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- And right now MW3 doesn’t even have a Platinum Trophy for the game, as it’s actually categorized as DLC for Modern Warfare 2, which is probably a metaphor for this entire endeavor.
During the Microsoft acquisition, there was some talk about slowing down the Call of Duty release cycle from annualized, and letting Activision support studios work on other IPs rather than being cogs in the COD wheel. Microsoft really cannot be blamed for anything going on with COD at the moment (except maybe that fullscreen ad) as all this was made under the independent Activision.
Of course, MW3 is still likely to be one of the top-selling games of the year purely because of the fact that it’s Call of Duty, and that’s just how things work. And this is a year where Microsoft is not putting it on Xbox or PC Game Pass which may increase players but decrease sales. The thought is that next year’s COD is likely to be on Game Pass, but of course due to all the acquisition drama, Microsoft has promised it will still be on PlayStation. For $70, of course.
So, while the campaign does not appear to be going great, that leaves the larger question of multiplayer, which did seem to be getting more positive feedback in early previews, but we’ll know for sure in a week.
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