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E3 2011 First look: Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3 City

It wouldn’t be an E3 without a Call of Duty reveal, and this year is no different. But when it comes to the details of the upcoming Modern Warfare 3, the cat is out of the bag. In fact the cat cut the bag open, and returned to free other cats stuck in bags. We already knew pretty much all of the details, including the entire campaign story, as well a major reveal of the multiplayer plans–and yet none of that makes seeing the first few levels of Modern Warfare 3 any less cool.

And that is just what Activision is doing with Modern Warfare 3 at E3. In a closed door session, groups have been treated with a look at two levels of the campaign for the game, “Hunter Killer” and “Mind the Gap”.

“Hunter Killer” was first debuted on Monday as the opening to the Microsoft press event. The stage begins in a flooded Brooklyn tunnel, littered with wreckage and bodies. New York is under siege, and the Russian attack has caught the military by surprise. Leading the counter attack is a squad of Delta Force members, including the playable character, “Frost”.

As they operate in full scuba gear, the team makes its way through the New York Harbor and waits for a Russian sub to pass by. Once they make contact, the Delta team plants explosives on the submarine and forces it to surface. It is at this moment that you begin to see the scale of the game when you glimpse New York—or what’s left of it. The Big Apple is a smoking ruin, as almost every building in sight has been hit by missiles. Smoke billows from the distance, and the harbor is filled with half sunken destroyers, carriers and various warships. The skies are also filled with helicopters and fighters, and there is no doubt that the world is at war.

Modern Warfare 3 scuba

Frost and the Delta team meet the sub on the surface and fight their way onboard to the control room. The action is fast and furious, and very Modern Warfare-ish. Firefights down hallways will look familiar to fans of the series, and the combat system seems to be the same. Once the team launches the submarine’s missiles, they exit and jump on a waiting raft for a quick getaway. As you zip through the harbor, fighting off the odd Russian boat, the damage begins to become clear. Not only is New York in ruins, so is a massive portion of the American navy. This is not going to be a simple matter of killing the bad guy, it will be much more difficult than that.

The next stage takes us to London in the boots of an SAS operative named Burns, in the stage “Mind the Gap”. The scope of global war is again emphasized, as the skyline of London is the backdrop for a covert operation in a warehouse on the outskirts of the city.

call of duty 3 breach

The battle rages across several industrial areas until it heads underground as enemy troops have taken over a subway train and are rushing through the underground at maximum speed. You take the gunner position on a truck and chase after it, fighting your way deeper and deeper into London. One moment where the train flies past a stop and people scream as the it hurdles by, stands out in another nod to the scale of the game and the emphasis on a world that has forever changed.

The level ends with a surprise that shouldn’t be spoiled, but the levels shown were more than enough to leave us wanting more.

Modern warfare 3 seems to follow the original games very, very closely. That isn’t a bad thing, and the game is still incomplete, but hopefully there are still plenty of new surprises on the way. If you did not like the original or the last game in the series, you probably won’t find much to win you over in this one, judging by what was shown. If you are part of the other 15 or so million people, then you should be happy come November.

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