E3 2011: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 preview - The rail-gunning, train-wrecking excesses of New York and London

Is there any doubt Call of Duty is the hottest franchise in gaming? No, there is not. Is there any question the latest game in the series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, is the gaming world’s most eagerly awaited game of 2011? No, there is not. Are we the type of mean bastards to spend hours at a special, swanky preview event, getting a good, long look at two single-player levels from this very game and then keep all the exquisite details to ourselves? No, we are not. We’re going to spill our guts and rant like mad men. Let’s roll… 

To start off the event, two gentlemen from co-developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games prepped the crowd by discussing a few goals they were hoping to achieve with MW3’s single-player experience - chief among them being a focus on hardcore urban combat. In fact, US players will find themselves defending their home turf much of the time. Story-wise, MW3 picks up right where Modern Warfare 2 left off – namely, Russia has invaded America and everything has pretty much gone to hell.

The gamplay demonstration began with the player in control of an American soldier being transported via APC through the war-torn streets of New York. The mission was to destroy a radio tower on top of the New York Stock Exchange, which Russian forces were using to jam American communications. Before we could fully take in the grave surroundings, a Russian RPG smashed into the side of the vehicle, killing the driver and overturning the APC. Once the world stopped spinning, our soldier climbed from the wreckage and the game proper began.

It was at this moment that we could see the truly sad state of The Big Apple. Officers screamed out orders from behind abandoned cars and other makeshift cover while Marines traded fire with an advancing Russian force. Combat choppers patrolled the skies between burning skyscrapers. It was already intense. Our soldier grabbed a rifle, loaded his magazine and got to work.

As the soldier advanced through Wall Street, an armored tank rolled up a cross street and fired on an enemy chopper, causing the bird to spin into an opposing building and explode, raining fire and debris onto enemy and allied troops alike. It was at this point that the soldier switched to what we could only describe as some sort of prototype railgun to dispatch the tank. To be honest, we didn’t get a good look at the weapon itself – we were too busy staring slack-jawed at the havoc it wrought with each shot. This quick sequence illustrates what the Call of Duty games still do better than perhaps any other series - peppering in just the right amount of set-piece moments to make you feel like you’re simply a single man or woman playing your small part in a huge war and then turning around with an action sequence that makes you feel like a god.

The scene at the Big Board was a very somber sight. The trading floor lay abandoned and wrecked, with furniture shredded and nearly every screen shattered, with Russian forces having taken control of the bullet-ridden site’s upper floors. The soldier advanced with his squad, picking off enemy soldiers as they ascended to the rooftops. Resistance at the tower’s base was heavy, but the soldier managed to set charges while his unit laid down cover fire. Boom.




  • wolfboy20 - August 1, 2011 11:43 p.m.

    @The King of Nothing.. 4 hours may be plenty for an arcade game but for a full priced 60 dollar game, its almost pathetic...15 dollars is way too much for 5 maps srsly they made lots of money and they cant charge for their maps fairly???? No Deds suck!!! there is lag, connection interruptions, imbalanced mp and the same game with little to no innovation...COD didnt invent anything, it just took from othere games..
  • md1292 - May 30, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    I don't know if you can say MW3 is the most anticipated game of 2011. Also, the type of experience modern warfare fans are used to (because of the second game) includes a ridiculous amount of glitches that takes months to patch, a short campaign that played out like a greatest hits of cheesy action movies, and a lackluster multiplayer infrastructure.
  • TheIronMaiden - May 30, 2011 5:30 a.m.

    meh battlefield 3 is taking my heart for an FPS this year. I'm highly anxious about dukey nukem and I also am very excited for uncharted 3 and many other great titles. I will be playing MW3 simply for the campaign since I've followed the series for far too long to miss out on what happens to Price and Soap.
  • ExCruceoLeo - May 29, 2011 11:30 p.m.

    "Is there any question the latest game in the series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, is the gaming world’s most eagerly awaited game of 2011? No, there is not." In my own opinion, this game is pwnage, "but" I believe Assassin's Creed: Revelations is much more popular. You know, the administrators should make a poll for this.
  • TheGuy0526 - May 29, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    I swear ta god, you all sound like the hipsters of gaming. "Its too mainstream; I only play REAL games that are undeground because i'm HARDCORE". I agree with Ironarm above me here completely. You can say the games are all the same, but this is one of the best examples of a series that can do everything the same with every game and still be awesome. Get over it, they're good at what they do. Oh, and as for the most anticipated game thing, Gamesradar is talking about the majority of the gaming population, not every one of you pricks who feel they need to make it a point that they aren't in that statistic. Since its just so important one person claims hes not part of the millions. This plus Mass Effect 3 is gonna be the end of me. I'm psyched!
  • Ironarm - May 29, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    @Oxfordcomma So if I buy MW3 because I enjoy the formula of CoD I'm stupid? That's fantastic logic. Bravo sir. I'm sure you're just the epitome of intelligent. Seriously grow up. Everyone has different tastes and some people do in fact enjoy Call of Duty's FPS formula. Just learn to deal with it and if you don't want to play it then don't play it. Stop complaining about a game that you're not going to be touching and let the fans enjoy it. Unless you are going to be buying it and playing it, which I'm betting about half of all the complainers will do.
  • FierceVoltage - May 28, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    @albvega I totally agree, u guys realize this is the small percentage of the gaming population that play othe games beside shooters, people wo read this website are the ones who care about all games but that does not mean we represent the entire population, the truth is the larger population are the ones who buy and love the COD series
  • Turboash - May 28, 2011 4:44 a.m.

    Most anticipated? It's hard to get pumped about a game that we've already played twice. Still... me wanty!
  • snipes101 - May 27, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    @City17fan: Yes, this was a gameplay demonstration in which all parts were playable. I'm assuming that you are basing that "no hud" thing off of the screen shots. The screenshots you are seeing are from the trailer (the one on the first page). That's why there is no hud in any of them.
  • Oxfordcomma4 - May 27, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    @db1331, While the games you've mentioned are fantastic, and hotly awaited, not everyone has decent taste in games, unfortunately. Tons of people are either stupid or nine years old, and buy games on social appeal, not actual merit. So, to the Great Unseen Maw of the consumer marked, CoD is the biggest thing since the ability to breathe air.
  • Lando81 - May 27, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    @Burdman You sir, have a great mindset. Keep it up! :)
  • The_King_of_Nothing - May 27, 2011 3:16 a.m.

    @HaVoK308 4 hour campaigns, $15 refurbished map packs, billions earned and no dedicated servers, a MP component that suffers from lag, hacks, and cheaters with no support. Utterly amazed that the gaming press and gamers still support this arrogant bullshit. 4 Hours is plenty long $15 is really not bad it is only $3 a map that costed way more to make no dedicated servers-you have a little there MP lag-I've never seen a game that has none same here and here there is support pay attention to updates-although not enough Finally I would think the fact that people support the games despite all of this is a testament to how good the games are. That being said, I am finding hard to get really pumped about this. I will buy and probably really enjoy it, but I know there will be no way it can top the original MW. I am curious on if they will still have Makorov as he is betrayed in the trailers unlike what they did in MW2 making it seem like he was trying to teach a lesson and follow in Zakhaev's footsteps, but is just a hired gun who seemed to have basically no impact on the events except the one action at the airport. That was very disappointing.
  • ZigzMagoo - May 27, 2011 3:04 a.m.

    Im sorry, but I'm pretty sure the most anticipated game this year is Skyrim. That plus Battlefield 3 is gonna control my year. I might just rent this game for the single player
  • chriszewski - May 26, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    I'm less skeptical of the SP than i am of the MP. I'm willing to bet most of the SP was ironed out before West and Co. departed, but we haven't seen much of anything MP related aside from the big leak. I know there will be issues with the MP at first (i won't be a paying beta tester this time, mind you) but i'm concerned for the overall quality of the MP and if it will have the overall staying power of MW2... For me anyway. Also: No mention of Raven working on this anymore? Has Kotik already killed them off?
  • shadowreaper72 - May 26, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    Campaign: Hell Yes! Mutiplayer: If it is as cheap and unbalanced as MW2 then hell to the fuck NO!!!
  • Gameguy94 - May 26, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    I hope they throw in more of the really cool Russian small arms. The Pecheneg, VSS, and AN94 are just a few of some really kick ass weapons Russia has developed. Maybe some Chinese weapons as well. I haven't seen the QBZ-95 in any game.
  • Limbo - May 26, 2011 9:21 p.m.

    Pretty excited for this. The Modern Warfare campaigns are always pretty great, and this looks to be the same. I hope that the multiplayer is at least a little different from MW2 and Black Ops though, they pretty much played exactly the same with different guns.
  • wolfboy20 - May 26, 2011 8:52 p.m.

    @hacok lmao!!! you hit the nail on the head lolz!!
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - May 26, 2011 8:07 p.m.

    *yawn* sounds just like MW2, but the game will still sell millions, Bobby Kotik will get richer, same old story. I don't know who it was, but someone from TalkRadar said that CoD is like the Madden of fps. I think that I would have to agree with them.
  • NightCrawler_358 - May 26, 2011 7:31 p.m.

    I have no doubt it will be a good game, and probably break the records set by Black Ops, including how many people will be playing it, but its frustrating to think that a game that comes out a year after the last installment is the most anticipated of that year. COD games aren't the most anticipated every year that they come out, (which is every year) games like Uncharted 3 and Skyrim that have had time to develope are the really anticipated games.

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