Reviewing Modern Warfare 3 (PS5): First Impressions from the Beta


We’ve been playing Modern Warfare 3 (technically MWIII) since the beta’s early access on October 6th. Sledgehammers Games is doing an extremely good job of implementing community feedback from the last few years. However, MW3 recycles features from CoDs from three different studios and that leaves us with the impression that we have a DLC that is sold at full price. Here you can find our Modern Warfare 3 review, which we will constantly update during the beta and finalize for the full release.

Reviewing Modern Warfare 3 (PS5): First Impressions from the Beta
Here is our Modern Warfare 3 review, which we will continually update. | © Activision

Honestly, we’re big fans of Sledgehammer’s approach in MW3. Modern Warfare 3 listens to the community and fulfills many wishes that were ignored by the last CoD. But it still feels a bit like a big DLC ​​for Modern Warfare 2. So it’s not all perfect; At times we felt like we were playing a mix of BOCW, Vanguard and MWII, but hey, it’s a lot of fun and most of the innovations work very well.

So far we have played around 30 hours during the first beta weekend, testing the maps, modes and weapons available in the beta. So we can’t fully evaluate the game yet, but we’ve already gotten a good impression of what the MW3 multiplayer will look like when it’s released.

A notice: This review is still a work in progress and we will update it during the second beta weekend before finalizing it for full release.

Modern Warfare 3 Review

Contents

  1. Gameplay
    1. Movement
    2. battles
    3. Balancing
    4. Spawns
  2. Contents
    1. Maps
    2. Modi
  3. Audio-Visual
    1. Chart
    2. Sound Design
    3. Technical problems
  4. Conclusion

1. Gameplay

We can already tell you a lot about the gameplay, as not much will probably change between now and the official release. What immediately strikes us here is that it In Modern Warfare 3 there is again a significantly higher skill gap than in previous CoDs. We actually had to restrain ourselves several times during testing not to criticize the SBMM when we were dismantled by some sweaters. In MW3 you just have to get used to the fact that you’re probably not quite as good as MW2 or Vanguard made you believe…

1a. Movement

The movement in MW3 is likely to divide the community again. Slide canceling is back, but not nearly as effective as it once was. This is due to a short delay after the slide animation, which feels a bit strange.

Except for this one mechanic but the game is incredibly fast. Climbing, running, penalties, everything is much faster than in MW2. There are also a lot of weapon attachments and perks that can further improve your movement. Be it “improved ADS when jumping” to specifically improve jumpshotting or increased strafe speed when choosing the right shoes.

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We definitely liked the fast movement and it ensures that players go into battles more aggressively and are less likely to simply camp out in certain corners of a map.

1b. battles

The weapons don’t feel quite as good as the Infinity Ward titles, but the combat itself is a clear improvement over MW2. MW3 has a significantly higher TTK, which takes some getting used to, but leads to more exciting confrontations. If you are shot from behind, you actually have time to react, which is further aided by the quick movement.

Modern Warfare 3 Review 1
The weapons don’t have that Infinity Ward feel, but they still feel good. | © Activision

The new recoil model is also commendable. In MWII, most weapons had such severe visual recoil that you often just had to rely on Aim Assist. Modern Warfare 3 significantly reduces the visual recoil, but also compensates for this with weaker Aim Assist. Overall, the battles feel much better and many of your deaths no longer feel quite so random.

1c. Balancing

The balance between SMGs and Assault Rifles feels pretty good this year, with a few Battle Rifles finally making it into the meta. The MPs play much more like MPs again, which means that they no longer have a chance at longer distances, but benefit extremely from the faster movement in close combat. The assault rifles, on the other hand, are very strong at medium distances, but are often too slow in close combat, which is why there is a good balance and therefore a reason to play different weapon classes.

However, there were still two weapons in the beta that particularly caught our eye, the MTZ-556 and the Strikers. Both of these weapons feel damn good and are very good all-rounders, but not op.

The new perk system also seems to work well. It’s basically just a re-skin of the classic system, but the way the perks have been categorized is very clever and forces us to make important decisions. So we can no longer use all the “op perks” at once, but have to choose.

The equipment is the only area that still gives us pause. Battle Rage is now in the Tactics slot, which makes it a bit too strong in our opinion. We are also concerned about the throwing knives as they are extremely quick and easy to use, which seems to negate the extra increased TTK. However, this can easily be improved with smaller balance patches.

1d. Spawns

The spawns are fine so far. Not perfect, but not a failure either. Sometimes you still get spawned in the middle of the map or before an enemy runs, but we’ve had significantly worse spawns in past CoDs.

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2. Content

So far we’ve only been able to test a lot of multiplayer maps and a ground war map as well as a handful of weapons, so it’s difficult to judge all the content. What’s more, the maps are all revisions of old MW2 maps, so anyone who played back then won’t find much that’s new.

2a. cards

The maps are very well designed, like in MW2 from 2009, and fit the MW3 gameplay perfectly. Skidrow and Estate have been the slightly larger maps so far, while Favela and Rust are smaller and faster. Depending on the game mode, the maps feel better or worse, but overall we were very satisfied.

The maps are not 1:1 identical to their models, but have a very similar structure to the originals. Older players in particular will feel right at home here, but don’t let nostalgia lull you… Yes, the maps are fun and well designed, but even in the original MW2 there were maps that just weren’t good.

But let’s be honest, MW2 came out in 2009, so the maps will actually be new to most players today. We also finally have map voting again and thus influence which map is played next.

2b. Ways

The beta so far only includes a few well-known modes (Ground War, TDM, Domination, Kill Confirmed and Hardpoint), but we know that MW3 will also receive a 3v3v3 variant of Gunfight called Cutthroat and the War mode from WW2 (with its own maps). becomes. Cutthroat sounds like an exciting new variant of Gunfight and will certainly provide a bit of variety. As for the other modes we played, we were very pleasantly surprised at how well the objective-based modes in particular worked on all maps. Only Team Deathmatch just dragged on too long, especially on Estate – the map is simply too big for TDM if you only play 6v6.

MW3 gameplay mechanics
Graphically, MW3 is, as always, an absolute masterpiece. | © Activision

3. Audio-visual

As usual for a Call of Duty, MW3 looks damn good and the sound is also convincing. The graphics are sharp and detailed, and the sound effects are impressive. However, there are some audio balance issues, particularly with footsteps, which are difficult to hear in certain situations.

3a. Graphic

The lighting and color palette of MW3 are great, finally not just a muddy brown… Sure, here and there a map looks a bit monotonous (rust…), but that’s how it is when you have a bunch cleaned up old MW2 maps. However, MW3 currently has a bit of a problem with the visibility of enemies and allies. This can be easily patched, but we noticed it negatively.

However, there are bigger problems on the old-gen consoles, where the resolution has apparently been significantly reduced. Not only is the graphics visibly worse here, but visibility also gets worse. The question is, of course, how important this will be in 2023, since most players are now on one PS5 or Xbox Series and here MW3 looks simply excellent.

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3b. Sound Design

Hit markers and headshot sounds sound damn satisfying and dead silence finally works properly. If you use the right shoes with the dead silence perk, you really move completely silently. Unfortunately, weapon noises and the sounds of grenades etc. sound a bit weaker compared to Infinity Ward’s titles. Don’t get us wrong, MW3 always sounds damn good, but Sledgehammer just can’t match IW’s gun sound.

3c. Technical problems

I never thought we’d be writing this about a Call of Duty beta, but the game ran absolutely smoothly during the beta. We didn’t have any crashes or connection problems, which is something we’re not used to with a CoD. Let’s hope that this is also the case in the finished game and that we don’t have any unpleasant surprises at launch.

5. Conclusion

In the “Golden Age” of Call of Duty (CoD4 to Black Ops 2), there were hardly any differences between the games from Infinity Ward (Modern Warfare) and Treyarch (Black Ops). But after Sledgehammer Games got involved with their CoDs, the games from the different studios drifted further and further apart, which further divided the community.

This divide deepened particularly with MW2019 and the integration of Warzone, which attracted a large number of new players. With Moder Warfare 2, Infinity Ward took the changes in favor of “casuals” to the extreme and the game was severely punished by the community.

Sledgehammer attempts to bridge this gap with MW3 by combining elements from all three studios and reversing controversial changes. It combines the setting of IW, the gameplay of Treyarch and the assets of Sledgehammer. And yes, the concept seems to be working, the community is happy about the higher TTK, the return of the faster movement and many other features, but there is also a lack of innovation. Modern Warfare 3 is a Modern Warfare title that plays like Black Ops and is run by Sledgehammer who want to please the community at all costs.

So with Modern Warfare 3 we have a Call of Duty that’s a lot of fun, feels good and keeps the community happy for now, but is recycling old maps and combining existing features enough to keep MW3 alive longer? It just feels a bit like a major expansion rather than a full, full-price AAA title.

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