Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is set to launch on November 10th, but pre-order customers and press have been able to play the campaign portion of the game since last Friday. With a few early reviews of just the campaign already live on a handful of major outlets, the overall consensus seems to already be that this year’s is a bit of a stinker.
Similar criticisms have been levelled at MW3 2023’s campaign from multiple reviewers, who’ve pointed out that its 3-4 hour runtime is short even by Call of Duty standards and fairly indicative of the widely-held belief that the game was originally planned as DLC for Modern Warfare 2 (among other evidence). Most reviewers and players have also criticised the overall mission design, especially the new “Open Combat” missions as well as an under-developed story.
IGN scored the campaign a shocking 4/10, saying, “Modern Warfare 3’s campaign commits the biggest sin possible for a globe-trotting action thriller: it’s boring. What had the promise to be an intriguingly spun web of mystery instead ends up being a dusty cobweb you’d find at the back of your shed, clinging onto 15-year-old garden toys you once had fun with. It’s a pale imitation of the past, made up of underbaked story moments that clash with attempts to introduce new open combat missions designed to encourage player freedom that instead fall flat on their face. Yes, the gunplay is still great and the graphics and sound design are top-tier, but I couldn’t help but feel I was playing a shinier, less subtle version of something I’ve played too many times before. If this is the quality we’ve come to expect from Call of Duty campaigns, maybe it’s for the best if a year or two is taken to reset and raise this low bar back to the heights of old.”
Gamespot’s review was only a point more in its favour with a 5/10, the outlet writing that, “Although its narrative setup is enjoyable, Modern Warfare 3 can’t get out of its own way, with nearly half of the missions being the underwhelming Open Combat style. The bumpy pacing and abrupt ending make Makarov’s big return a disappointment, dragging Modern Warfare 3 down as the weakest entry of an otherwise strong reboot series.”
Meanwhile VGC’s review is an in-progress one, but of the campaign the outlet said, “A COD campaign has never felt more like a contractual obligation, or made because Activision didn’t think it could charge £70 for a game without it. It’s a cynical, disappointing low point for a series that used to set the bar for single-player shooter campaigns.”
Our own review is incoming and will be published when we’ve spent a decent amount of time not just with its single-player campaign but with its suite of multiplayer modes and content, so keep an eye out for that shortly.