Sloppy campaign, download too heavy and too long, bombing… Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is officially available this Friday, November 10, but is already facing the ire of fans.
Hardly available, already under fire. The battle started well in advance Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, available for sale this Friday, November 10. It has to be said that the early access to the single-player campaign that launched last week didn’t just make people happy.
Critics quickly started raining on the new opus that celebrates 20 years of the Activision franchise, some finding it too short, others pointless and soulless. Several players even went so far as to give negative reviews to lower the game’s rating even before the multiplayer and zombie modes were released this Friday… by playing the wrong game.
Because this Modern Warfare III is the reboot, 12 years later, of Modern Warfare 3, one of the three best-selling titles in the saga. If the Sledgehammer Games studio had made a name for itself by participating extensively in the first opus, it would have had full control over the final game, but with half as much time as the other studios involved in the annual rotation, Infinity Ward and Treyarch , for the design.
Half the time to design the game
Because since 2009, Activision has decided to rely on different developers to ensure a release every year. Infinity Ward, the game’s creator, saw the arrival of Treyarch and then Sledgehammer in the mid-2000s. A well-oiled rotation system, but undermined since 2020. Responsible for Forefront (2021), the Californian studio ultimately only had a year and a half to complete its revision Modern Warfare IIIwhich arrives in the wake of Modern Warfare II (2022)designed by Infinity Ward in three years.
For Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier, this explains the cold, even disastrous reception of the game by the first players who were able to pre-order it and enjoy the single-player campaign. It is also necessarily this first point that crystallizes the tensions and suggests a game with undoubtedly a failed design.
“A fact that could contribute to a wave of bad reviews about the game’s storyline, according to people close to the development process,” he writes, who told him that “the shortened production schedule proved stressful for the ‘development team’ .
Activision’s flagship franchise meets the demands of the publisher, recently bought by Microsoft for nearly $69 billion with Blizzard and King, to stay at the top of annual revenue with a new title every fall. Sometimes at the expense of creativity and originality, as observers have often noted. For Jason Schreier, the accelerated development of MW III is the result of a gap in the schedule that needs to be filled due to the delay in the new version of Duty initially planned for 2023.
The Sledgehammer teams initially thought they were working on an expansion of the previous episode, set in Mexico and pitting Task Force 141 against its enemy Makarov. It has become a game in itself, which Activision wanted to be ‘premium’, far removed from the initial warnings to the developers who only learned last year that they would be making a direct sequel. They therefore had to restart development and complete it within 16 months.
The result is clear: the comments on the single-player campaign in the specialized press were not kind, Kotaku called it a “mostly zero” campaign, Gamekult speaks of “a sense of déjà vu (and) recycling”, IGN calls it “ the worst single player experience in the franchise. And JVCom is no kinder, summing it up as a single-player campaign “missing its mark” with frustrating pacing issues. Multiplayer guests are matched, putting the experience in the category of disappointment.
While COD has long built a reputation in the history of its single-player campaign, perhaps it’s the multiplayer that can save it Modern Warfare III. A recipe that changes little, but has an incomparable success and transforms the franchise into an unparalleled cash machine.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and PC.