E3 2011: Modern Warfare 3 Hands On

June 17, 2011, By Christian Davis

This year’s E3 was insanely busy for us here at Devicemag.  We saw a lot of great games and got to talk to a lot of people who gave us the inside scoop on some of the biggest titles. One of those is Activision’s Modern Warfare 3 and we got to play it.

Now we didn’t get to play the single player campaign, but we did get to play the new co-op survival mode that has players holding off increasingly difficult waves of enemies.

The new mode starts off pretty basic. You and your partner begin with a pistol and you take down small waves of enemies. The more that you kill, the more money you can get, which is then used to purchase better weapons. The enemies start off as only your basic soldiers and then goes to dogs, dogs with c4 strapped to them, juggernauts, and even helicopters that will take you down quickly.

After a few waves were disposed of, we headed over to one of the command posts that will appear on each map. These act as the level’s store and is where you’ll be able to buy weapons, ammo, and even killstreaks. Weapons feel just as solid as you’d expect them to be. A lot from Modern Warfare 2 are returning such as the fan favorite ACR and even the Model 1887 shotgun is back. Those as well as the standard pistol, are the only ones that I got my hands on, but there are a lot more available to purchase(like sentry guns) and pick up from fallen enemies.

The level we played on was considerably open and had a few buildings and bunkers to try and hold up in. Don’t expect the mode to really play out like Treyarch’s Nazi Zombie mode though. There won’t be any windows that need to be boarded up or dogs that will teleport behind you. The mode is still set in the game’s reality and not a zombie filled alternate universe.

Weapon upgrades are available, but aren’t as extravagant as lazer beams. They consist of weapon sights or automatic grenade launchers(very useful). There are basic weapon upgrades like those listed above as well as some that are specific to that weapon such as dual wielding or rapid fire.

Along with weapon upgrades there are killstreaks. I was only able to use one killstreak called Delta Squad. It called down a helicopter which dropped off three friendly bots. What I thought would be useless, turned out to be a great asset. They took cover near your location and followed you through the map. They killed a lot of enemies and were even harder to kill. Combine those guys with a sentry gun and you’ve got a pretty solid set up.

In this mode killing enemies in succession and quickly benefits you substantially. Taking out a certain amount of enemies in a short time frame gives you multipliers for your points and money. It’s not as easy to get, but once you do it can definitely help you out a lot.

In the eight waves I played, the hardest enemies were the juggernauts. The armor wearing soldiers took a lot of fire and ran at you with no fear. I ended up with two chasing me simultaneously and that wasn’t an easy feat at all, but that was the only point that was hard. Since you’re not fighting zombies with various strengths, it’s a bit too easy. If it were 4 player cooperative, there wouldn’t be much of a challenge at all. The map I played also wasn’t as long or extravagant as the Nazi Zombie mode and didn’t have a dozen different rooms with various entries.

All in all, the survival mode is a lot fun and will hopefully be supported as fully as Treyarch’s Nazi Zombie mode. For an early build, the gameplay is solid, killstreaks and weapons are balanced, though the difficulty can be increased a bit.

Modern Warfare 3 drops November 8th. Who’s picking it up? Let us know in the comments.

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