Since its release on November 8, I have dedicated a significant amount of time to playing the multiplayer mode of Modern Warfare 3. As a long-time fan of the Call of Duty series, I have invested countless hours in each installment, including the previous title, Black Ops 4, which was released back in 2018. However, with Modern Warfare 3, I find myself reaching the maximum player level and completing seasonal events within just a few weeks, leaving me with a sense of completion much sooner than anticipated.
After logging nearly 60 hours of playtime across both the PC and PlayStation 5 versions of the game, I have achieved the current maximum player level (rank 55) and have swiftly progressed through the small number of seasonal events introduced over the past few weeks. While reaching the maximum player level early in a new Call of Duty game is not uncommon, as the level cap gradually increases with each subsequent seasonal content update, it feels like there is significantly less to explore once you reach that threshold in Modern Warfare 3.
Spending 60 hours on a single game is substantial, but compared to previous entries that have kept me entertained for hundreds of hours, it’s difficult not to acknowledge the underlying issues with the progression system in Modern Warfare 3.
A significant aspect contributing to my feeling of disenchantment is the decision to transfer all the weapons from the previous entry, Modern Warfare 2, to Modern Warfare 3. While this is fantastic news for new players who now have access to one of the largest weapon arsenals in the franchise’s history, it is underwhelming for returning fans like myself.
One of the features I have always enjoyed in any Call of Duty game is the unique levels for each weapon, which allow you to unlock attachments and customize your weapons with cosmetic camos. However, the presence of familiar weapons in Modern Warfare 3 dampens the sense of discovery and progress that typically accompanies a new release.
Furthermore, as someone who had already unlocked everything in Modern Warfare 2 well before the launch of Modern Warfare 3, the preservation of progress between the two games means there are fewer new weapons for me to engage with before the first season. This issue is exacerbated by the limited number of new weapons introduced, with only 37 out of 114 being entirely new additions, some of which bear striking similarities to existing ones.
Considering the resemblances between the new and existing weapons, combined with the similarities in field upgrades, throwables, and perks, the overall weapon roster feels underwhelming.
Another disappointment is the armory unlocks system, which feels excessively demanding and detracts from the overall experience. The system, which unlocks new content through daily objectives, introduces unnecessary grind and detracts from the enjoyment of the game. The excessive requirements for daily challenges to unlock armory content appear as an artificial attempt to extend playtime, deterring engagement with the progression system.
Although I remain hopeful for Season One, anticipated to commence in December, and potential new content, the underwhelming campaign and progression system have left a disheartening impression of the latest installment in the franchise. For further insights into Modern Warfare 3, visit our Modern Warfare 3 Zombies guide for survival tips and our early interview with the developers to explore the changes in combat missions.
For more on Modern Warfare 3, see our Modern Warfare 3 Zombies guide for top tips on how to survive the undead, or read our early interview with the devs to discover how open combat missions change the rules of engagement.