A screenshot from Call of Duty Modern Warfare III.

A screenshot from Call of Duty Modern Warfare III. (Activision)

Since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II came out last year, the excitement for the new one has been palpable.

The last campaign for Call of Duty left gamers wanting more, and it left players teased by the reintroduction of the ultimate bad guy in the Call of Duty universe, Vladimir Makarov.

In this new campaign, we found ourselves stepping into the boots of our coterie of heroes: Price, Soap, Ghost, Farah, Alex and Laswell.

At the very beginning of the game, Makarov escapes from a gulag and immediately starts implementing his horrifying plans. This sets off a series of missions that shows the dangerous ends that Makarov will go to carry out his plan.

While you might expect a series of time-stopping door breaches and dramatic Call of Duty sequences embedded within the campaign itself, there isn’t. Modern Warfare 3 took a different approach toward the campaign missions.

Most of the missions were in Call of Duty’s Warzone format and the objectives were like the contracts that you get in Warzone.

No longer are you waiting on Price for commands, you choose your approach for the mission.

Admittedly, it appears that those of who reviewed the game took a similar approach. As one of us puts it, “I just ended up going Leroy Jenkins.”

While we appreciated the new take on a Call of Duty campaign, we hoped to see the familiar storytelling that provided the engaging campaign style that we were used to.

The campaign is also unusually short for a Call of Duty game. Some of us thought it seemed more like downloadable content than a full game.

It also has moments that we, as reviewers, believe can be viewed as controversial. To avoid spoiling the game, it will appear later in the review.

At this point, you may be wondering, “What about the zombies mode offered in Call of Duty?”

Similar to the campaign, this zombie mode appears to also have borrowed heavily from the warzone format.

You are essentially dropped into the fictional Urzikstan, and you fight zombies while fulfilling contracts and rushing to accomplish objectives before the time runs out. There is a story in three acts in this zombie mode, and you advance by fulfilling objectives.

The reviewer who covered this part has been playing this game mode since it first appeared in the franchise. With that said, there is one criticism of this mode, which appears toward the end of our review.

As for the multiplayer mode, it remains very similar to last year’s release, but the graphics are better, and the maps are different.

The good news is that if you bought a skin for Modern Warfare 2, it will transfer to Modern Warfare 3.

For one of the reviewers, it meant Homelander, a character from the Amazon Prime TV series “The Boys” and a true American hero, returns for a second COD game.

Spoilers ahead

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While every game mode is basically a different form of the Warzone format, it still clearly remains a Call of Duty game. It emphasizes the heroics of working with a diverse group of operators across the globe to stop a notorious villain who acts with little regard for human life to accomplish his evil plan.

In the original Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, this led to the “no Russian alive” scene, which was widely condemned because you took control of a CIA officer who commits an act of terror by shooting civilians in an airport.

The new game also has a similar scene, but it plays out differently. Instead, you are a former officer of Farah’s Urzikstan military sitting on an airplane headed to Russia. As you send messages back and forth to family, the stranger sitting next to you begins talking with you. He forces you to get up from your seat. At first, your character resists being forced into the front the plane, but nothing can stop what’s happening. Ultimately, you are pushed towards the cockpit and Makarov steps out of the cockpit. He puts a bomb vest on you. He explains his sinister goal to blow up the airplane using a former Urzikstan soldier as a suicide bomber and spark a war between Russia and Urzikstan. The device to stop it is a cell phone, which he throws into the cabin of the plane for you to find and avoid exploding. Unfortunately, a series of tragic events occur and you don’t reach the cell phone in time to stop the bomb from exploding. In the next mission, your operative picks through the debris and bodies to find information.

There is also a scene where you fight to quell a terrorist attack being carried out by Makarov’s men at a soccer stadium, which also ends in tragedy. As one of our reviewers points out, it comes very close to actual attacks that have occurred in recent years.

While we believe the point of these scenes was to show the depths of brutality of the main villain, they didn’t give enough consideration to how these scenes could impact gamers.

Another point of concern is that some of the undead foes in the zombie mode wear hijabs. This also raised questions about whether the developers fully considered their audience.

While these points may seem to speak to the current zeitgeist, it is worth noting that Call of Duty WWII had diversified the Nazi military and removed swastikas from their multiplayer and zombie modes due to restrictions in Germany.

Overall, it was clear that the latest iteration of Call of Duty is designed to appeal to players who are fans of Warzone, and they executed that format through their various game modes with expertise. By changing the format of the campaign and zombies mode, it may have detracted from elements that fans clamor for from previous Call of Duty games, but it still provides an engaging and memorable experience. The only question remains: Did the game live up to all the anticipation? Not for many gamers. It felt far too short and the cliff-hanging ending just added to the feeling.

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Kyle Alvarez covers the U.S. military in England. He graduated from Berry College in Rome, Ga., with a degree in public relations.

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