An exciting yet somewhat middling entry in a series that seems to be running low on energy as it scrambles to keep pace with the annual release cycle, the collaboration between Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III" marks the 20th mainline entry in the dominant franchise.
Rebooting the title that debuted at 2011, when the series was nearing the height of its popularity, it tells a limp, groan-inducing story in a wisp of a campaign that seems to exist merely as a placeholder, largely repurposing existing assets from the likes of Warzone maps.
Even a top-flight "Call of Duty" campaign won't distract most players from the main attraction, the multiplayer suite. It's here that the game truly hits its stride, delivering the diversity of modes -- including the always-appealing Zombies and Warzone -- as well as state-of-the-art progression models, stat tracking and matchmaking. Continuing to thrive as an esport, "Modern Warfare III" is a must-buy, if only to avoid FOMO when your friends abandon "Modern Warfare II" for this one.
Upgrades and enhancements are everpresent, and there are strong senses of team-based play and collaboration throughout many of the modes, discouraging the immature loan-wolf griefers who tend to be drawn to the series. Appealing to fans who would rather not have their nightly pastime ruined by immature goofballs trying to make names for themselves on TikTok, there seems to be a more well-rounded community policing system in place, as well as ironclad user agreements that make players pinky promise not to behave like morons.
Despite the staleness of the annual release treadmill and the insipid campaign, I enjoyed my time with "Modern Warfare III," even as I found myself outwitted and outmatched on the battlefield. There is ample satisfaction in doing what you can, however limited, to help lift your team over the top in tense moments. And there is utter enjoyment in watching your level grind up toward the next rank, no matter how poorly you perform on the battlefield. "Call of Duty" may be wearing out its welcome, but it's still the go-to playground of choice for anyone with a PS5, Xbox Series X or gaming PC.
Publisher provided review code.