Monday, November 14, 2011

FPS Monday? "I feel like Jack Bauer!", Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Wii Impressions



Coffee Beans
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was released this past Tuesday, November 8, for all the current generation home consoles.

The game was developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games, and published by Activision.  The Wii version of MW3 was ported to the Wii console by Treyarch, and it is the first Modern Warfare title to be released day one on the Wii along with the other console versions.

The game received a "Mature" rating from the ESRB with "Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language" listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

I played some of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on the Wii a few days last week, so what are my initial impressions of it?  Let's take a look!

The Brew
The last Call of Duty Wii game I played before Modern Warfare 3 was Call of Duty: World at War.  One of the control settings in MW3 is listed as "W@W STYLE",  so if you played Call of Duty: World at War on the Wii and enjoyed the controls in that game, you should find the controls in Modern Warfare 3 enjoyable as well.

The first thing I did before firing one bullet in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was to find the control settings.  Once finding them, I adjusted my "Dead Zone" making it slightly smaller than the default setting, but other than adjusting the "Dead Zone" all the other controls were left at default settings.
Dead Zone width and height can be adjusted.
I have played through four of the single-player campaign's levels.  At one point in a level I said, "I feel like Jack Bauer!"  Why did I feel like Jack Bauer?

Well, if you don't know who Jack Bauer is, he is/was the star character of the television series 24.  He was shot at a lot, and was placed in crazy scenarios all the time.  As I was dodging bullets(and taking some) in one level, it reminded me of 24.

Not only did the dodging of bullets and taking out enemies remind me of 24, but it appears to me that the writers/level designers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 were fans of 24, because two out of the four levels I have played so far seem like they were taken directly from 24's seasons, and put into Modern Warfare 3's story.

Mrs. Coffee watched me play a few of the levels.  I was battling an enemy military vehicle at one point, and when I finally took it out she said, "Oh, that's really cool!", in reference to how it was destroyed.

As I was wrapping up my time with the game that night she said, "Well, one thing the game is definitely not lacking is action.", and I have to agree with her.  While my impressions are off just a few of the first levels, if you like movies that have a lot of action sequences and you enjoy FPS games, you will probably find yourself enjoying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's single-player campaign as well.

I have enjoyed my time in the levels and I think the game runs well, especially with so much happening in the levels.  The game-play controls are solid and I have not had any issues with them, and being able to adjust the bounding box/dead zone is a great customization option that World at War was lacking.

Have I played any of Modern Warfare 3's online multiplayer?  I have.  I am currently rank 7, and have played right about an hour.  A few matches have had some lag issues and I have not been playing with my Wii directly connected to my USB LAN adapter, but overall it seems to be running pretty well over the WiFi.

From what I can see right now, MW3 Wii has 11 different multiplayer match types to choose from:
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Kill Confirmed
  • Mercenary
  • Free-For-All
  • Domination
  • Team Defender
  • Demolition
  • Sabotage
  • Headquarters Pro
  • Search and Destroy
  • Capture the Flag
Not all of the match types are open to play right away, and access to them has to be unlocked.  So far I have only played matches from "Team Deathmatch" which can be played with 6-10 players at a time.

I have enjoyed my time in the matches, even though most have resulted in me getting absolutely destroyed.

Caffeinated Thoughts
Now, I know some of you may be thinking, "Coffee, you failed on your new year's resolution didn't you!"

Actually no, I haven't.  I was very fortunate last Wednesday to receive a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for the Wii from Activision.  I will continue providing coverage of the Wii version over the next several weeks, if not months, and sharing my impressions of the game with you.

If any of you own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on the Wii, and will be playing it online, my MW3 friend code, or "Ally Code" as the game labels it, is 0359-9573-5494.  If you add me to your list, make sure to leave a comment letting me know, and also feel free to leave your MW3 "Ally Code" in the comments below.

Would I recommend Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to other Wii owners, based just on my early impressions of it?  Yes, I would.  If you enjoy Wii FPS games, I have not encountered anything in Modern Warfare 3 yet, that would make me question recommending it to other Wii owners.

Questions
Did any of you purchase Call of Duty: Duty Modern Warfare 3?  If so, which version did you purchase and have you been enjoying your time with the game?

If any of you are interested in Modern Warfare 3, you can see prices for the PS3, Wii, and 360 versions on Amazon.com linked below:

13 comments:

  1. We have not yet gotten this, though if/when we do, it'll probably be for the PS3. My son's already talking about buying it with his Christmas/Birthday money, so we'll see.

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  2. Don't have this one yet either. Already finished and sent out my wish list for the holiday season (birthday and Christmas both in December). There are other games I would like to get/play before I pick this one up, if at all.

    However, I am tempted to get the Wii version, even though we did pick up a PS3 this year (Noticed you were watching Netflix last night, Coffee. Us too. :)). Mainly due to the control scheme. I enjoy the precision of motion controls.

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  3. @Chalgyr:
    The one thing I wish the PS3 version had was Move control support. Considering that all the Call of Duty Wii games have had point controls, and now they have dual analog options as well, I'm surprised Sony didn't put up the money to get the game to include it.

    @Tim:
    "Noticed you were watching Netflix last night, Coffee."
    Haha, that would be a family member in visiting us!

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  4. So a few of the reviews I've been reading on the Wii version are pretty mixed. On the one hand, it sounds like they got the modes in, the online is apparently set up pretty well - but there have been a lot of complaints about the game's visual lag causing it to drop under 30 fps somewhat regularly and also that the online matchmaking is pretty rough at times. Just curious what your thoughts were on that, and if you'll rent/beg/borrow/buy/steal a PS3 copy for comparison? Also - very awesome that you got a free copy of the game. I need to figure out how to wrangle up these free game copies I see bloggers getting, lol!

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  5. @Chalgyr:
    "So a few of the reviews I've been reading on the Wii version are pretty mixed."
    IGN?

    I've only played through the first four levels so far, but that should change tonight.
    IF you are considering IGN's review though, I would almost instantly dismiss it, for the sheer fact they almost always nitpick Wii FPS games over graphics.

    The problem with that? Well, they look at it like there are not Wii only owners in the world. Complaining what a system can't do, means you're ignoring what it can do sometimes, and that's exactly how they treat the Wii on the graphics end I feel.

    "Texture pop-in occurs all too often, it often drops below 30 fps, and online connection issues mar what should be the best part of the experience."
    Texture pop-in? Sure, a few things, but nothing where it's like a forest growing in front of my eyes, and that doesn't make the game-play controls worse.

    Just read this one paragraph, and tell me how this guy even reviews console games:
    "Story and other irritating issues don't matter all that much in the other versions of Modern Warfare 3 because the sheer spectacle and awesome firefights are enough to keep me riveted and in the heat of the moment. With the Wii version, though, the graphical fidelity, while pushing what the system can do, just doesn't deliver what's needed to make the scenes as striking and enveloping as I know they are from playing the other platforms. Sure, it has moments that impress, but more often, badass scenes are ruined by intrusive texture pop-in and muddy visuals. I don't expect the Wii to have the same power as other platforms, but even over component the lower resolution makes it hard to pick out targets at range. It also pulls you out of the scenes, so instead of focusing on how crazy the set pieces are, I found myself wincing at the constant visual issues."

    So, he clearly dismissed "issues" with the game on the other consoles because they had better graphics?

    As for the brightness setting complaint, that's a legitimate personal opinion, but I have played through four different, and diverse, levels and did not have an issue with the brightness.

    "You have the option of playing with with pointer controls or Classic Controller but it doesn't have the same sort of tightness and responsiveness that I've come to expect from the franchise when its running at a higher fps."

    That is the ultimate fail for me, and just showed me this guy does not/probably has not ever played a Wii FPS for more than a few hours.
    He failed to mention if he tried adjusting the controls, and he failed to mention the Wii Pointer controls are customizable. He wants to gripe about brightness, and the game NOT having a brightness setting, but then he wants to complain about controls and NOT mention customizable controls?

    It's very much a double standard with how they treat the Wii version I believe.

    I'll post more impressions/thoughts later this week though, and perhaps I'll see exactly what he was talking about...but so far it seems he wanted to nitpick a game because it didn't have HD graphics.

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  6. If I play any action oriented game (FPS or whatever). I feel... not only Jack but Max Payne, time slows down when in action!

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  7. Not sure if I want to open that can of worms about the "good vs. great graphics" debate. :) But I will stand by what I said earlier: If I pick up this game, I'm tempted to get the Wii version. It's a matter of preference imho. I just happen to favor gameplay over visual perks. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE games that are up a notch in the graphics department. But I don't want to sacrifice the way the game handles in order for it to look good. I just want it to make me feel like Jack Bauer..... or Max Payne. :)

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  8. Well,

    I would say it's a legit complaint of IGN to say that the lack of hardware power in the Wii results in less favorable gameplay--constant slow downs, hitches, aiming, etc.

    That's not fanboyism on their part, kind of just fact. :/

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  9. @solidwater:
    Interesting you mentioned Max Payne. I remember the first game being received well(I think), and I played a demo of one of the Max Payne games, but I can't remember which one now.

    @Tim:
    Yea, some people prefer the motion controls over dual analog, and I am one of those people.

    @Keith:
    Legit complaint? Did you read the review and/or the responses fully?

    "constant slow downs"? No, perhaps occasionally, but not constant. Hitches? Please explain...
    Aiming? Game supports two control methods, one of which is customizable which was not mentioned, and therefor I assume not tried...which means this guy is a lazy reviewer imo.

    It is fanboyism on his part, and that's a fact.
    Again, here's a direct quote from the review for you, "Story and other irritating issues don't matter all that much in the other versions of Modern Warfare 3 because the sheer spectacle and awesome firefights are enough to keep me riveted and in the heat of the moment."

    Again, how is that I played through four entire levels, and didn't sit there and think, "man, these are terrible graphics?!" You know the first time I noticed a pop-in texture? In one online multiplayer match, that's it. Perhaps they were in the single-player, but I didn't notice them because I was busy concentrating on shooting the enemies, and not staring at the backgrounds, evidently like this guy was.

    Thanks for all the comments/feedback so far.

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  10. I am really not a fan of first and third person shooters, but honestly your impressions makes me really interested in MW3!

    I still don't see the hype over it. It's kind of the same formula with a different story line, etc. Modern Warfare hasn't evolved dramatically, unlike Zelda or Mario, where there was the jump from 2D to 3D.

    Also, I've opened up the Mario cap competition on the blog if you are interested!

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  11. @The Strikester:
    I don't know, Zelda, Mario, and even Metroid titles may evolve with game-play, but their stories are pretty much the same, which I know one other regular reader here thinks that should change.

    For Mario it's usually, "Princess is kidnapped. Defeat Bowser to win."

    Thanks for checking in, and you can expect me to enter the competition!

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  12. Woohoo - first off, great, detailed reply Coffee, thanks! And I seemed to open up some debate. :)

    The IGN review as well as Destructoid (they voiced some of the same complaints as IGN, but did score it a tad higher) reviews came to mind when I made my comments. Most of the other professional review sites I visit like Gamespot, EGM and Gameinformer didn't have any posted yet for the wii.

    I'm sort of in the middle on the hardware debate I sort of stumbled into. True, if you're a Wii-only owner, then the limitations of the system are not going to be as significant in evaluating the game. If you're a multi-system user, it's definitely a worthwhile debate. I tend to take all of those things into consideration with cross platform: graphics, sound, known bugs, expected LDC, install sizes if there are any, things like that.

    @Strikester - I didn't really get into FPS early on this console generation, but what I've found I like best from this series and some of the others now, are the RPG like elements. The leveling, the unlocking of new stuff - that's the sort of stuff I absolutely eat up.

    @Coffee again - I would say that perhaps the stories haven't evolved, but I would agree that the gameplay has seen more evolution than the MW series. That said, I think Modern Warfare would benefit from a slightly longer release cycle. I love the games - I scored MW2 and Black Ops quite highly on my blog, but I am sort of worried that they are going to over-saturate their market, like the Guitar Hero/Rockband games.

    Definitely curious about your continued thoughts on the game itself going forward. I will admit that when I get it, odds are I'll nab the title for the PS3. Most of the people my son and I play with online happen to be PS3 owners.

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  13. Jack Bauer in 24 DVD reviews - http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com/2012/02/fox-jack-bauer-on-24-dvds.html

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Keep the comments clean. Rated "E" for Everyone. :)

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