After Hours

Geek Gifts 2011: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Check out Sonja Thompson's Geek Gift review and first impressions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was released on November 8, 2011, and it broke record sales within the first 24 hours. This first-person shooter game was developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games, with help from Raven Software, and like the previous seven Call of Duty installments, MW3 was published by Activision. It has both campaign and multiplayer modes and is available on all major gaming consoles.

Since MW3 was released less than a week ago at the time of this writing, this is a Geek Gift review and first impressions post. I relied heavily on my gamer son, Andrew, and his COD fanatic friends for their input. As more TechRepublic members purchase and play this game, I hope to see people chiming in the discussion thread to share their likes and dislikes of MW3.


What's new

  • All new maps
  • Some new guns and others that they brought back from previous games
  • Pointstreak (formerly known as Killstreaks) rewards include three different strike packages (Assault, Support, and Specialist)
  • They also brought back quick scoping, which is a big deal because a lot of people enjoy it. MW3 is a very sniper-friendly game -- it's easier for snipers to move around and still get a decent KDR (kill/death ratio), and the combination of bolt-action and semi-automatic makes it a scoper's paradise.

What I like

  • The guns (and ability to level up your weapons) -- Andrew's favorite gun is the M4A1 because the iron sights are amazing, it's got a great rate of fire, and it's really reliable
  • Ease of play -- it's easy to achieve attachments and camo for guns, which gives you more XP points, which also helps you level up
  • New perks -- easier to make them Pro (for example, Sleight of Hand and Sleight of Hand Pro)
  • Campaign mode -- it's action-packed, a lot of vehicle interaction, great graphics (it seems very realistic), and nice continuation of the story in Modern Warfare 2
  • Pointstreaks -- you don't lose the rewards from the Support strike package when you die (they accumulate over the entire length of the match)
  • Survivor mode -- this is similar to Black Ops zombies mode, but you're fighting living people
  • There isn't a big difference in the killing while playing hardcore and regular core

What I don't like

  • Bad connection -- on multiplayer, in a lot of the lobbies, the connection is garbage. It lags and will drag you across the map. It's almost like they weren't ready for so many gamers. When someone joins a game in the middle of a match, the connection is especially flaky.
  • You can unload half a clip on someone, and then they turn around and kill you with two shots (this could be related to poor connectivity)
  • People cut in and out on their microphones in the lobbies, and their voices sound like robots (this is definitely related to poor connectivity)
  • You can't dive like in Black Ops
  • You can't play hardcore multiplayer until you get to level 19

Geek Gift bottom line

There's no doubt that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is one of the hottest games of 2011. The COD series is well-known and rarely disappoints, so MW3 would definitely be a fun, affordable gift for the geeky gamer in your life (and yes, that includes buying a gift for yourself). Again, we welcome TR community feedback. Tell us what you like and/or dislike about MW3 in the discussion thread.

Geek Gift Score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: *****
  • Geek factor: ****
  • Value: *****
  • Overall: *****

For more reviews of tech gadgets, gizmos, and games, download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2011.


Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the several blogs.

Bo Tym
Bo Tym

Battlefield 3. Stop before you start, CoD fanboys. I've played nearly all flavors of both (MW3 aside, as I lost interest with the recycled feel of the games), CoD is great. Battlefield 3 is uber. Seems like CoD just keeps catering to the die hard fans, and implimenting things to make the vets happy, while people who are new to the game or don't enjoy camping for kill streaks get demolished. BF3 continues to develope more ways to make the game challenging, while attemting to keep the playing field relatively level. EA/Dice crapped the bed with Bad Company 2 and the heli controls that enabled any newb to own the map provided anti air wasn't allowed to take him out. They brought back the more advanced heli controls from BF2, and disabled auto-level. They also incorporated scope sway and scope glint for anything more powerful than a 6x zoom scope. Snipers are still deadly in BF3, but theres a bit more realism there as far as having to hold down another button to "take a deep breath and steady your aim" for 5 seconds or so, as well as a cooldown on how often you can do that. I went 11-1 as a sniper on BF3 the other day (which I realize isn't too impressive, but if you consider that I found a sweet spot at the beggining of the match, and covered my angle without being overrun and losing the flag I was determined to hold), only reason I died; a newb squad mate spawned on me and stood beside me with his LMG on full auto, playing the role of the n00b in a situation that brings to mind "the vet and the n00b" MW3 commercial. I love that Commercial. meh, to each thier own ;-D

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