Under the Radar

Unpacking the CoD: MW3 Spec Ops Survival Trailer

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (still coming out November 8th) has given us a peak at their new Spec Ops Survival mode, and we gotta tell you—it looks good. It’s not a new idea, by any means, but it promises to be entertaining.

It’s pretty much like Firefight (Halo), taking a mix of some of the best features from MW2 Spec Ops and Black Ops Zombies. Kind of a good way to have some solo play without being confined to the script and pace of campaign mode and definitely a great way to get that Multiplayer feel without those annoying little teabagging bastards like BlustryChees810. One question we have, though, is the name: does Spec Ops Survival mean we can look forward to other Spec Ops modes?

Survival will present a sort of mobile armory that allows you to buy attachments, ammunition, weapons and support (we’re liking the support option) while fighting off increasingly difficult waves of bad guys whose load out gets progressively heavier and more powerful. You will have to deal with exploding dogs and NBC threats as well. We’re okay with the latter, but not really wild about the former. We’ll probably pretend they’re big fuzzy crocodiles strapped with C4 in order to get through it, but that’s just us (this isn’t a PETA issue: we think lots of animals are really tasty with the right BBQ sauce but we just really like dogs).

The leaderboards are a brilliant idea for the competitive types and may allow lower-end and less-skilled players (mostly comprised of people who actually remember Reagan) to work on their skills without becoming a valuable part of a competitor’s kill stats each game. Note that Survival mode and Multi-player will have separate ranking systems and the maps look the same for each. The ability to call in reinforcement and support (predator missile squad, riot shield squad, Tac Girls squad and Delta squad) is a nice addition. We hope to hear “Go for Blaine” when the latter hits the ground, but licensing issues may be prohibitive.

There are a number of other things we like including the mobile armory, multiple optic attachment option, a money system, lots of new weapons (like the FMG9, presumably a secondary) and point streaks vs. kill streaks (which hopefully means you get advantages for other accomplishments than smoking OPFOR and appear to be offering a choice in kill streak awards). If the player map in the top left corner is actually 3D all the time it’s going to substantially change fighting in the built up areas. We’re waiting to see how effective grenades and bangs are.

Detail levels in the game appear to be what we’ve come to expect, though it looks like at least part of the time your rear sight aperture in CQB situations is set for distance shooting…did we imagine that? Now we’re second-guessing ourselves.

Unfortunately, MW3 appears to be using the same graphics engine as the last few games, which will probably get old if they don't upgrade soon but for now that worry is counterbalanced by the new material they’ve introduced. Things do look smoother (MW2 seemed pasty to us in places), but it will be nice if they upgrade things when they get to the inevitable Modern Warfare 4.

Overall, this trailer elicited the greatest Pavlovian response of all the new fps game trailers we've seen to date (which is saying something). ACR 6.8, we are so happy to see you again—we will never again be parted. Oh, and we lied about the Tac Girls thing, but you have to admit it would be cool.

As always we hope our perspicacity, scalpel-like wit and unmatched erudition was of some assistance. If you disagree with us or don’t like what we have to say, of course, feel free to just not read our stuff (or, hey, write your own damn review). To the grunts reading this, we apologize for any big words. As our many grunt friends on Facebook will attest, you guys and your ground-dragging knuckles hold a special place in our hearts.

BlustryChees810, if we meet you in real life, make no mistake, it's not revenge we’re after. It's a reckonin'.

From the trailer:

“In survival, you will fight off waves of increasingly difficult enemies as you earn XP and unlock several types of armories to expand your arsenal and load-out customizations along the way. Unlock new upgrades and missions as you gain XP and increase in level throughout the survival experience. Survival challenges along with leaderboards allow you to compete against your friends and prove once and for all, who is the best soldier.”
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