Modern Warfare is a series with a history of incredible storytelling but MW3 players think the new game could be the worst COD Campaign yet.

It’s worth noting that everything you’re about to see is totally subjective. If you’re reading this and you enjoyed the latest Call of Duty story, that’s completely okay.

But over the last few days, we’ve seen a tremendous outcry from the Call of Duty community. And after we completed our campaign run in a single play session just hours after it released, we’ve got to admit they’re making some solid points.

The following article contains spoilers for the MW3 Campaign and its ending.

Why Fans Hate the MW3 Campaign

Open Combat Missions

During the MW3 marketing push, Activision teased Open Combat Missions as an exciting new feature.

The idea was that semi-open world missions gave players the freedom to try out new ways to play, with killstreaks (or Armaments) to find, and freely customizable loadouts to offer replay value.

Unfortunately, the reality is far more disappointing. Players are simply placed down in a wide open area with enemies akin to those seen in MW2’s DMZ – cannon fodder who are dumber than a bag of rocks.

“They took the laziest route possible and turned the DMZ missions into campaign missions LOL,” Reddit user Ice_Dapper writes. “Most of the maps are recycled from Warzone 1 Verdansk. Just pathetic on their part”

Besides the missions often taking place on existing assets, such as sections of Verdansk, it’s the objectives that really grind our gears. Go to X location and hack a phone, then do that two or three times more and you’re done.

Some of the Open Combat levels can be finished in a handful of minutes, particularly if you don’t attempt the rough-around-the-edges stealth mechanic.

Feels Like DLC Rather Than a Mainline Game

Rumor has it that MW3 started out as a Campaign DLC for MW2, and it certainly feels like it.

Hilariously (not so much if you spent $70-100 on the game ) MW3 even appears in the add-on DLC section when viewed on the MW2 Trophy list, indicating that there was some truth to the rumor.

But what’s particularly frustrating is that the game simply goes nowhere. Things just happen in the storyline: Makarov attempts to cause major disasters, and Task Force 141 races to prevent them.

Then, finally, things reach a boiling point in the streets below London, Makarov makes things personal before escaping, and just as you think we’re ramping up to a third act… credits roll.

Where does he run to? Into the sequel, we guess. It feels like this is just a marketing play to get players ready for the real Modern Warfare 3 (which will now be MW4, we suppose).

This certainly doesn’t feel strong enough to stand on its own two legs. In fact, many fans are finishing the entire campaign in less than 4 hours!

Our own playthrough had just hit the 4-hour mark when credits rolled, and we were shocked to see it over so fast.

Not a bad length for DLC, but an abysmal amount of time for a game masquerading as the third official entry in the Modern Warfare saga.

Makarov’s Disappointing Return

The big tease at the end of Modern Warfare 2 was that Makarov was finally taking center stage again. The iconic villain first appeared in the original MW2 (2009), where he quickly became one of Call of Duty’s best antagonists.

No matter what moves Task Force 141 takes to counter him, Makarov used to appear permanently one step ahead. He’s an unstoppable force that it takes countless sacrifices to eventually take down, something that finally, brutally occurs right at the end of MW3 (2011).

Makarov in MW3 Mission Passenger

Makarov in MW3 (2023) may appear menacing, but he’s thwarted at every turn.

“The game shot itself in the foot when they decided to remove all stakes by making the characters out match Makarov at almost every interaction, and having the characters literally win EVERY battle,” Reddit user floppy0 points out.

Yes, Makarov escapes at the end, and frankly we’re thankful he does. After all, if Makarov was introduced and died in this short Campaign, it’d be an even bigger waste of potential.

byu/floppy0 from discussion

Ultimately, MW3 suffers from being too short, too forgettable, and offering no real stakes to get invested in. And honestly, if this HAD been a DLC, those factors wouldn’t be an issue.

But with Activision slapping the name Modern Warfare 3 on the box and selling it for full price, we’re certain there’ll be a lot of disappointed COD Campaign fans this year.

Managing Editor
Max has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a lover of all things video games, situated in Manchester, United Kingdom.
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