MW3’s campaign features a number of innovations over its predecessor, one of which are the expansive Open Combat Missions.

This new mission type is taking center stage in MW3’s campaign and offers an entirely new way of experiencing the challenges of Task Force 141.

Below, we explain exactly what these Open Combat Missions are, what you can expect to do in them, and how many of them you’ll complete.

MW3 Open Combat Missions Explained

Open Combat Missions are semi-open world single-player campaign missions that have a greater focus on player choice and offer multiple ways to complete them.

According to Campaign Creative Director David Swenson during the 2023 Gamescom Opening Night Live showcase, OCMs are “player-directed,” focusing more on allowing “the audience to play the game the way they want to play it.”

For example, players can take a stealthy approach and complete the entire mission with just a knife and silenced pistol. Alternatively, you can go in guns blazing, utilizing every piece of lethal and tactical equipment you can find.

You can see some OCM gameplay in the clip below:

Across the enormous maps, players will find vehicles, tactical gear such as parachutes and night vision goggles, as well as a new item called Armaments, which are essentially killstreaks.

One example of an Open Combat Mission is Crashsite, which sees players navigate the aftermath of a plane crash after the hijack mission teased in the MW2 post-credits scene.

Players will need to recover the plane’s black box while contending with enemy patrols swarming the entire map.

Soldiers next to a burning crashed plane in MW3

These Open Combat Missions will come alongside the traditional cinematic missions that fans have come to expect from a Call of Duty game.

They are a huge focus of the campaign and will roughly take up half of the missions that you’ll undertake.

According to Swenson via an interview with Xbox Wire, these Open Combat Missions will be a “huge innovation” for Call of Duty campaigns.

“It’s an evolution in Call of Duty campaigns and an evolution of how players experience it. These aren’t side missions, they are campaign missions woven seamlessly into the story, and they offer you more choices than you’ve ever had before.”

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Former Staff Writer
Whether it's an indie platformer or a 100-hour JRPG, Tom loves talking about games. So much so, he made it his career. Since starting in 2020, he's covered a wide range of topics at sites including TheGamer and The Game Crater.
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