It seems like it’s been forever since we last played through a Modern Warfare title, but now we’ve got our first official look at the shooter to beat in 2011. The official gameplay trailer for Modern Warfare 3 has made its way online a bit earlier than expected. In case you were wondering how Infinity Ward was going to be outdoing the action and global drama of Modern Warfare 2, this trailer’s depiction of a world mired in World War 3 should make it clear.

When a game is carrying so much buzz and expectation, it’s not easy to keep details under wraps. So when the first Modern Warfare 3 gameplay details were leaked ahead of the intended announcement, Activision responded by rolling out a series of teaser trailers to capitalize on the excitement.

Those trailers didn’t give a look at the plot or mechanics of Modern Warfare 3, only hinted that the game would see war break out in the United States, Germany, and England. The newest trailer confirms that we can add France to the mix, and that the scale of conflict will truly be global, with combat in city streets, atop skyscrapers, and even along the coastlines of some of the world’s most heavily-populated cities.

We’ve heard plenty about the game’s engine, guns, and just how much faith everyone involved has for Infinity Ward‘s long-awaited game. But seeing is believing, so wait no longer. Check out the trailer now:


What’s clear from the start is that fans of Modern Warfare 2‘s suburban levels are clearly in for a treat, with even more streets being turned into battlegrounds, both in France and America. Small-scale terrorists bringing about all-out war is one concept that’s been explored with the series, and the mode of attacks being carried out in the trailer – van running a military blockade, pick-up truck derailing a train – seem to imply that they’ll be sticking with it.

While the trailer covers all of the bullet-points with intense action, big guns, bigger boats with bigger guns, and even some rappelling, it’s getting more and more difficult to be blown away by anything Call of Duty is doing these days. There’s obviously a reason why the guns, animations, and mission design of the series has made its way to the top of the pile. But at this point, almost any shooter fan knows exactly what to expect. Some might say that good enough should be left alone, but we prefer to be surprised.

The trailer features modern cities turned into war-torn battlefields, which might carry more impact if we hadn’t already seen the same in Homefront. It also features a few looks at some intense boat combat, but that same mechanic amounted to a rather forgettable stage in Black Ops.

We’ll still hope for the best, but overall, the first look at the gameplay of Modern Warfare 3 is exactly what most people will have been expecting. Lest we forget, the game will be going up against Battlefield 3 this fall, and the biggest challenge for Activision may be stealing excitement and interest away from DICE’s shooter. We’re not saying that one will be better than the other, but BF3 does seem to have creativity and innovation on its side, since we know that MW3 won’t change up a working formula with extensive innovations to gameplay.

With both Infinity Ward and Activision set to make ridiculous profits with any game they put out bearing the Call of Duty name, there’s no question it will break a few records. But if the game rests on its history instead of setting a new standard, the fight between Call of Duty and Battlefield could get a lot more interesting.

What do you think, shooter fans? Will the global war depicted in the trailer be enough to get your attention in a November absolutely packed with triple-A titles? Or does the action seem like more of the same? Let us know in the comments.

Modern Warfare 3 will be taking war to a whole new level when it’s released on November 8 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.