You have to hand it to Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward. While their competitors waged a war of words accusing the developer of complacency, they kept their heads down to deliver an experience that their fans would love. Now the result has arrived in the form of Modern Warfare 3, and millions of gamers are likely already making their way through the campaign and multiplayer. But the developers have been taking serious notice of their competitors, and are promising their fans that Modern Warfare 3 won't be making the same mistakes.
Anybody who has ever picked up a modern military shooter and tried their hand at online multiplayer knows one thing: campers must never be underestimated. Sure, there are some who may say that camping is 'a legitimate strategy,' but those who master kills from a distance can ruin an online experience if left unchecked. The developers in charge of the game's multiplayer at Sledgehammer have made their feelings on the matter clear, claiming that the new game's maps have been designed to limit camping.
In a recent interview with OXM, Sledgehammer Games' Michael Condry made the differences between MW3 and Battlefield 3 extremely clear, implying that the large maps and long distance-sniping of DICE's offering lead to more frustration than fun. Players who may have dominated previous games through long-range kills and quick-scoping will need to rethink their strategies, according to Condry:
"So for example if you've got a guy who's really highly skilled, he knows how to quickscope - those guys know how to handle themselves in close range combat, and on [the Underground map] close range combat is what you're generally going to run into.
"But if you're one of those Snipers that runs Scavenger Pro, sort of stands at the back and hard-scopes and holds their breath... I'm not sure that's what you want to be rocking on that map, Underground as you said. But yeah."
The close-quarters confines and faster pace of MW3's multiplayer maps will obviously lessen the effect of sniping, and Condry's comments explain how seasoned veterans can still find a way to use past skills to their advantage. But in describing the issues that the developers wanted to steer clear of, Condry made it abundantly clear the their philosophy differs greatly from that of Battlefield 3:
"Unlike other games, where you're going to be sniped from across the map by a guy you can't even see, and then respawn and you've got to run for five minutes to get back to the battle, right? That's not the Modern Warfare 3 method. This is about getting you in the action, you're pulling the trigger fast, you know what I mean? That's the essence of it."
One only needs to observe a single match of Call of Duty to witness how important chaotic action is to the overall experience, so much so that those who were only familiar with the series needed a serious refresher in teamwork for Battlefield 3.
But Condry disagrees with any assumptions that MW3's multiplayer is devoid of teamwork, or more conducive to an 'every man for himself' style of play. Snipers may not be able to survive on their own, but that doesn't mean they can't be effective:
"If you have a good team who plays together and they can cover your flank positions, you can do fine, right? There's also a dual scope which is an awesome addition to Modern Warfare 3 which allows you to have a magnified scope for range, but also have the red dot for close quarter combat.
"You're not really a sniper but you have more possible magnification on your weapon, so you can hang back at mid-range. That element is still there, and if you're not a competitive-level quick-scoper like Guy here you can still really enjoy it. But it's not going to be over-weighted, it's not going to dominate the match like some experiences we've had in the past."
We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the developer has done everything they can to keep players from being killed before the fun can be found, even if it comes at the expense of those who stuck exclusively to long distance attacks. There will surely be some campers who look at this move as a great injustice, but posing a challenge to snipers as well as short-range fans isn't a bad thing at all.
Are you happy to hear that camping won't be as effective in Modern Warfare 3 as Battlefield 3, or would you prefer the maps offer options for all classes? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
Modern Warfare 3 is available now for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
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