Hear me out: I don’t think it’ll be a game that I will enjoy on principle, but I do think that the game might be successful on the level of COD4 in the PC market. Of course it will sell like hotcakes for the consoles, but I think it might be time for a real PC shooter that acts like a PC shooter to reign for a year or so.
You can’t deny that Battlefield 3 is a timely release and a reflection / improvement of the genre of large-scale battle games that its namesake is based on, but all of this talk about a lack of LAN support and requiring an Internet connection for everything you do in the game (even on the single-player campaign) is getting a bit out of hand. How do you make an FPS that benefits from decisions and actions performed in the scale of milliseconds into a fair game without being able to talk to clients with something over a 20ms ping?
It works for online leagues and MMORPGs just fine because neither of those require LAN connectivity to be the enjoyable or fulfill a certain purpose. Online competitions are meant to be played online and the pings of 50-100ms are part of that territory. It’s a stepping stone on the way to taking part of a gathering of the best players in your region/country/game in a live environment. Online worlds such as World of Warcraft and the like are never going to be able to offer LAN-like performance due to the fact that those games are meant to be played in instances with thousands of other people at the same time, regardless fi you make it to a Blizzard-like tournament or are just progressing through the game’s content as a norma player might—through raiding.
MW3 has LAN connectivity though—something that hasn’t happened for the PC since Infinity Ward realized what a first person shoot could be whilst set in a modern backdrop. COD4 was a run and gun game, no question about it, but there was an element of fun that I always had with it that reminded me of how hectic the multiplayer was for COD2. Every time you jump into a server it was the crudest of races to stop someone from beginning the dreaded airstrikes-to-helicopters-to-airstrikes loop of briefing that was so common.
The way that the perks system worked in its simplicity helped this experience become more experimental. With the Bandolier perk, I was able to rule the hardcore servers that I frequented with my sidearm of choice, the SOCOM USP. Perhaps when I ran out of ammo with that pistol I would switch to the shotgun and cause some havoc with that, but I would almost always prefer the grief and the scowls from other players knowing that they had just been headshot by a well-placed .45 round from my USP.
If anything that we have seen up until this point is to be believed and understood as fact, MW3’s developers are trying their hardest to bring the game back to it’s former glory about being mainly about gunplay and nothing but. The perks system as been revamped again in order to make this the primary focus, but why wouldn’t they just look at what made COD4 a success and recreate that instead? How easy would that be?
Instead they’re just pushing the real important bits and pieces of the game to the back of the features list. It’s all about the guns and the dual-sighting systems and the grenade kills and the perk classes and so on and whatever, but what about the gameplay? What happened to having a multiplayer where being able to take your time or rush was a decision that you had to make? In this sense, I wanted to liken COD4 to Counter-Strike. Yeah,t he map pool was pretties mall and the size of the maps wasn’t the greatest, but there was a handful of decisions that you could make from almost any point in the map that you were playing on.
Now it’s all about the lone-wolf and the point hoarding so you can make your fun the best that it can be so you can shoot the most men in the most awesome way. Why not just balance everything out (to a certain extent) like COD4 tried to do? Have a hardcore mode that pretty much puts everyone on the same level regardless of rank or game progression?
For MW3’s sake, I hope that—for as much as they mention MW3 being a spiritual successor to COD4—that they at least tried to make the game as close to how COD4 operated with the reasonable upgrades which can only come with time.