By the time Infinity Ward released Modern Warfare 3 in 2011, Call of Duty’s style was well-established: the single-player mode should be bombastic, jingoistic, and cinematic, while a robust and quick-paced multiplayer portion comprises the bulk of the experience. But it also depends on an eager player base and densely populated servers. Unfortunately, Aspyr’s Mac port, released three years since, has neither.
Aspyr’s Mac version of Modern Warfare 3 supports cross-platform competitive multiplayer, but its benefits have been blunted by the passage of time. Most of Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer modes are deserted, and the players that are left have years of experience.
Modern Warfare’s signature “kill streak” mechanic, which grants a player a temporary boost, perk, or powerful weapon for killing a set number of enemies without dying, only compounds the built-in skill gap. The best players in a match tend to become more powerful as time goes on, leaving the inexperienced more helpless than before.
Modern Warfare 3’s single-player campaign survives intact, however, plopping players back into Task Force 141 immediately following the events of the previous game. In true Infinity Ward fashion, Modern Warfare 3’s multiple protagonists jet across the globe, from Berlin to Somalia to northern India. But with the same characters, antagonists, and plot beats, Modern Warfare 3 hews too closely to its predecessor, with fewer memorable moments.
At their best, firefights in Modern Warfare 3 are tight, tactical affairs, especially on higher difficulties. Too often, however, the campaign feels shambolic, disorienting, and a bit sloppy, especially on the “regular” difficulty.
The bottom line. The porting process has hobbled MW3’s multiplayer, and what’s left is a campaign that, while fun, lacks the energy and vitality of its predecessors.