Steam has been having a F2P weekend for CoD:MW3, so out of curiosity I gave it a try. Now I have to say that I am hooked. I'm not the biggest CoD fan, but I have played the very first CoD, CoD:MW1 and CoD: Black Ops (the worse of the bunch due to game breaking bugs on the PC version - thanks Treyarch ). With that in mind, it is interesting to see how CoD has evolved over the years.
MW1 had claustrophobicly small maps that were sheer madness; that game was a true "run and gun" as if you stood in place for more than a few seconds, you would inevitably be gunned down by some player that spawned behind you. Add in a never ending crescendo of explosions and gunfire, and you had what always seemed to me to be a lunatic asylum that somehow had gotten its hands on weaponry. Black Ops, on the other hands, showed some improvement by including larger maps (not much larger, mind you), and a definitive toning down of airstrikes. BlOps would have been a nice evolution of the series but for the aforementioned PC bugs that ruined the game for me (how would you like to log on one day and find that your level and gear had been taken away by a bug? Happened three times to me alone. ).
And now MW3 is here, and you can see the evolution again. After spending about three hours in MP in MW3, you can definitely see that Battlefield influenced MW3. The maps have been upsized again (but nowhere nearly as large as those in BC2 or BF3, naturally), so there is more room for maneuver, as well as camping. MW3 even features a new conquest mode with sizable maps (again, not BF3 sizable), 18 players and longer timed rounds a la Battlefield. Also, even though there isn't destructible terrain in MW3 as in Battlefield, Infinity Ward has filled every map with destructible bits and pieces, from furniture, to cars, windows, plant pots...just about everything. I was pleasantly surprised to see how this made the maps come alive in a way that no previous CoD did. It is pretty cool to see the destruction mount up after a nasty battle. Lastly, as a way of getting some vehicles in the game, MW3 features a lot more air power that can be called in for airstrikes, etc (my favorite being a three helicopter attack run). And, like in Battlefield, you can also try to shoot them down. Lastly, they added in a lot of WMDs, from EMPs, to MOABs and other nasty stuff, making for an apocalyptic flavoring at times (which is helped by some nice map art direction).
I think one area where MW3 beats Battlefield (Bad Company 2 - can't speak for BF3...yet ) are the many, many game modes. There really are a ton of them, from covering the usual stalwarts (conquest, death match), to some new ones like "Kill Confirmed" where you need to collect the dog tags of killed opponents. Fun stuff.
Anyway, if you are curious about the new MW3, take a look at the F2P weekend (ends tomorrow at 3pm EDT). With the game being 33% off, I definitely can see myself adding it to my collection.