Kicking off Gamescom 2023 with a bang, Activision revealed extensive gameplay footage for the highly-anticipated threequel – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Much like The Weeknd, we saw it coming, yet it’s still a welcome surprise.
The trailer comes in at a little over eight minutes long and showcases the first level of Modern Warfare 3, dubbed Operation 627. Taking notes from its predecessor, the game features a traditional cinematic experience and follows Alpha Team’s infiltration of a stone fortress situated in Verdansk, a city Call of Duty veterans know all to well.
Gameplay involves a brief swim in the Kastovian sea before encroaching on the stone-walled compound. Alpha Team utilises a line launcher to scale the tall perimeter boundary. Once in, night-vision goggles are deployed and the team sneaks deeper into the compound, making their journey towards what appears to be an enclosed prison courtyard filled with enemy combatants.
It then becomes clear that Team Alpha was sent in to perform an extraction of an unknown prisoner. After confirming with Charlie Team that their target is not in the courtyard, our playable character calls in a strike on the far side of the compound to create a distraction, and then all hell breaks loose, marking the start of combat.
Alpha Team makes their way deeper into the bowels of the Zordaya prison complex through tunnels and tight spaces, making quick work of unsuspecting enemies, before coming across a heavily armoured door that needs to be breached, and that’s where the trailer comes to an end, leaving us with more questions than answers.
Even though it takes place at night, the visuals appear crisp and tantalising; volumetric lighting sets the tone creating realistic shadows, while explosions light up the night sky, muzzle flashes create intense blinding light, if only for a split-second, and beautifully-rendered rainy weather makes for a rather tense and gloomy atmosphere. Also, gunplay seems tighter than ever.
Of note, before the gameplay showcase, Geoff Keighley had a brief interview with creative director David Swensen and narrative designer Shelby Carleton of Sledgehammer Games, who mentioned that MW3 multiplayer modes will feature 16 launch maps from MW2 that have been modernised with new gameplay and features including an open-world Zombie Horde mode. Great stuff.
This new iteration also introduces Open Combat missions that allows players to complete objectives by using either a stealth-based, quiet approach with suppressed weapons and espionage-inspired equipment or take the enemy head-on, guns-a-blazing like Rambo in First Blood Part II. Open Combat will play an important role in MW3 campaign, however it remains a compliment to the traditional cinematic sequences, rather than an all-out replacement. Should make for a rather nice change in pace.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is out on November 10 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Can’t wait.