The upcoming release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 seems squarely aimed at pleasing longtime fans of the series rather than attracting new players. The ability to carry forward all unlocks from 2022’s Modern Warfare 2 suggests the developers want to reward veteran CoD enthusiasts. Bringing back villain Makarov from the original Modern Warfare trilogy also signals a focus on nostalgia. Even the multiplayer maps are just remakes from the classic MW2.
The Good: Bringing Back the Old School Mini Map
With the rumored return of the traditional mini map and Ninja perk, it’s clear Sledgehammer is trying to recapture the magic of the early CoD days.
In some ways, it’s unrealistic to expect MW3 to resolve every major gripe fans have with recent Call of Duty games. The juggernaut that is Warzone will likely continue overshadowing individual titles, despite outcries from players wanting each release to feel distinct again. However, fixing the mini map situation shows Sledgehammer is willing to tackle at least some longstanding issues.
The door is open for them to address two other contentious topics: cosmetics and skill-based matchmaking.
Crazy Cosmetics Have Gone Too Far
One complaint you’ll hear from old-school CoD devotees is how crazy and over-the-top the cosmetics have become lately. Sure, the series drifted away from military realism years ago, when we started seeing bacon weapon camos and the like. But anime characters, Godzilla and Homelander running around multiplayer maps would’ve been unthinkable a decade ago.
Clearly the days of totally grounded CoD aesthetics are over, given how lucrative major crossovers and wacky cosmetics are. Still, there’s a compromise to be found.
Talented players design Mil-Sim bundles because the recent games lack enough realistic options – evidence of unsatisfied demand. While basic soldier looks are available at launch, they practically disappear from post-release content.
MW3 can remedy this by providing an equal mix of serious and silly cosmetics in the in-game store, and continuing to release Mil-Sim skins after launch. It’s an easy fix: just remember to design for fans of military realism too.
Strict Skill-Based Matchmaking Needs Major Changes
Skill-based matchmaking is a far thornier dilemma. Most agree it’s become too strict in newer CoD titles, but some players want it to remain since it gives them a fighting chance against experts. To them, occasional blowouts are an acceptable price for mostly fair matches. However, for many fans, lopsided victories were part of the casual fun in CoD’s heyday.
Developers admit even the older games had skill-based matchmaking, just less strict. Influencers argue the current system is overzealous, with most matches precisely balanced to ensure a 1.0 K/D ratio.
Players miss the days of frequently demolishing opponents and going on long killstreaks – which was more common before. Given MW3’s nostalgia focus, dialing back skill-based matchmaking would make sense.
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Perhaps it’s time to remove skill-based matchmaking entirely from public matches and reserve it for ranked play, where intense competition is expected. If a competitive mode exists, why restrict casual play? Loosening or eliminating skill restrictions could restore the carefree vibe of classic Call of Duty which could bring back a lot of the player base.
If MW3 adjusts skill-based matchmaking and caters to Mil-Sim fans in post-launch content, two of the biggest modern CoD complaints could fade away. We’ll find out if Sledgehammer takes the opportunity when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 arrives November the 10th for all major platforms.
About The Author
Mitchell is a freelance journalist with a passion for gaming and the written word. When he's not immersed in the latest video game release, you can find him typing away on his next article or feature story. Mitchell brings his unique perspective as an avid gamer to his insightful reporting