Modern Warfare 3 arrives just one year after MW2, marking the quickest turnaround for a direct sequel in Call of Duty history. The latest COD offering boasts a whole suite of new features to explore, but MW3 multiplayer is where the game will live or die for many players. Though, for me, skipping out on a potential MW3 third-person mode would be a waste of an underrated playlist.
Yes, Call of Duty games forged their legendary status as first-person shooters primarily. Yet, Modern Warfare 2’s best-in-class gunplay and satisfying skirmishes often hit differently in the game’s third-person moshpit playlist. It started off rocky initially, with shoulder-swapping feeling awkward. Throwing tactical equipment was practically useless. Despite MW2’s mixed bag of content updates, the third-person mode playlist has only become better over time.
It’s a simple change of perspective, but it highlights just how great every weapon feels. From the punch of a Chimera assault rifle to the thud of a Bryson 800 shotgun, MW2’s booming sound design roars around your character with emphasized effect.
It also highlights the excellent animations that go into movement, weapon handling, and reloads. Operators lean and shift stance slightly while strafing, making it apparent that third-person mode isn’t an afterthought as it has felt before in previous COD games. The playlist isn’t exactly perfect camera-angle-wise, but quickly disposing of enemy players and switching to a sidearm almost reaches the standards set by third-person masterpieces like Max Payne 3.
The inclusion of the playlist during last year’s Call of Duty NEXT presentation affirms how important it was to show off to players. Of course, there is also the monetary side of the COD IP, which should make MW3 third-person mode a no-brainer for Sledgehammer Games. Micro-transactions might be one of the more languishing elements for players, but the COD store will undoubtedly continue to provide unexpected crossovers and divisive skin bundles to purchase.
It’s no different from Fortnite‘s method for crossover success, though Activision has yet to strike the same kind of lightning Epic Games has in that regard. As irritating as The Boys crossover was for Warzone (that damn laser-beam power-up), the satirical nature of the show does lend itself to making fun of COD’s self-serious attitude.
But that’s the thing about third-person mode too – Activision is actively giving you a chance to see the skins you love properly.
When these COD store bundles are costing upwards of 2,400 COD points ($19.99 / £16.49), seeing them outside of just finishing moves and waiting in the lobby does at least give you your money’s worth. Signs of COD leaving third-person mode in the dust are sadly already present in Modern Warfare 2. The game’s battle royale spin-off Warzone quickly ditched its own variant of the third-person gameplay, after months of swapping on and off playlist rotation.
MW2’s endless menus bury it under your Quick Match preferences, forcing you to turn off every other mode in order to solely participate within the third-person moshpit.
Modern Warfare 3’s reveal blog post made no mention of it alongside new MW3 modes, despite including huge features like MW3 zombies. The chances of it appearing in Modern Warfare 3 are nearly non-existent, but if Activision wants to ensure this is one of the most content-heavy Call of Duty games yet, it couldn’t hurt to embrace another point of view.