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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Wii) Review

Review for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Call of Duty has been going for so long that it has become a staple of the Industry. Love it or hate it, it is difficult to deny its presence in the public's eye. Whether it is the popularity of each sequential release that generates billions in revenue, or the media picking on it for its occasionally controversial nature, Call of Duty has gained an immense following. 2009 saw the release of Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition on the Wii when the rest of its console brethren received the second in the series, which never saw a release on Nintendo shores. Courtesy of this, there is a gap between the events of Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 3 for the fair Wii folk. However, how does Modern Warfare 3 sit on the platform with such a gap? Let us answer the call of duty one last time...

As with the rest of the series that has featured on Nintendo's home console, Modern Warfare 3 was adapted from the HD versions by Treyarch who developed Black Ops and World at War. Whilst one might think that this could be a bad thing and there would be severe losses in the transformation, it is actually quite the opposite and it is impressive how much it managed to retain from the original. As expected, the campaign is an adrenaline junkie fuelled experience -- you can’t go more than a few minutes without something exploding, a chase scene occurring, or other impressive set pieces taking place. Modern Warfare 3 feels like the first in the series to hit the nail on the head in terms of pacing. Whereas previous iterations saw you taking on different ‘styles’ of levels, this time they are a much more varied affair. You will start off by stealthily creeping behind enemy lines before blasting out all guns blazing. It gives the player a chance to catch up on the direction the story is taking as they can focus more on the surrounding environments and conversations between their crew.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The title also opens up with a huge video recap of the past games, which is brilliant considering the Wii is still missing Modern Warfare 2. Making a return to help the experience prove to be even more enjoyable is Treyarch’s exemplary controls. Moving, firing, and camera controls all feel sharp and accurate due to customisable sensitivities and dead zones for pin-point accuracy. The team has also thrown in Classic Controller Pro support for those who don't feel comfortable with the Wii Remote, though with a healthy dose of aim assist for good measure.

Unfortunately, though, the campaign does stumble slightly due to limitations of the Wii console’s hardware capabilities. Certain set pieces lack the graphical 'oomph' they deserve; the Eiffel Tower being taken down in a flurry of explosions is a notable one to this end. Further to this, Modern Warfare misses the buttery smooth frame-rate that is to be expected from the series, with it being cut by half from its brethren, running at a lacklustre 30fps. Whilst this isn't a major problem per se, when the action gets tough it is noticeable as it drops below, breaking the tense atmosphere somewhat. Overall, Treyarch has pulled off some good visuals for the Wii, and whilst the developer may not have applied the same spark and or instilled the impact of titles like Mario Galaxy or Metroid, it has done a sterling job with the tools at hand. Sadly, sometimes the action can be a little on the dark side, thus making certain scenes awkward to see.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Thankfully, the multiplayer options remain mostly intact, which many fans will admit is actually the main draw of these games. Here the Wii's graphical ability is actually more of a blessing, with levels being a little more sparse -- one of the main complaints of the HD versions -- making it easier on the eye and, therefore, easier to play. Whilst there have been some cuts in the amount of players, a couple of maps and a few point streaks, the main meat of what makes competitive online multiplayer rip-roaring fun is still there. Many of the annoying previous perks have been removed, such as commando, stopping power and last stand. Explosives have been nerfed, and overall weapon damage has been buffed up significantly. The result: a faster and more fluid multiplayer experience that cuts out most problems that hindered its predecessors. A new game mode also makes it into the frame called 'Kill Confirmed,' a twist on the classic team death match where players drop dog tags when killed and it is up to your team to pick them up to earn the kill.

The last part of the Call of Duty package is the Spec Ops mode that brings players together to challenge the newly coined ‘Survival Mode’ -- survive for as long as possible against increasingly difficult waves of enemies on one of the multiplayer maps. Or attempt to take on missions and earn all three stars in each to brag against your friends’ scores and times. Sadly, split-screen mode didn't make it to the Wii version, most likely due to the 30fps, but it is still fun with strangers, nonetheless, though it is harder to communicate (Wii Speak is not compatible, for reference).

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

On the whole, Treyarch has done a valiant job at sticking to Infinity Ward's formula. Whilst there have been a few cuts, the core of the gameplay remains as strong as ever. The story's pacing is better than it has been in past games, the multiplayer is fast and responsive and, most importantly, addictive. Spec Ops extends the campaign missions allowing you to take them on with a friend, or random players online, and will pose a good challenge for veteran players. As always, whether it is for ten minutes or several hours, this title will see players through the dark patches in the Wii system's twilight line-up. Modern Warfare 3 maintains all its quirks and the charm of old, all with the added benefit of being more streamlined than ever. Whilst the game may not be for some, and there is little in the way of 'new' innovations that would warrant a purchase for apprehensive buyers, there is still enough content here to keep gamers on their toes.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


The story is action-packed, there are plenty of modes to play through, and the Wii controls add the fluidity that players have come to expect from shooters on the home console scene.


Whilst they get the job done, there are some frame-rate stutters when it gets busy and the game runs at 30fps, not giving the smoothest of images.


Explosions and guns sound crisp and clean, plus the Zimmer soundtrack is brilliant at creating suspense or exhilaration throughout. Although it isn't too different from what we have heard before, it still impresses.


The campaign may be short, but multiplayer and Spec Ops is where players will find themselves spending the most time thanks to its addictive quality -- it will have you coming back for more.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

Whilst there have been cuts to the package, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 remains a solid title on Wii. The story has made it over completely and the multiplayer is as fun as ever, and will easily cut through any days of boredom. If you are into shooters, then this should tickle you the right way.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Good review Cal, and good to hear it turned out alright on the Wii. I was surprised they'd allocated some resources to bringing it over, decent enough effort by the sounds of things.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Grubmunch (guest) 23.01.2012 08:13#2

Does anyone here play this online?

Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

Not any more sorry.

I haven't played this game on any platform. Not trying to sound 'cool' and all that. I was a slight COD-nut. Not any more (though I'm partial to a game of Nazi Zombies if pushed).

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I have to say I've only tried the first mission or two and didn't quite enjoy it as much as last year's Black Ops...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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