With just months to go before Call of Duty fans will be able to get their hands on the next instalment in the franchise, we tracked down the game at this year's E3 to have a behind-closed-doors session with two of the new levels.

Introduced to us by none other than Michael Condrey, the co-founder of Sledgehammer Games (developer behind the new Modern Warfare 3 title), we then managed to get some time playing Spec Ops. Should you be excited? Read on to find out. 


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

What platform is it on?

Xbox 360, PS3, PC

When's it due out?

8 November 2011

What other game is it like?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Does it use any new tech like 3D, PlayStation Move, or Kinect for Xbox 360?


The pitch

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the newest instalment in Activision’s #1 first person action series and is being developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games.

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is by far the most epic Call of Duty experience yet. The teams at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games have worked tirelessly to create for the Call of Duty player a scale that is unimaginable with a level of polish and creativity that will push the genre forward," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision. "The passion and energy of our developers is reflected in everything about the title.  From the innovative gameplay, to the cinematic intensity, to the most advanced multiplayer ever, Modern Warfare 3 will raise the bar for this already incredible franchise."

The storyline

Modern Warfare 3 is set in a world on the edge of annihilation as Makarov and his terrorist organisation unleash destruction and chaos across the globe.  Playing as a member of several special-forces units and armed with the most advanced weaponry, players work with Delta operators and reunite with familiar characters to enter a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse as they race across the globe to stop a mad man before it’s too late. 

Trailers, demoes, and video

Our first impressions

We had two encounters with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (CODMW3) at E3 2011. A behind-closed-doors view of two levels being played out by members of the development team, and a chance to play Spec Ops with them afterwards.

The two levels we watched were Hunter Killer - set in New York with Navy Seals, and Mind the Gap set in London with the SAS.

Hunter Killer sees you play a Navy Seal tasked with taking down a submarine. After an under water attack, and some close quarter time on the sub itself, you’ve then got to get the hell out of dodge before the harbour, you happen to be in, explodes.

The action is fast paced and changes quickly from first person shooter to riding on a RIB on the water, trying to avoid being blown up by boats, or generally stuff blowing up around you.

The graphics are stunning, and every secong is action packed.

Mind the Gap is slightly less so with the emphasis on stealth, as you work your way into a warehouse before it all goes badly wrong and the heavies descend - so much so that even our demo guy died a couple of times (he was playing it on the hardest setting to be fair).

The use of the British SAS is a nice twist to the American Seals, and the inclusion of Canary Warf will no doubt appeal to British gamers keen to play out a scene in the docklands.

Levels over, we are booted out of our makeshift cinema room at the back of the Activision booth at E3, and into a room where we get to play Spec Ops on the PC.

Here we played a “wave” style level where we had to survive as long as possible as wave after wave kept coming at us.

With a strong helping hand from our partner (of the dev team at Sledgehammer) we managed to do pretty well, well enough to get to level 10, and well enough to see plenty of cool toys - like the ability to call in helicopter support, computer AI squad members and fend of dogs, and then dogs with C4 strapped to them so when you kill them they then explode. No really.

Completing levels (yes it’s very much like Gears of War) gives you credits and those credits can be used to upgrade your weapons, buy ammo, or call in strikes.

Playing co-op as we did gives you some life help, mainly that as long as you stick together and work as a team you can then revive yourselves. If both of you die though, it’s game over.

It’s a great level and one that sucked us into playing it for a little longer than we were expecting, still come November it will have you wanting to come back for more, just make sure you don’t play too late if you have work the next day.

Please note

The E3 games convention is a fantastic chance to see the latest games due out over the coming year, as well as, letting us get a glimpse into what is going to be the big titles and the ones to avoid like the plague.

The big problem however is that for most of the titles that glimpse is, well, just that. At the show you'll get to play a level here or a multiplayer map there or even have a product manager walk you through a specific level.

So with that in mind we present you with our Quick Play.

What we've done is broken down the key facts you need to know and then given you our first impressions based on around 15 minutes of gaming. For us that 15 minutes isn't enough to do a First Look review or even a review. How can you rate a game that offers over 30 hours of gaming on just 15 minutes of play? However it should hopefully give you an idea, a feeling, a notion, of what to expect come launch day.