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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Spec Ops Survival Mode Hands-On Preview
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:18pm 12/07/11 | Comments
At this year's E3, AusGamers had a chance to get hands-on with the new Survival mode in Modern Warfare 3's Spec Ops C-Op feature. Read on for our impressions...

Let’s just put down our weapons for a minute and call a truce. The current MW3 vs BF3 thing is as charged as classic Nintendo vs SEGA schoolyard fights back in the day, but as we all learnt growing up, there really is room for both.

Staunch supporters of either brand will continue to lob their hate-grenades either way, but as someone who sees merit in both brands, I’m honestly looking forward to sitting on the fence this Holiday season and playing across both games.

Part of that is because I’m really looking forward to closure in the Modern Warfare tale, but like all other entries, I’m still not holding my breath on the single-player campaign being all that long (despite Schofield indicating otherwise), so it’s good to know that Modern Warfare 3 will not only come packaged with the critically received Spec Ops co-op missions, but a Survival Mode to boot.

You can call it par for the course now, but without directly stealing zombies from Treyarch, Infinity Ward needed to beef up their offering outside of single-player and multiplayer, and while co-op Spec Ops is welcome, there’s nothing wrong with adding a little more for those of us who like to dabble in all the goodies under the game’s hood.

Thankfully at this year’s E3, Activision were offering up hands-on with the new mode. Honestly, it’s every bit as you’d expect it to be, but as my co-op Activision buddy reminded me - zombies don’t shoot back (when I said “oh, so this is your zombie mode”). Essentially you’re able to play on a map taken from the main chunk of the game (where I guess you’ll be able to learn them better outside of multiplayer or Elite), and you’re tasked with dealing with varying waves of enemies. You earn cash for each enemy killed, and wave taken down, and can then use said cash to buy new weapons, perks, killstreaks or items.

The waves come in thick and fast, but like most Horde mode games, it’s all dished out at a nice pace early on. There are a few differentiators here though, such as the ability to actually save the money you’re earning and just pick up weapons the enemy drops (handy for needing to fork over a lot of cash to deal with some of the crazier waves). Waves will come from different areas of the map, too. So you’re not specifically only locked into one single area, though it wasn’t fully revealed how much the map opens and how many enemies the game will carry on-screen at once when you reach a decent wave number.

The enemy variation is pretty gnarly though. You have your normal grunts, followed eventually by dogs - all pretty normal, until the next wave of dogs come in wearing explosive jumpers and wanting to hug the shit out of you (and blow you up). The humans then decide to take note of the dogs’ ingenuity and also strap themselves full of explosives and wanting to have a close ‘chat’. But as previously mentioned, you can also counter this sort of thing with a quick trip to an armoury to call in Delta Squad, who’ll drop in from a heli and take on the baddies for you (quite smartly, I might add).

We hit the ninth wave in my hands-on before I had to give up the controller (a decent feat I was told), so there’s still a lot to be explored here. Map variation, enemy themes, load-outs and more were barely broached. But from a simple hands-on experience, the whole mode was satisfyingly frenetic and well-paced. The balance feels pretty tight in AI, cash-flow, enemy numbers and overall variation (in this instance), but I really want to experience more. From a control perspective, it felt exactly like Call of Duty does, so nothing really new to express on that front, but I’m really hoping they can open up this feature, and also include it as an added bonus in the subsequent DLCs we’ll be seeing grace the game post-release (and seriously guys, please no re-hashing of old levels - it’s just plain lazy).

While the mode itself is nothing new to the genre, it’s at least new to Modern Warfare, and for anyone looking to take a break from the series’ convoluted story, co-op Spec Ops or multiplayer, this is definitely a breath of fresh air.

Also, for anyone who still hasn't checked out our video interview with Sledgehammer Games' Glen Schofield, watch it embedded below, or click here to stream it in HD.

Latest Comments
Posted 02:36pm 12/7/11
sounds like they just copy+pasted l4d's survival mode and added a few bells and whistles.
Posted 02:46pm 12/7/11
Posted 03:00pm 12/7/11
well im buying both because i like both :)
Posted 10:04pm 12/7/11
Lol @ eorl's link. So infinity ward are suggesting this horde s*** is revolutionary??
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