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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

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Modern Warfare 3's Spec Ops Survival Mode First Impressions

Posted on Tuesday, June 14 @ 02:39:07 PST by Kuulei_N


“Run away, it’s gonna blow!” The blast from the explosive instantly puts me into Last Stand. I slowly inch my way toward my co-op partner, who is busy killing a couple of dogs carrying C4 strapped to their backs. However, with the help of three U.S. Army Delta AI soldiers, my partner is able to revive me while they provide him cover. Just then, a smoke grenade appears in front of me.

My partner in crime warns me, “So uh, that smoke cloud, you’re gonna want to get out of that.”

I scramble to get behind cover, turn and watch as the infamous heavily armored enemy, the Juggernaut, appears through the thick wall of smoke.

…If you’re wondering what happens next, I and the U.S. Delta squad easily take him out.

This new mode in Modern Warfare 3, called Spec Ops Survival, involves fighting against endless waves of enemies and earning enough money to purchase different forms of help, because you’re definitely going to need it.

Dome, a new map, features an abandoned command bunker in the desert and challenges players to defend themselves in a small area. From the start, you’re given a pistol and the first wave consists of enemies carrying shotguns. Once you take them out, you’re able to pick up their weapons and ammo in order to prepare for the next wave.



After each round, you’re given a list of stats showing your combat performance, such as accuracy and time completed. The higher the accuracy, the more money you earn, and likewise if you complete the round quickly. Money is then used to buy items from the weapon, equipment, or air support armory. These crates are placed in different areas on the map and you have a limited amount of time to ammo up before the next wave starts.

Money is also earned by completing challenges. Earning a killstreak is tougher this time around as you must kill a number of enemies without being shot. Another challenge called Rampage involves killing the aggressors as quickly as you can. Each time you accomplish a challenge, the money earned increases from $500 to $1,000 and $1,500. Sharing is caring, too, as you can spread the wealth with teammates if they are low on cash or if they are just short of buying the more expensive items in the armory.

The weapon armory consists of ammo and upgrade attachments, such as a red dot sight and grenade launcher. The equipment armory includes grenades, flash bangs, claymore mines, turrets, like the auto-grenade turret, and C4 as well as Last Stand, which enables an automatic revive if downed. Next is the air support armory (my favorite), which features predator missiles and friendly AI squads like the U.S. Delta Army and riot shield squads, who huddle around you when your teammate tries to revive you. Not to mention that you earn the points for every kill they make.

Each round increases in difficulty, naturally. The first few rounds involve enemies, dogs, and everything else we have seen before in Spec Ops from Modern Warfare 2. This time, however, there are several new enemies that test your survival skills: There are foes dressed in chem war suits who carry large poison gas tanks. If shot, they explode, but the gas obscures the battlefield, which prevents you from seeing incoming enemies and of course affects your health. Next are the aforementioned dogs strapped with C4, which are marked by blinking red lights. So not only do you have to worry about getting your face chewed off, but you also have to be aware of the imminent exploding doom attached to them.


The enemy soldiers also become more difficult to take care of. They eventually move faster, carry weapons with longer range and more stopping power, and sport heavier armor. Roughly every five rounds, there are boss stages. On wave five, I went up against two helicopters with mini-guns attached. Their armor was weak, but the guns tend to rip you a new one. On wave ten, I fought against two Juggernauts, shield-wielding enemies, one helicopter, and an impending anxiety attack. Sadly, because I didn’t have the U.S. Delta squad to protect me, I did not survive the tenth wave.

Spec Ops Survival is similar to Treyarch’s Zombie mode: You strive to earn cash to buy upgrades, weapons, and perks in order to assist in surviving against continuous waves of hostiles. The new mode is its own game type in MW3 and separate from the regular Spec Ops. It’s satisfying to see that the focus is to add more to this anticipated title rather than taking anything away. I look forward to seeing what else has been added once MW3 releases this year on November 8th.
Tags:   Call of Duty


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