- Modern Warfare III Campaign Early Access kicks off today, November 2, for those who have pre-ordered the game on the Xbox Store.
- A direct continuation that follows the events of Modern Warfare II’s epic conclusion, sees the return of Captain Price and Task Force 141 as they set out on their most dangerous mission yet.
- Modern Warfare III’s Open Combat Missions let you deploy to wide-open locations and gear up with Supply Boxes, Armor Plates, Vests, and more.
When we last saw Captain Price and Task Force 141, they were heading out the door to tackle the latest intel drop: ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov has been the puppet master behind-the-scenes all this time, and that they’re the best team positioned to stop his master plan from going into effect.
The reimagining of the single-player campaign from the classic Modern Warfare games over the past few entries has been an incredibly epic experience so far, with huge, cinematic-like set pieces that take place all over the world, to incredibly tense situations that require the utmost precision to see through to the end. And with Modern Warfare III Campaign Early Access starting today, November 2, we can pick up right where we left off from Modern Warfare II.
While those campaigns were indeed awesome (and totally worth playing if you’ve yet to experience them yourself), they primarily guided us through the basics of play: aiming from cover, swapping weapons, understanding character damage. They were all the basics of combat to get you accustomed to the world of Modern Warfare. That will be the case again here for most of the campaign but dialed up several notches across several new instances with Open Combat Missions (OCMs).
“The Open Combat Missions are a huge innovation for the campaign and it’s something we’re very, very excited about,” says Sledgehammer Games Creative Director David Swenson. “When we started making the game, we were talking about how could we evolve this? How can we make something better? How can we really make the campaign that we want to make? That was what we were pushing for, and that’s where the idea for Open Combat Missions were born.”
Now with Modern Warfare III, we’ll experience a more direct line being drawn from what you will experience in the Campaign to how the multiplayer modes for Call of Duty function, helping set up new and returning players for a greater degree of success from the start than ever before. Also, completing the Campaign will unlock several rewards, like Double XP and Double Weapon XP Tokens, Calling Cards, a Weapon Blueprint, and more.
Introducing Open Combat Missions
In these specially designed missions, you’ll deploy to wide-open locations and gear up with Supply Boxes, Armor Plates, Vests, and more. Their open-ended nature will allow you to take a stealthy approach to completing the objective, or if you’d prefer to charge head-on into danger behind the wheel of a vehicle, you can do that too. At the start of these missions, you’ll deploy as a designated member of Task Force 141: Farah, Ghost, Gaz, Soap, or Price. Each Operator will be given a default starting Loadout based around the mission’s current narrative.
“When you go into an Open Combat Mission the first time, you’ll have a specific loadout. We want these to feel very seamless (to the campaign story),” Swenson says. “But once you’re playing the level, there’s a lot of opportunities to find stuff, right? So, there’s crates and weapons that you can pick up, but also tactical’s and lethal’s, even Armaments (that Multiplayer Operators know as “Killstreaks”) that you can find in the world. And once you have these weapons, tacticals, lethals, they become part of your inventory.”
These maps are significantly larger than some of the more cinematic-like campaign levels, but you’ll still have a fixed objective that needs to be completed to progress. How you decide to achieve that objective will be entirely up to you: be like a shadow or go in blasting. The gear that you’re able to scavenge can help you with either playstyle.
“Once you’ve seen and played the level, you could be like, ‘Okay, now I want to I want to try to do this more stealthily.’ And you found a bunch of suppressed weapons and night vision goggles and throwing knives — you can leave the frag grenades at home — and go in super quiet to take out all the enemies and complete the objectives without anybody knowing you were there. Or conversely, if you want to just go in loud, you can equip you LMGs and armor plates and Semtex and go in and just start blowing things up.”
Learn to Utilize Powerful and Effective Gear
Once you deploy, expect to find all sorts of useful items in OCMs, including weapons, equipment, field upgrades, and even armaments that will boost your capabilities. But the real gems will be the Parachute, Ascender, and Armor Plate Carrier upgrades.
- Parachute: The Parachute lets you safely jump from great heights and soar over long distances. To deploy it, follow the button prompt on-screen when jumping from a high point to activate it. When close to the ground, your Operator will automatically cut the rope, or you can cut the cord manually to force a landing. Useful if you find yourself coming under fire and need to find cover fast.
- Ascender: Handy for reaching high points on the map by zipping up ropes that lead to places in key positions. Great if you want to assess your surroundings, snipe enemies, or use your parachute to glide to a new position.
- Plate Carrier Upgrade Vest: These items are a great line of defense in any scenario. The Plate Carrier Upgrade Vest allows you to increase the number of Armor Plates you can equip at a time, which as you’ll quickly discover, is an incredibly useful tool for keeping you in the fight longer.
“When you get into an Open Combat Mission, you’ll have more choice than you’ve ever had before. You jump in and you’re basically given objectives and the world is at your fingertips and you can tackle that mission any way you want,” explains Swenson.
“Personally, I’ve always been more of a stealth guy and so I certainly tend to really gravitate toward suppressed weapons. But what’s exciting and fun about this (Open Combat Missions), is as I’ve been playing missions, if I decide, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m going to change things up and I’m just going to go loud. I’m going to jump in this vehicle and I’m going to stick a turret behind it and roar through the map and blow stuff up,’ you can totally do that and it’s a lot of fun.”
Engage with Your Maps
Using your time in OCMs is a great time for you to familiarize yourself with the Tac Map – it’s one of the most important things to know while playing in Call of Duty: Warzone. It lets you communicate with your team through map pings, helps you locate vehicles, and most importantly where the extraction sites are. And when you’re done with the OCMs, you’ll know your away around this useful tool which in turn will make you a greater teammate when you hop online.
In addition, your mini-map will hold a ton of information for you as well. In particular, Enemy Alert Levels. When you’ve been seen, the borders will turn yellow, indicating that they’re aware of something in area. If found (or if you fire your weapon), the borders will turn red to show that they know where you are – when that happens, expect reinforcements. Enemies follow this color-coded system too: red dots indicate enemies engaged in combat; yellow represents those on the lookout.
Prepare for Multiplayer on November 10
One of the biggest aspects that will be available in Modern Warfare III multiplayer starting on November 10, on top of the modernized versions of multiplayer maps from Modern Warfare II (2009), and what is shaping up to be an epic Zombie mode, will be three new, big maps based on Urzikstan (the next Warzone map set to drop in December): Levin Resort, Orlove Military Base, and Popov Power. These big maps show up in two large-scale modes: Ground War and Invasion.
Ground War is a large-scale 32v32 conflict that’s centered on your team capturing objectives so that additional spawning locations can open. Invasion is a similar large map game type, but here it includes a mix of players and AI fighting alongside each other.
We’ll have more to share in a follow-up post here on Xbox Wire, but in the meantime make sure you check out the official Call of Duty Blog to get the latest details on what’s to come.
Play Today with Campaign Early Access
You can get started today in Modern Warfare III by pre-ordering the game on the Xbox Store. Once purchased and installed, you can jump in and start playing the single-player campaign and the new Open Combat Missions during this one-week early access window before Multiplayer unlocks alongside the global release date of Modern Warfare III on November 10 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® III – Vault Edition
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Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® III – Cross-Gen Bundle
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Call of Duty®: Warzone™
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