To start this blog, I have to go a ways back to the heyday of the PSOne (simply known as the PlayStation, for those who owned it!)...so many of my favorite games were made for that console, including a franchise that started on it called "Medal of Honor", a first-person shooter set during the Second World War. Even though the game was admittedly limited in its tech at that point in time, it brought a historic realism and gravitas to its setting and action that hadn't quite been accomplished before. This wasn't "Wolfenstein 3D", with any cartoonish or heightened reality of any kind...in mood and authenticity, it did its best to put the player in the shoes of an American soldier thick in Nazi territory, where friends were few and far-between and chances of survival were slim BECAUSE you had to put yourself in harm's way to stop the enemy's plans.
That was where my love for FPS games really cemented, but as the years passed, the "Medal of Honor" games dulled in their lustor...and then seemed to fizzle out entirely with the arrival of other games that took up where it started, specifically with the WWII setting and intensity. The market honestly got thick with such games, and it became a running joke for Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb on "X-Play"...fighting Nazis can't get old, but there was literally too much of a good thing out there! It took the "Call of Duty" games and their drive to raise the bar to amazing heights, and therefore make amazing games, that changed things.
Along the way, though, the "Call of Duty" franchise wisely decided not to keep entirely to the WWII era...they moved their military combat in the first person to the present day with their fourth installment: "Modern Warfare". And brother, intensity and gravitas were redefined. The game was so good with a jaw-dropping combination of authenticity and jaw-dropping (and thankfully ficticious!) storyline of a rising conflict that goes thermonuclear and how it's linked to a brutal Russian ultranationalist, the fact its online multiplayer was even better sealed its destiny to spin off to become its own series. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" was the result, which proved to be an even more polished and gripping, whether in single player or online fighting with (or against) real-life buddies.
That's why I (along with many, MANY more gamers) am virtually chomping on the bit to get "Modern Warfare 3", which is set to be released tomorrow. It seems ready to raise its own bar even further in graphics and gameplay, and a story that plunges the world into World War III. I can only imagine how good the single player missions will be...and I'm beside myself to see how much this game's multiplayer can top the excellence of the last.
Tomorrow, we'll find out!