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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: Spec Ops Specs

Company: Activision

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is bringing in a number of new ways to play. In addition to showing off the game's new multiplayer modes, Infinity Ward also used Call of Duty XP as a platform to show off the new Spec Ops co-op mode.

Spec Ops was first introduced in Modern Warfare 2, allowing players to run through maps and chase down goals. Spec Ops changes things a bit, making it a survival mode in the vein of Gears' Horde. Set in all sixteen of Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer maps, you and a buddy tough it out through waves of enemies with one intent - survive.

Starting with a group of low-level soldiers, each wave of Spec Ops mode gets increasingly difficult. Each passing wave is announced over the radio, offering a broad idea of what to expect. Then you see the red dots begin to pop up around the mini-map. Soldiers give way to suicide bombers, as well as packs of dogs, attack helicopters and even a pair of heavily armored Juggernauts.

If a player falls in battle, a "Bleed Out" timer is activated. If your teammate isn't able to revive you in time, the match ends. Based on both of my play-throughs (I managed to hit wave 9 in one, 24 in another), I found that death usually came really quick. There's more than enough time to charge across the map and revive a teammate, though in later waves enemies tend to bunch up, slaying anyone stupid enough to come close to the pack.

Communication is key throughout the mode. If you're not a typically verbose player, you may not last very long. Or, at least that was the case with me in my first match when my partner decided to commando the entire match. My second time through, however, I partnered up with a guy I had been talking to while waiting in line. With constant communication, we were able to power through to level 24 - earning a coveted event Prestige badge in the process - making it past two Juggernaut assaults, as well as a close call with a pair of bullet spraying attack helicopters.

One major difference between Spec Ops and similar modes is money. Similar to Zombies Mode, each kill earns you money, which you can then spend on purchasing new equipment from three supply drops scattered around the map. One drop point, designated with a Gun icon, houses ammo refills as well as new weapons. You begin the mission with a handgun, but can begin purchasing new weapons as soon as you have enough money. New guns aren't cheap, however, so you're forced to decide between picking up more ammo for the guns you have, or upgrading to a better gun, but running out of ammo.

You can, however, swipe the guns from fallen enemies, though your selection is limited. In early waves, enemies usually carried shotguns or other, less powerful, weapons. Still, in a pinch, the stolen guns help. Later waves yielded better weapons, so it remains a viable option all the way through.

The second supply point contains equipment, which includes items typically found attached to Perks. You can buy body armor, as well as the ability to revive yourself if you can kill an enemy before bleeding out.

The final, and - as I found out - most useful in later rounds, supply point offers Support. Here you can stock up on guided missiles, which you'll need during waves featuring helicopters, as well as a SWAT team, a group of A.I.-controlled soldiers who will help you defend against waves.

Of the multiplayer modes on display at Call of Duty XP, Spec Ops is my runaway favorite. Tactics are everything; this is not a mode for solo players or glory hogs, two of my least favorite aspects of online gaming.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Related Links:

Multiplatform Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Windows Hard Reset

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