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Modern Warfare 3's Open Combat Missions sure sound like the MW2 Spec Ops missions no one played

Modern Warfare 3's big campaign innovation is Open Combat Missions, which don't sound like campaign missions at all.

The more of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gets revealed, the harder it is to believe this game started out as anything but an expansion that Activision decided to blow up into a full game.

Multiplayer is made up entirely of map remakes from the original Modern Warfare 2. The single-player campaign inexplicably brings back Makarov, despite the character not playing any part in the rebooted MW's story. Zombies is back, but it takes place on one giant open world map - not exactly what Zombies fans have been asking for.

Now, it appears the campaign is also taking part in this re-use of old content with the Open Combat Missions. As noticed by many players in Modern Warfare 3's campaign reveal, the old Warzone map, Verdansk, returns as a playground in some of those missions, and now we know why.

Open Combat Missions are basically the Spec Ops missions from last year's Modern Warfare 2, except you play them solo. If you're unfamiliar, the Spec Ops missions took place on Al Mazrah - the Warzone map that year - and tasked players with achieving certain objectives, but gave them the freedom to do so however they chose.

Each mission offered a bit of narrative, with some dialogue and scripted moments, but you were larglerly given a loadout, and left to your own devices to find the best/most efficient way to get it done. That's exactly what Modern Warfare 3's Open Combat Missions sound like.

In a blog post, developer Sledgehammer Games explained that players will start with a default loadout, but can acquire weapons, armour, use vehicles and so on as they explore the large play area. Obviously, you can be stealthy, or go loud. Pretty much everything you could do in Spec Ops (and Warzone), can be done in those missions - such as finding loadout crates, and loading up on killstreaks, self-revives, armour plates, lethals/tacticals etc.

It all sounds very familiar, perhaps too familiar, to the point that it's actually a little surprising that this isn't a dedicated side mode in Modern Warfare 3. From the looks of things, the game will include a small handful of the classic, scripted campaign missions.

All will be made clear when the campaign of Modern Warfare 3 becomes playable up to one week early for those who pre-order the game. The full game launches November 10 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Between now and launch, the next big moment for Modern Warfare 3 is the Call of Duty Next multiplayer reveal event, which takes place one day before the first beta weekend.

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