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I've had a few debates with friends over the whole CoD franchise and all, and one of their biggest and most recurring points is that Modern Warfare 3 is the same as Modern Warfare 2 but with changed characters, weapons, and locales. The storyline being the same.

What, if anything, in Modern Warfare 3 parallels or copies the progression of the story in Modern Warfare 2?

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Well, if you think of the structure of MW2 plot, you see that the plot is a sequence of relatively similar events. Given the structure of the events, which is common to all the COD franchise, there is only so much that can be done with the plot, imho. The similarity and creative restriction is inherent to the franchise. So far, I find that the plot has the same feel, though objectively it is portraying the events directly following MW2, just as MW2 continued MW1 –  Mechko Nov 11 '11 at 3:25
    
I wouldn't say you're wrong, but I would say this is the kind of question which might solicit debate... not wholly appropriate. –  tzenes Nov 29 '11 at 5:10

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Modern Warfare 3 continues Modern Warfare 2 story and is set after Modern Warfare 2 events. It does not copy MW2 story. CoD4, MW2 and MW3 are parts of the single story. Think about S.S.D.D. mission as CoD4 mission after Game Over and about Prologue as MW2 mission after Endgame.

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You are completely missing the question. I'm talking about the way the story is set. As in similar types of situations repeating themselves in the obviously different stories. –  Glenn Nelson Nov 29 '11 at 13:26

There have been a few satirical "reviews" of the MW3 plot that have the effect of casting the general plot structure of the Modern Warfare series into relief.

In general, there tends to be some similarities between the overall structure:

  • A training sequence where a new soldier or member of a special forces team gets put through their paces (the game's tutorial is usually framed this way)
  • One plot thread in which there's a special forces team tracking a bad guy or other criminal mastermind
  • Another plot thread in which a group of soldiers is engaged in front-line combat (usually against the Russians)
  • A "shock value" scene in which innocents are killed for the sake of upping the dramatic effect of the story (ie, "No Russian" in MW2)
  • A major setpiece in which something bad happens to a notable landmark or city (Atomic bomb over Washington, destruction of the Eiffel Tower)

It's really up to you to decide if there's enough overlap to call them derivative, or if you think the changes make it fresh enough to be fun to play through. There's no "right answer" as far as I'm concerned.

Tangential to this is the reuse of gameplay elements. Some of the common gameplay elements generally include:

  • A vehicle sequence, usually on rails
  • An air support sequence
  • A sniper or sniper support sequence
  • A 'silenced' or 'sneak' sequence
  • Many long hallways and close quarters fights in bombed out locales
  • A set of common weapons (M16, AK-47, RPG, etc)
  • This building

When it comes to this stuff though, these pretty much characterize any military action game in a modern locale, so I'm not sure how fair it is to say that MW3 is recycling this from MW2; they're all borrowing it from each other.

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