In an exclusive preview, our roving reporter, Mike Smith goes undercover at the Expo in London’s Earls Court to tackle one of this year’s most anticipated titles and its new multiplayer mode.

Video Courtesy of Gamespot

So my trip to the Eurogamer Expo in London this year has not been without its surprises. It was literally just a few days before the Expo was due to open its doors, that Eurogamer confirmed Activision’s attendance there, much to the delight of both regular patrons and press alike.

The queues for Modern Warfare alone were humongous. There were times when the Modern Warfare queue would snake its way around the entire booth and almost start double backing on itself.

Fortunately, both my other half Cheryl and I managed to get in the queue early one morning to test out Modern Warfare 3‘s new survival mode, Special Ops!

Being put into pairs and sat side by side, both Cheryl and I donned our official Call of Duty Turtle Beach headsets, promptly adjusted our volume and plunged straight into the unfamiliar waters of Special Ops mode.

Modern Warfare 3
For the first time (that I can recall), if there are only two players in a Call of Duty game, you no longer need to fight each other of a crowd of zombies. The Spec Ops mode dropped both of us in the middle of Paris, where it appeared we had parachuted in with a large supply of weapons and ammo. No indication was given as to what was going to happen, but we were warned that “Enemy Troops Approaching.” We quickly found cover, armed only with our pistols and roughly 50 bullets each. We reckoned we were well equipped enough to take out a fair number of enemies until we obtained some better weapons.

The first wave of regular, clumsy foot soldiers made their way through the Parisian streets and around the courtyard we were hunkered down in. Filing through tight streets made them easy to pick off at a distance, even with the meager range of the pistol. A few minutes of basic firefighting passed and we were presented with a ‘Wave Complete’ notification. We quickly ran out to the corpses of our enemies and gathered some machineguns, shotguns and pocketfuls of ammo. We bunkered ourselves in the courtyard again to notice that there was a laptop on a box near us. This, it would later be revealed, was Spec Ops shop system, where you earn money for kills, kill streaks, double kills etc. and you can spend that money on weapons, upgrades, ammo etc.

With the second and third wave of regular enemies posing no real threat to our shotgun prowess, we soon realized a startling fact, we were genuinely having fun with Call of Duty!

Now, let’s get something straight before I incur anybody’s wrath. I like Call of Duty, and so does my girlfriend, but there’s always a degree of seriousness when playing it on multiplayer. Unlike titles like Halo, where you can happily throw yourselves around a battlefield for fifteen minutes and hope for the best, Call of Duty (or more importantly, the post Modern Warfare franchise) has always felt like a serious war simulator, rather than a stereotypical shooter and that’s fine but Spec Ops reintroduces that fun element to the long standing franchise.

It is unfortunate that there appeared no sign of a four player Spec Ops as I could envision that being a real fan favourite for many LAN parties to come.

Moving through the enemy waves included the introduction of attack dogs, an unwelcome addition as one almost took my throat out, but fortunately at the last moment, my co-op and real world partner Cheryl decided that the best tactical option was to unload a shotgun round into my chest, thereby eliminating said attack dog and only causing me mild injuries.

The pace of Spec Ops quickly changed when we heard ‘Enemy Choppers Inbound.’ Surprised, both Cheryl and myself ran towards a nearby tunnel, in search of shelter, just in time to hear the horrifying sound of hundreds of automatic machine gun bullets impact on the ground near us.

Reaching the shelter of the tunnel, we then decided to take it in turns to sneak out of the tunnel and attack one helicopter at a time until we had dispatched them, figuring the best way was for one of us to act as bait near the main entrance of the tunnel, whilst the other one moved out of the back of the tunnel and used this position as a vantage point to attack the choppers.

Continuing with this tactic proved flourishing, as the last chopper went down and both me and Cheryl offered a well earned fist-bump in celebration (in real life, not in the game, this isn’t Army of Two)

A collection of regular soldiers, heavily armoured soldiers, suicide bombers and attack dogs with the occasional dual-chopper attack ensures that your adrenaline is constantly pumping and your focus is always fresh.

My heart was beginning to race when the demo came to an end, and the only thing that stopped me from queuing again was the extremely long queue, and the fact that I have lots of other top quality games to play that weekend.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is due for release on 8th of November on Xbox 360, PC and PS3