Battle royales aside, third-person shooters have always been a dark horse compared to their head-cam counterparts. SOCOMthe PlayStation-exclusive tactical shooter series, belongs to history. Ghost Recon sits in the shadow of Rainbow Six (and The corporate division is more of a role-playing game). Metal Gear Online is largely a thing of the past. arma is a bit too tactical to be popular. And while war implements While it certainly has its followers, few fans of tactical, semi-realistic shooters are likely to be tempted by magnetic cover mechanics, clunky walking speed, and chainsaw guns. But at the latest the new third-person mode Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is a solid argument for including perspective and with just a few tweaks could certainly become my favorite mode in this solid multiplayer shooter.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was announced back in September with a third-person multiplayer mode the NEXT event of the franchise. The original had a third-person mode Modern warfare 2 back in 2009, and the series has flirted with the possibility pulling the camera behind our characters in the past. But the latest game marks the first time the feature has existed in the series in many years. Third-person mode now has a dedicated playlist with restricted game modes and is switchable in the game’s cooperative multiplayer maps. You can also set up private matches in third-person only or for one team at a time. There are a few rough edges, but what’s on offer now makes for a whole different experience that’s a lot more fun and tactical in my opinion.
Perhaps the best element of a third-person mode in a shooter is that the elevated camera position grants far more peripheral vision than a first-person game (VR is a separate conversation). Even gentle movements of the camera give you a better sense of your surroundings.
Third-person mode also allows you to do something that’s completely unrealistic, but offers a more satisfying and strategic experience: peek around corners. Because your camera is separate from your body, you can easily see what or who is above your cover and around your corners without exposing yourself to gunshots. The result is more deadly camp sites and ambush opportunities. This might sound like a big no to some, but stick with me as it makes for a less frantic gameplay.
Modern Warfare IIThe treatment of third-person cleverly balances the ability to see around corners by forcing everyone into third-person as a specific mode. This means that it is not an unfair advantage. And since you, the player, know this, you’re less likely to run past corners and assume someone behind cover can’t see your position. And if you don’t play with that assumption, you’ll learn to be more careful very quickly. This forces everyone to play more tactically. In my time with the game so far, the biggest difference I’ve seen is that people watch their viewpoints with a lot more caution and concern than they do in first-person.
Luckily most cards are in Modern Warfare II translate well to the camera shift. One of them fits the new perspective so beautifully that it becomes my favorite map in the game: Santa Sena Border Crossing.
What can feel a little claustrophobic in first person becomes a beautiful landscape of intentional, gritty, and focused planning and cover movement. Empty cars are scattered all over the map. And because you can see around and above them in third person, I’ve found these to be some of the most entertaining strategic shootouts I’ve played in years. You can easily get a perspective of the battlefield that is simply impossible in first person. Add to that the narrow corridor that runs down the middle of the map where you can peek out the doors via third-person perspective, and I almost want a playlist of rotating modes just on that map alone.
There’s also something to be said about being able to see your character and that his presence means more than just guns and a gun. Thank God, Modern Warfare II has some pretty nice cloth animations on characters. The sprinting results in a very satisfying movement of the fabric, and in general, the details on backpacks, jackets, pants, and boots add a nice visual appeal. In a game where you get to choose different operators, it’s a nice change of pace to finally be able to see them, if only from behind.
It’s not just unicorns and rainbows, though. Although I’m far from alone in getting involved the SOCOM feels nostalgia, there are a few rough edges that need to be addressed to really make this mode sing. The most important thing, one thing many are Voiceis the frustrating reality that “shoulder swap” and “sprint” are mapped to the same key.
Since the mid-2000s, most third-person shooters have used an over-the-shoulder camera perspective (thanks, Resident Evil 4 and war implements). While this is a boon for aiming accuracy, much like a first-person experience, it comes at the cost of having to switch shoulders you’re looking over if you want to play smart.
At the moment, Modern Warfare II lets you swap shoulders by quickly tapping the sprint button. I shouldn’t have to explain why this is a tricky configuration. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any real way to change this. The result has you sprinting when you really wanted to shift your shoulder, making the transition from cover to cover less seamless and smooth than it could be. Stopping and sprinting will guarantee a change, but that’s not ideal when even a second’s stillness can mean death. Camera switching also doesn’t work well with weapons that ask you to hold “Shift” to focus. One button is way too much work right now, and it’s no better on a gamepad.
Some, like SOCOMJohn on YouTube, have suggested installing a centered “overhead” camera reminiscent of the old one SOCOM games. This might be a little too dated for modern gamers’ tastes, and I’d struggle to see this as an advantage without dedicated lean keys. At this point we’re starting to talk about another game, but it’s a cool idea nonetheless.
Not every game mode is even playable in the third person perspective. Tied to a specific playlist called “Third-Person Moshpit” (okay, I guess?), only three modes are currently available: TDM, Hardpoint, and Domination. I’d love to see the new Prisoner Rescue mode added, as well as the other classic cod modes.
There are a few quality of life improvements that I would also like to see. Like many tactical third-person shooters, Modern Warfare II will let you know if your weapon is completely out of cover, or a corner with a small X on the screen to indicate that your weapon is not aiming straight but is instead blocked by something. I find MWII‘s implementation of this a little too strict. I would also like to see arcs of shells and even ricochet predictions outlined with a HUD display. I don’t think that would work well cod‘s first-person experience, but it would help make grenade throws a bit more aware in the third-person perspective. Modes that limit or disallow respawns would also be great.
I also wish third person mode was available in the main campaign. I could liked it better that would have been an option.
It remains to be seen if the third-person mode gets the love and support it deserves from both of them cod community and the developers. Even if it might not suit the taste of a classic cod Fan, it’s sure to be a treat for those of us who sorely miss such experiences SOCOM, Metal Gear Onlineand the better Ghost Recons. And honestly after that SOCOM 4 (confrontation was fine), new, sloppy Ghost Recons, and whatever-the-hell-was H hour world elite, we TPS fans could use a well-supported mode in an otherwise solid shooter. With just a few changes in third-person mode (and the inclusion of Valeria as an operator), I would find it difficult to find time for another shooter. OK, maybe gloriolebut that is the only exception.
https://kotaku.com/call-of-duty-modern-warfare-2-third-person-mode-socom-1849737418 Modern Warfare 2’s third-person perspective is near-perfect