Metacritic reviews for Modern Warfare 3 have it firmly on track to become the lowest-rated Call of Duty game in history. The game is currently sitting on a user score of 1.5 (or "overwhelming dislike") and Metascore of 50 (or "mixed / average") at time of writing.
The ratings come soon after news that the game was rushed out in just 16 months, and is sure to be an additional blow to morale for the team at Sledgehammer Games. The studio's head claimed the game was actually years in the making, but if that's true then the campaign's length and quality becomes even more questionable.
Many reviews are currently marked as 'tbd', with scores coming soon after spending time in multiplayer. If these reviews contribute negative or middling scores, Modern Warfare 3 will likely end up the lowest rated mainline game in Call of Duty history. To officially claim its spot as the worst Call of Duty, it'll need to stay below the 73 scored by Call of Duty Vanguard in 2021.
Many fans and detractors are sceptical that these ratings will matter in the long run, however. Call of Duty as a series has consistently made sales through brand recognition, and there are plenty of monetisation schemes in the latest games to make plenty of money. It'll take more than one or two bad CoD games in a row to scare away hardcore fans.
In our time with the game before and after launch, we noted issues with multiplayer spawn points and found that even the game considered itself a full-priced DLC as far as trophies were concerned. We've recently heard that Modern Warfare 3 actually was going to be DLC before Activision intervened, so can only hope the result means they won't be doing that again anytime soon.
Like most recent games, Modern Warfare 3's developers are planning plenty of updates in the months after release. Hopefully, Activision won't jump on the layoffs trend, and players will see the game improve over time.