'It's a horrendous and shameful scam': Modern Warfare 3 plummets to one of Steam's worst-rated games as fans bombard it with Mostly Negative reviews

Two central characters, hardened soldiers, from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 share a meaningful look.
(Image credit: Sledgehammer Games / Activision)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's launch weekend has been… unfortunate. Between a "rushed campaign" and bizarre launcher woes, fans have channelled their frustration into critical  Steam reviews. It's seen the game plummet to a Mostly Negative rating, getting it onto SteamDB's chart for the 100 worst games on the platform.

It's sitting at a 27% approval rating right now, with many fans calling it "overpriced DLC" and claiming that Activision should have released the content as a cheaper expansion for Modern Warfare 2 instead. "It's a horrendous and shameful scam," one reviewer wrote, while another called it "the worst game I have ever seen dropped in 2023 as far as a multiplayer title." An awful lot of reviews are simply the words "$70 DLC."

The campaign continues to draw ire too, with complaints about its short length being at the core of many fans' frustration. "As a CoD fan for the last 15 years, this was the single most awful campaign I've ever played. Surface level storyline that was incredibly forgetful, and is insanely lazy on Sledgehammer's part," one Steam reviewer wrote. "Was looking forward to a fun and conclusive campaign, but was left thoroughly disappointed," another wrote. "Would not recommend."

Steam reviews for Modern Warfare 3.

(Image credit: Steam)

Other common complaints appear to be with the game's armory challenge system, which requires completing daily quests to unlock a myriad of weapons and perks. One reviewer called it "the single worst addition in CoD history," with others complaining that a system which already had a poor reception in Modern Warfare 2 has been made inherently worse. It helps even less that the challenges don't seem to be tracking properly for a lot of players, something that developer Sledgehammer has said it's currently working on fixing. 

It's not all negatively, and the one thing a handful of people do seem to be enjoying is the latest iteration of Zombies. It hasn't been a hit with everyone, but it definitely appears to be one of the more positive mentions across reviews. One player wrote how "Zombies is kind of fun when it works," while another called it "quite good" but added "I can't recommend spending £80 or whatever it is on a game that's practically a DLC until they fix their shit."

It's not looking great for Call of Duty right now, and many veteran fans of the series appear to be tired with the way things are going. It doesn't seem likely that players will be warming up to Modern Warfare 3 anytime soon. It certainly won't stop Sledgehammer from trying though, and the game's Trello board is already filling up with issues that the developer is aware of and actively striving to fix. 

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.