I remember the days only a few years ago when it was possible to fit more than three games on a single 500GB hard drive. Now, with games like Modern Warfare 3 taking up so much storage space, you’ll be lucky to fit two.
What makes Modern Warfare 3 so large
Back in 2018, with the release of the phenomenal Red Dead Redemption 2, the world was shaken by the sheer size of the installation. It came on two disks and took 150GB of install size, dropping to 99GB on PS5 and 107GB on Xbox once everything was unpacked and settled. To be completely fair, the game used every one of its GBs beautifully and rendered a game that changed the face of open-world RPGs forever.
Now, with the release of Modern Warfare 3, we are faced with a game reported by Steam to be 149GB. Some sources even report it hitting more than 200 GB. This number isn’t confirmed yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised. This number is one of the highest ever and is only a sign of the coming times, but why is the game so massive?
Three huge game modes
Modern Warfare 3 is giving you bang for your buck, both audibly and physically. The huge storage use is taken up by three big game modes, including the Modern Warfare 3 campaign, huge online multiplayer, and of course, Zombies.
Each of these game modes is a game in its own right. The campaign itself has a much longer run time than your usual online FPS game would usually provide. Some recent first-person shooters have even opted to scrap them completely. I’m looking at you, Battlefield.
Creating and storing a campaign takes a huge amount of memory. Each voice line, map, and model needs its own space to exist in the digital files. Of course, Modern Warfare 3 could have saved storage space by scrapping the campaign. But this is a practice I don’t want to see becoming common, especially with a full-priced game. However, once you have completed the campaign, you can always delete it to make space while keeping the rest of the game.
Zombies have now been brought into the open world, making it bigger and better than ever. The revamped game mode promises to be spooky as sin, but again, this isn’t going to be kind to your hard drive. The payoff will hopefully be worth it and will bring back the golden age of COD Zombies.
Of course, the main culprit for Modern Warfare 3’s huge use of storage space is multiplayer. So many guns, maps, and character models need to be rendered in competition-level quality. What would Modern Warfare 3 be without it?
The modern age of file sizes
Games are rendered in a quality never before seen. As always, technology never stops marching on, but the price we pay is storage space. Now, 4k is the standard for almost every game released. A huge percentage of the Modern Warfare storage will simply be catering to the incredibly high-definition models and images needed to run the game.
Big file sizes are more than just images, though. Every click, rustle, bang, and boom needs to be stored inside the package. Audio takes up more space than ever before. The Modern Warfare franchise may have its problems, but you cannot deny that it’s a feast for the ears.
Modern Warfare 3 storage crunch
Crunch time is a real thing in the gaming industry. Games need to be released on time, and the studios push for this. However, in doing so, corners get cut. Some of the first are compression and optimization. Once a game is complete, a studio will usually work on streamlining everything. By doing this, they strip back all the unnecessary files and folders and get the game to the bare bones. The game would still run without this process, but it is always going to be huge.
Now, with the pressures of time and pre-orders, this stage is skipped or not done thoroughly. I have often seen game file sizes drop with subsequent updates after release. This is done as the team gets a moment to breathe and start doing some housekeeping. I hope that this may end up being the case with Modern Warfare 3’s storage size.
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