'Modern Warfare 3' Reveal Trailer Highlights

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Last night, during the NBA Western Conference Finals, Activision premiered the very first gameplay trailer for "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3." I can't say I found myself all that interested in the Mavericks and Thunder basketball game – what can I say, I'm from Ohio – but the trailer definitely garnered my attention. Let's take a look at what the footage can tell us about what's sure to be one of the biggest games of 2011.

Check out the video, right after the jump.

Pretty impressive, really. I realize that yearly "Call of Duty" releases are about as surprising as the setting of the sun, and the games' plots can be a bit bonkers, but I can't help getting excited about this trailer. It's completely over the top action; the kind of intense, everything-goes-boom, Michael Bay variety of entertainment that's entirely satisfying – if a bit garish. It feels like this game is a culmination of the "Modern Warfare" franchise, and it's abundantly clear we're about to play through World War 3.

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A little over a week ago, we posted a story detailing Kotaku's obtaining supposedly leaked information on "Modern Warfare 3." Judging by the trailer, it seems as though a few of those details are confirmed. Namely, the locations where the game will play out. There's a few other facts that match up, but do yourself a favor: don't spoil the game's plot for yourself like I did.

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First, there's the attack on Manhattan. The video shows a completely war-torn skyline, half-sunken ships are strewn throughout the water. There are at least a few times where the trailer shows aquatic gameplay, namely large submarines, a smaller raft-type boat, and an underwater scuba sequence. It's unclear exactly how this will factor into the gameplay, but given the repeated images of on-the-water combat, it's fairly obvious the fight is going off-shore.

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Next it's off to England, with the iconic Big Ben clocktower presiding over some intense street combat. It's hard to tell exactly what's going on, but the England portion of the trailer shows what appears to be a fight within the underground tunnels of the Metro. More importantly, and this stands throughout the entire video, it's hard to discern what the various countries' allegiances are. Are we fighting alongside our allies? Has the war got everyone against each other, causing rifts between what used to be friendly nations?

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The next segment shows Paris, France, with both street-level and rooftop combat in front of the Eiffel Tower. There appears to be a decent amount of vehicular combat in this section as well, with a van being pursued through a glass-top building by a chopper. Is this a chase sequence?

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Finally, it's off to a very grey Hamburg, Germany, where soldiers repel down the sides of buildings. More importantly, there appears to be a decent amount of environmental damage. It's been rumored that "Modern Warfare 3" will feature more believable structural damage in order to compete with "Battlefield 3," and the toppling of a large skyscraper certainly seems to confirm that.

The trailer wraps up with a Russian man – which I'm assuming is Makarov – speaking over images of US soldiers running through the streets of Manhattan.

"It doesn't take the most powerful nations on Earth, to create the next global conflict," Makarov says. "Just the will of a single man."

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Who exactly that single man is – well, that's unknown. I can tell you that there are two particular characters, Sandman and Frost, who are integral to the story, but I have no way of knowing if the silhouetted visage belongs to either man.

Not shown in the trailer is the rumored location of Mogadishu, nor is there any revelations in regards to characters. Where are Soap MacTavish and John Price? I guess we'll have to wait a little longer, but I'm confident all will be revealed at this year's E3.