Screenshots: MW2 vs. MW3
Below are some screenshots comparing Modern Warfare 3 to its 2009 predecessor, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. You can click each image for a detailed 2560x1600 shot. Because they're two different games, it's impossible to get identical shots, therefore we have done our best to make the comparisons as similar as possible. We understand this is a crude method, but the results speak for themselves.
Here we focused on sniper rifle scopes. Please note that these images are completely unaltered. This is how they appear at 2560x1600. MW3's visuals are near to identical to those of MW2. The texture quality is very much the same and so is sharpness and AA.
Here's a shot of ground textures. While MW2 looks much better in my opinion, the quality of the textures does vary from scene to scene. Overall, they're about even.
MW3's vegetation looks very poor. It could just be because I've recently tested Crysis 2 with high res-textures along with Battlefield 3, but the vegetation seen above is not of 2011 standards. Even when compared to the older version, we feel the graphical quality of MW3 is questionable at best.
The textures used for the environment vary during the game, however I feel there was more detail throughout the MW2 single player campaign -- including the walls seen above. It seems like there was greater care taken to make certain aspects of the game seem unique.
Finally, the character models aren't much different -- though we can admit that they look great for a DX9 title. Graphics aside, it's worth noting that this guy makes an appearance as a sniper in both games. Pure coincidence we're sure.