Another month, another release of DLC for ELITE Premium members. Welp, March has the biggest content month yet, with the release of two "all-new" Spec Ops missions called Negotiator and Black Ice, the multiplayer map Black Box, and 6 achievements worth 160 points. The achievements are listed below:
Skilled Negotiator (25)
Complete the Special Ops mission "Negotiator" on Veteran difficulty.
Shotgun Diplomacy (15)
Complete the Special Ops mission "Negotiator" on any difficulty.
Not on My Watch (35)
Rescue all the hostages in the Special Ops mission "Negotiator."
Ice in Your Veins (35)
Complete the "Black Ice" Special Ops mission on Veteran difficulty.
Slippery Slope (15)
Complete the "Black Ice" Special Ops mission on any difficulty.
A Baker's Dozen (35)
Run over and kill 13 enemies with the snowmobile in the "Black Ice" Special Ops mission.
First things first, the Spec Ops missions. When I heard Infinity Ward was going to be releasing Spec Ops missions, I pretty much immediately rolled my eyes. Really? Missions that I'll play once and never again? I also feel like IW had to add the six achievements just to get people to PLAY the missions. To be honest, they're really the only reason why I cared to bother with them.
The first thing I did was went and played Black Ice. I won't spoil what goes on with this mission ... you'll find it out yourself ... but I will say that this is an extremely easy mission to complete, even on Veteran. It took me just four tries to get through this, and every time I died, it was because of the beginning, simply because there's zero cover. It's a decent mission, but it's very simple, and also short as well.
The achievements for Black Ice are pretty straight forward... beat it on any difficulty, beat it on Veteran, and run over 13 people with the snow mobile. The first two need no explanation, and the third is pretty easy... all you need to do is put the difficulty down to one star, and take your time mowing people down. If you're having trouble getting 13, go up to snow mobiles and stop, so the enemies get off theirs. When they do... RUN 'EM OVER. Black Ice is what it is... an average Spec Ops mission. For that, I just give it a 3/5.
Next is Negotiator... when I played this, I did it with a friend (unlike Black Ice, which I did solo). This mission is a bit longer, and a lot more difficult than Black Ice. The first two achievements for this one are simple enough to understand (see above), but Not on My Watch and simply completing it on Veteran WILL be a challenge. For Not on My Watch, what you're going to want to do is just put the difficulty to the lowest level, and progress bit by bit through the mission. Each time you fail, restart, and go from there. Eventually, you'll learn where to hide, and when to save hostages. Playing on Veteran is quite the chore, and I found it to be one of the most difficult missions in all of the Spec Ops missions in the game. Explaining how I did it would be fairly confusing, but I'm willing to bet there are some helpful guides on YouTube at this point. Really though? The best advice I can give is for you to just be PATIENT. Negotiator is more challenging than Black Ice... for that reason alone, I give it a 3.5/5.
And now, the thing that most people care about; the multiplayer map, Black Box. The whole deal with this map is that the President's plane has crashed in a wealthy neighborhood. It's a fairly big map that in some spots strongly encourages sniping. There's the crashed Air Force One on one side of the map, and also three main buildings with two floors that you can go inside. While the map will be a favorite for snipers, guns like the MK14, Type 95, M16A4, or even any other assault rifle will work well if you have decent to good aim. Black Box mostly contains long sight lines - save the close-quarters sections when not outside - so SMGs and shotguns are not ideal. Unlike Liberation, which seems to be big just for the sake of being big, Black Box is made and made well. Visually, and in the way that it plays. In the few matches that I've played on Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, and Domination, it's played pretty well. Of course, there are a fair number of campers that simply refuse to go for the objective, but not enough to ruin the map entirely. Black Box may well be my favorite piece of DLC so far in Modern Warfare 3. It's not mind-blowingly awesome map, but it's one that's worth playing several times over (4.5/5).
While the two Spec Ops missions are just what I expected (that being "meh..."), Black Box has been a pleasant surprise, and it's sure to be a pretty popular map online. This month of DLC has surely been Modern Warfare 3's best to date, and I can only hope that things just get better from here, after the previous two fairly disappointing months.