Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Game Review (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Drops #9-12)

Since the ELITE content has been released, it's really been up and down. April was a pretty mediocre month, so surely May will be better... right?

First of all, there are six new achievements to unlock in the two new Spec Ops Missions:


Don't Tread On Me (15)
Complete the "Iron Clad" Special Ops mission on any difficulty.

High Roller (25)
Complete the "Iron Clad" Special Ops mission on Veteran difficulty.

Not a Scratch (35)
Finish with your tank at full health in the "Iron Clad" Special Ops mission.

One-Four-One (15)
Complete the "Kill Switch" Special Ops mission on any difficulty.

EMPressive... (30)
Complete the "Kill Switch" Special Ops mission on Veteran difficulty.

Helipocalypse (30)
Destroy 6 helicopters in the "Kill Switch" Special Ops mission.


On top of the two new missions, Iron Clad and Kill Switch, there's a multiplayer map called Oasis, and four Face Off maps: Aground, Erosion, Getaway, and Lookout. If you don't know already, Face Off is a new game mode introduced this month by Infinity Ward that is simply a playlist that puts you against a stranger, or you and someone else against two other people. IW claims the four Face Off maps were made specifically for that game mode, and so they're relatively small. I should also let you know that in Face Off, only Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed will come up. The playlist currently says Team Defender, Domination, and Search and Destroy are included, but they aren't. Anyway, on to the review.

First of all, the Spec Ops missions. Iron Clad is a mission in which one person is on foot to destroy barriers with C4 while the other covers you with a tank. This mission and its achievements aren't too difficult, even on easy. In fact, I feel as though any competent dyad would be able to finish it in just one try. Iron Clad, due to its straightforward nature and simplicity, gets a 3/5 from me.

Second up is Kill Switch. This mission is more complicated, interesting, longer-lasting, and fun than Iron Clad. Unlike Iron Clad which feels as though it has just one part, in Kill Switch one player has two parts, and the other has three. For the player on the ground, you basically just have to stay alive and let your partner do the work. The other player starts off as a sniper, providing cover fire from some scaffolding. After a little while, the sniper then controls a reaper while the other player sets up the EMP. Once the EMP goes off, it's up to the two players to work their way to the dock. On the way though, you'll have a small swarm of enemies, including two Juggernauts. Kill Switch took about 3 tries for me to complete, but it was still quite fun. I'm pretty positive I'll never play it again in my life, but it was one of the best Spec Ops Missions I've played to date. 4/5

Oasis is the sole true multiplayer map this month, and most likely what most people will be playing. Although I admittedly haven't played it much to get a real great impression of it, it certainly isn't only aesthetically pleasing, but laid out nicely as well. It's a medium sized map with a couple key choke points, and not too much "verticality." The main problem I have with this map so far though -- and you'll see a similar complaint in my review of Erosion -- is that there's one spot of the map where I expect a BUNCH of camping whenever it comes up in playlists. Though I can't explain precisely where it's at, you'll know when you get online. Regardless of that problem, I see Oasis being a fun map on several game modes, from S&D to Domination. 4/5

Aground is the first of the Face Off maps; well, alphabetically, anyway. Supposedly this map takes place on the shores of Scotland, but it could be based on Maine for all I know. Looking at this map first glance, it looks pretty ordinary. Bland. But after playing it, it really is mostly good. The cave/rock area is a great vantage point, making it possible to see almost anyone anywhere on the map. The big problem I have with Aground -- and with most of the Face Off maps -- is that the spawns are atrocious, even with 2v2. If you get a double kill on your enemies, don't assume you're free to reload in the open... you'll really want to take cover anywhere you can and do it, otherwise you more than likely will be killed instantly. Besides the sometimes unbelievably bad spawns, Aground remains an average Face Off map. 3.5/5

Erosion is map number two, and the first one I played. In the small number of matches I've played, I have a strong feeling this will be the most camp-filled map in the Face Off playlist. If you want a tip as to where most of the enemies will be sitting, 10:1 they're perched up in the building that's around the center of the map on the second floor. While getting killed from there is a commonplace, it's just as easy to flush them out with a grenade, or pick them off as their heads go to the windows. I said all that and forgot to describe the map... basically, the description's in the name. Erosion just looks like ruins; plain and simple. Not a very good description, but that's about all I can come up with. If you've played SOCOM II and Halo 2, think of it sort of as a combination of Ruins and Warlock, respectively. While I actually like the looks and layout of this map, I feel I'd be hard pressed to find a twosome that wouldn't camp on it. For that reason... 3.5/5

Getaway is a map that, when I saw it, I expected greatness. From what I understand, it takes place in some super rich guy's pad and backyard on the coast of Brazil. Of the four Face Off maps, I feel like this is probably the smallest. As much as I wanted to call this my favorite DLC map, I won't be able to, simply because the spawns are easily the worst I've seen on any map in any Call of Duty ever. Period. If you die, you can usually expect to die at LEAST one more time right away. You know when someone's camping your tactical insertion...? It feels like that. Even if you aren't using one. Because of the maps size and layout, no matter where you spawn, you're almost always going to pretty much be in the enemies cross hairs when you spawn. And if not when you spawn, within 2 seconds. Getaway looks fantastic, but I really just wish Infinity Ward would have expanded on it and made it a full multiplayer map instead. It's still entertaining and the gunfights are frantic, but it's, in a way, a waste. 3.75/5

Lookout takes place in some bunker in Afghanistan, if I remember correctly. If it isn't the smallest map of the four, I'll just guess that it's second after Getaway. Even though this map seems bland on the surface, it's really rather fun. There are a decent number of bunkers to run in and out of to get away from enemies and regroup with your team mate if you need help, and the rock on the ... southern? ... side of the map, like in Aground, gives an excellent view of virtually the map in its entirety. When running around Lookout be careful and be sure to watch the minimap, because if you step outside of the map -- like I did once -- you'll be blown up by a land mine. Whoops. Sort of like Aground, it's a fun map, and it's laid out nicely, but nothing about it is really at all jaw dropping. 3.5/5


Overall, I'm definitely pleased with May's content. The four Face Off only maps is a disappointment because they could have all made for entertaining full-on multiplayer maps if they were expanded just a little bit, but they are what they are, and they're still fun to play. Oasis is a map worthy of dozens of plays when online with friends, and even the two Spec Ops missions are pretty good as well. While all the numbers together don't average out to it, I'd give May's drop a 4/5 due to the sheer amount of solid content. While, like I said, the whole Face Off thing could have been entirely done without, May may be the best release of Modern Warfare 3 DLC yet.


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