Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack 1 Review

Infinity Ward has been through hell and high water from Modern Warfare 2’s launch to now.  Just 5 short months ago, one of the biggest entertainment releases in history, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 hit the shelves.  For the most part the game has won over critics and gamers alike, with it’s beefy additions to the original Modern Warfare game.  Shortly thereafter, the wheels started to come off the wagon.  It started with the Playstation 3 having a suspect launch, then glitches spread like wildfire, hacking, modding, viruses being spread between gamers, are just a few of the seemingly countless problems that the game has had.  Needless to say, Modern Warfare 2 has dealt with it’s share of criticism since launch.  Today marked the release of The Stimulus Package: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2’s first downloadable map pack.  Did Infinity Ward redeem themselves?  I think that’s yet to be seen as the game content has only been available for a few hours, but here’s what we thought.

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The new maps are great.  They spice up the gameplay exceptionally well.  It is the exact thing that a die hard Call of Duty player needs at this stage of the game.  I would consider myself a big fan of the series. When I need a quick gaming fix I usually lean towards COD,  so the fifteen dollars is pretty well spent.  When you take into consideration how far fifteen dollars goes these days, you are gonna get some mileage out of your purchase. Gaming is entertainment, when I compare it to other forms of entertainment,  I don’t know any other medium that is gonna give me 10-15 hours of fun for that price.  As for the 75 dollars I have spent thus far on the game,  there is pretty decent value there, considering I have gotten well over a couple of days logged into Modern Warfare 2.  The maps are more of the same, alot of angles, elevation, and camping spots.  The one map that stood out to me the most was Bailout.  It really looks like they spent the most time with that one.  There are many nooks and crannies, and it’s gonna take some time to learn them all.  If you have watched the video, Bailout  is the apartment complex. It’s got a ton of variety with long sight lines for snipers and close quarters for the rushers, that map has it all. Not to say that the others were bad, that’s definitely not the case, but Bailout stands tall when comparing the new maps.  The stage design is once again top notch in the three new maps.   If you played CoD 4, you know what you’re getting with Overgrown and Crash, those are two classic maps.  I wasn’t sure if they would work with the new Killstreak Rewards, and to be quite honest it felt a little weird being on the look out for a Chopper Gunner in Overgrown.

When I downloaded the maps to be met with the cold harsh reality that I couldn’t play them, I was a little bit pissed, to say the least.  After all of the troubles this game has had  I figured that IW had to do it proper on this map pack to regain some consumer confidence.  Well, eventhough it got off to a rocky start, the problems were addressed and fixed fairly quickly.  Over the years, I have seen my favorite games go from champs to festering carcasses of what they once were, due to a simple lack of support.  This  is something you can’t say about Infinity Ward.  They fix the problems that arise in their games fairly quickly.  On the other hand, I would love to play a game that doesn’t break immediately when playing  it for the first time.  That would be a nice change. Overall though, I was more happy that they fixed it so quickly, than I was disappointed that it was broke in the first place.

I also haven’t seen one hacked account playing , so it seems that Infinity Ward has closed some of the existing loopholes that players were taking advantage of .  For example I received confirmation from a friend who told us that the multi perk and weapon exploit is fixed…for now.   I’m sure it will only be a matter of time until new ones arise, but it’s a win for now, and you can’t complain about that.

There are a couple of  bonuses for Map Pack buyers in that there are new game types. There are two stimulus pack lobbies, one which features a variety of traditional game modes on only the new levels, and second is a Hardcore Ricochet Lobby. This lobby features Ricochet Team Deathmatch, Hardcore Search and Destroy, and Hardcore Ricochet Headquarters Pro.  I’m not knocking the new modes as they are playable, but for the most part it was moot (ty) point.  I would much rather have seen that Tactical Nuke game or some variation,  other than the ones they chose to drop with this Map Pack.

For the first time since Modern Warfare 2 has been released I missed World at War.  Nazi Zombies was incredibly fun and added so much value to the DLC package.  Once I really started thinking about it and considering the cost of the new maps,  I realized I paid twice as much, for half the game in this DLC.   As good as the new and old levels are technically,  there’s something really bland about the graphics.  Salvage and Storm are incredibly boring looking.  Bailout is a little better, but it just feels blah.  Then you throw in Crash, which is also amazingly bland, and Overgrown which is probably the best looking of the bunch, and you don’t  have a very visually stunning experience.  The game still looks alright, but you don’t get that sense of something shiny and new as much as you get the feeling of dreary, bland, and dare I say kinda dull.

I love IW, I really do.  I try to be patient with the glitches, and problems, and look at the bright side, where which CoD 6 is one my favorite shooters ever.   After not being able to play when I bought the pack, then finally getting it up and running to find out that I am confined to two playlists, which only play random gametypes, I nearly crapped the bed.  I can only hope that as I am writing this Robert Bowling is sifting through the 375,000 pieces of hate mail and changes are on the way.  It just seems far fetched that a Map Pack can launch without a standard Deathmatch lobby.  As it stands there are two options, both forcing players to play random game types.   No one needs to be force fed a specific mode because its new.  Most people want to play the mode they choose , not play musical chairs trying to jump in a Deathmatch game that just keeps switching to Search and Destroy or vice versa.  Not having the choice to play what I wanted took the air out of the experience for me.   If I wasn’t playing it to review it, I would have turned it off after the first couple of times I was forced to play something I didn’t want.   Who wants to do that?  Not me, and I’m probably gonna hold off on more gameplay until more game modes come into circulation.

If you enjoy Modern Warfare 2,  it’s hard to justify passing up this DLC.  It extends the game as expected, and in time, when more game modes are opened and more people have the pack, it will get inherently better.  Though right now, if you have pressing issues that demand fifteen dollars worth of attention, your money might be spent better there until Infinity Ward takes some of the restrictions off . It’s always good to allow players to actually enjoy the map pack how they see fit.  I like the new modes, I just don’t like the feeling of being forced to play them.   As a whole the content is great! The maps are fun, the old ones are classics, but as the last five months have gone, we’ll just have to wait and see what IW’s next move is.

Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack
If you enjoy Modern Warfare 2, it’s hard to justify passing up this DLC. It extends the game as expected, and in time, when more game modes are opened and more people have the pack, it will get inherently better.
Reviewed on Xbox 360

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