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Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught Review

by William Schwartz

Yes, it’s that time of the year.  Infinity Ward has begun rolling out the Season Pass content for Call of Duty: Ghosts, the first downloadable content for the shooter.  Structured similarly to previous years, this map pack dubbed “Onslaught” consists of four new multiplayer maps, new weapons, and a new map for the popular cooperative Extinction Mode.

The four new maps: Bay View, Containment, Fog, and Ignition all bring something unique to Ghosts.  Their sizes vary, but most would be classified as medium to small when compared to the maps the game launched with.  Each map features a new interactive element, or in many cases, elements, and each is distinctly original, except for Ignition — this one was inspired by the old Scrapyard map from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. These four new maps are more playful than what we saw in the core game, read on for our impressions of each.

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Containment

Containment feels more like a map that you would expect in Call of Duty: Ghosts, visually. This fight takes place in a war-torn Mexican town, with an undetonated nuclear weapon being the centerpiece of the map. Players will fight to get Field Orders which can detonate the nuke via an aerial shock and awe barrage. While it remains undetonated, players in close proximity to the nuke will have their mini-map and radar scrambled.

There’s a lot of little interactive pieces in Containment, outside of the glaringly obvious detonation of the nuclear warhead. Players can open up new routes by shooting locked gates, windows and doors can be breached for more tactical vantage points, and some terrain can be altered or moved, allowing access to different parts of the map. While the nuke remains live, you’ll find players camping the no radar zone, looking to take advantage of the free perk.

Containment feels the most forward looking in the Onslaught arsenal, because this type of interactivity seems to be the direction that Infinity Ward is taking their multiplayer level design.

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Ignition

A fan-favorite map from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Scarpyard, is the inspiration for Ignition. The map layout is almost entirely the same, except for a new underground tunnel system that allows players to get from one end to the other. If you played the old map, you’ll undoubtedly recognize Ignition.

Adhering to the theme of interactivity and spectacle in the multiplayer offering, Ignition has its big moments. A rocket blasting off in the distance will crash smack dab into the middle of the map, altering it significantly at some point in the match. There’s also a special field order perk that can ignite a rocket, roasting anyone in its proximity.

Call of Duty games have always included these fan favorite maps in their downloadable content packs, but Ignition is one of the most heavily altered with new content. It’s definitely familiar, and plays pretty much the same, but new wrinkles make it feel far from anything you’ve played before. It’s also a testament to how the game has changed over the years. Comparing Ignition to the original release of Scrapyard, it’s a far cry from the previously static map, despite the layout being nearly identical.

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Bay View

Bay View is also an interesting map where Infinity Ward adds a layer of interactivity with the introduction of a perpetually moving trolley that moves from one side of the map to the other. Set in an undisclosed coastal location, this map is essentially a boardwalk. Despite the trolley being the main attraction for Bay View, the rest of the map features a ton of variety. It’s got long sight lines in a number of locations, as well as a few elevated positions, which allow snipers to break out their wares.

There are numerous shops and buildings strewn across the map that can be entered and held as strategic choke points on the map. Bay View is equally appealing for both the Call of Duty player who likes to get up close and personal, or the player who would rather keep their distance when engaging the enemy.

Word to the wise, as appealing as the trolley may be to hop on and ride, it does make you a sitting duck. Try placing items like Turret Guns, C4, or IEDs on the trolley instead, and make people pay for their ride.

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Fog

Fog is a spooky wooded swamp area, with the map focused around a system of caves. There is a nice variety of close/medium encounters with ample room to play with a variety of different weapons and class set-ups.

The maps is designed to be somewhat spooky, and it gets even more so if someone happens to get the Michael Myers reward. The music shifts to easily identifiable theme song from the Halloween movies, and the player who earns the Michael Myers reward dons the iconic costume of the classic horror films. Similar to the Maniac Strike Package reward, this player is faster but instead of using a knife, they use an axe.

Fog has quickly become a fan favorite because of the Michael Myers attraction and overall aesthetic. It also plays well in a variety of different game modes.

Maverick Weapon Overview

The Maverick Weapons can be used as either a sniper rifle or assault rifle, and both are extremely viable options in their respected class.

Using the Maverick as an assault weapon, players will find that it’s not a bad option at all. It’s got low recoil, has decent range, and because of the open iron sights, it can be used without a scope. This frees up valuable space to add other attachments to the gun. We liked the no scope option, and adding a grip for stability and a silencer to stay off the radar. The gun seems to be best suited for medium ranged encounters, but held up well in both close quarter and longer engagements. That said, the Maverick AR is a well rounded weapon.

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As a sniper rifle, the Maverick has some benefits out of the box. The Maverick Sniper Rifle comes equipped with a long range tracker scope. Similar to what is available for the Assault. Submachine, Light Machine, and Marksman Classes, this tracker scope is of the larger variety. It highlights enemies in a yellow outline, allow you to see them more clearly at distance. Coupled with the Chrome Lined attachment, the Maverick Sniper is a deadly one shot kill weapon. While it very well may be one of the most powerful sniper rifles in the game, it’s got its disadvantages as well.  There is a lot of kick or recoil in the maverick sniper, which could take some getting used to.

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Nightfall Extinction

Infinity Ward is pushing hard to catch-up with Treyarch on the cooperative front with the new Extinction Mode.  Apparently, they’ve heard feedback from co-op fans, and added a ton of new content with Nightfall.  New enemies to tackle, new easter eggs to discover, new weapons and items to purchase and use, but it’s still got a ways to go to catch up.

Nightfall still fails to deliver any real story connection between the random soldiers that you control, and the events taking place in the game. You’re still pretty much just tasked with completing the objective of protecting a drill while waves of aliens come out of the woodwork looking to impede your progress. There is a new massive boss battle, and a couple of new enemy types to deal with.

Extinction mode is still a much more involving experience than the survival mode and other cooperative attempts in the Modern Warfare series, so it looks like this is one aspect of the game that will continually be pushed to a higher standard as the map packs arrive over the course of the year.

The Verdict

Onslaught is good piece of additional content for Call of Duty: Ghosts, and is especially appealing when compared to previous dlc offerings. It’s got more features, and is more thoughtful with each level having an interesting level of interactivity. Extinction Mode still has catching up to do with Zombies mode, but Infinity Ward seems set on getting there. Onslaught is definitely one of Infinity Ward’s most playful bouts of DLC to date. If you’re looking to liven up the Call of Duty: Ghosts experience, Onslaught does so with its interesting dynamic new multiplayer maps. The new weapons are welcome bonuses as well, and it will be interesting to see just where this Extinction thing is going in the remaining three map packs.

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Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught DLC

  • Available On: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, PC
  • Published By: Activision
  • Developed By: Infinity Ward
  • Genre: Shooter
  • US Release Date: January 28th, 2014
  • Reviewed On: Xbox One
  • Quote: "This is one of Infinity Ward's most playful bouts of DLC to date. It livens up the Call of Duty: Ghosts experience with interesting dynamic new multiplayer maps. The new weapons are welcome bonuses, and Extinction continues to edge closer to a game mode on par with Zombies."
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