Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Map Pack Review
The second map pack for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 just hit the XBOX 360 exclusively. While it'll be released for the PS3 and PC later, for now only 360 owners get a crack at the new maps. So are you trying to decide if this one is worth $15? Check inside for our review of each new map!
Modern Warfare 2: Resurgence Map Pack
The Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Map Pack, unlilke the previous Stimulus Package, didn't come accompanied with an event. Or rather, not in the same light. You see, Modern Warfare 2 had another Double Experience Weekend, in celebration of Memorial Day. With the Map Pack being released only a few short days afterwards, the Double Experience was extended to last several extra days. Unlike last time, however, it was turned off only two days after the map pack was released. The Double Experience was not limited to players who bought the maps, and players who buy the pack now won't get an extension.
Much like the first map pack, this one contains only maps. There are no new challenges, titles, or emblems. Nothing major has been patched. Again, if all you're looking for is new content to unlock or new guns to master, you'll probably want to pass on this package.
Of course, for anyone simply looking for new maps to play, this is a sure buy. Often the decision isn't as clear-cut as that, though. Some of you may have passed on the first map pack, hearing stories about the maps being mediocre at best. Some of you may have bought the first map pack and found it less to your liking than you would have hoped. Either way, if you're on the fence about this map pack, read on for individual map reviews.
New Map: Carnival
Let's get this out of the way right off the bat: the clown is not cover. If you run to stand behind it, you're probably going to die. That said, Carnival is probably the pinnacle of Infinity Ward's map creation skills. Every area has it's entrances and exits, and every area has it's counter. There are a few long range sight lines for the snipers among you, such as on top of the roller coaster tracks on one side of the map, and up in the rocket in the middle near C. There's close-quarters combat around the A point, in the castle walls and bumper car areas. The funhouse allows shotguns to shine, as well as assault rifles to guard the area from above.
Carnival feels exactly like what it is: an abandoned carnival, long rusted out. The machines are broken and rusted, the trash cans stuffed with abandoned debris. The atmosphere is excellent. A highway in the distant background lends a feel of livliness to the area, unlike the dead cities of wasteland.
The only real gripe with the map is that the domination points are placed rather close together, clustered around the central area. Even that's not a real concern; the area behind C is useful for defending it, and the roller coasters are a long flanking path from A to C that is often undefended. The map has great balance and flow, and playing it is always fun.
New Map: Trailer Park
Trailer Park is the second of the new maps in the Resurgence Pack, and it's by far the smallest of them. It will easily become the go-to map for farming FMJ kills, if that says anything. If it doesn't, know this: the map is small, cramped, and full of action. The close-quarters of many of the turns making tubing slightly more difficult than your average map, and conversely allows shotguns to shine. Any gun that sprays bullets and can penetrate walls will do well. Nearly every wall, fence, door, and set piece will be pierced by rounds meant for your opponents.
As a set piece, as a theme map, Trailer Park shines. As a logical map with good flow and progression, it lacks slightly. Several of the trailers seem laid out poorly; where you think a door should be, no door is. Where you think a wall should be, might be a door. A window that opens out into the area you want to enter doesn't let you climb through it, meanwhile the window behind you that you thought opened on to nothing is actually one of the major corridors of fighting. Essentially, the trailers don't act like you think they should.
Let's not get started on the massive stacks of airplane engines.
New Map: Fuel
Fuel is by far the largest map. Unfortunately, this doesn't work in it's favor. The vast majority of the action will take place in the crowded and exposed buildings in the center and edge of the map. The third of the map that's made up of rocks and open plains isn't very much used, except in game modes like headquarters. You might run out into the open to call in your killstreaks safely, or to find a hiding place to boost with your buddies, but the area doesn't interact well with other areas of the map. A small stretch of it is used to flank up on the B point, but beyond that, not much.
That said, aside from the dormant areas of the map, the rest of it is well put together and works for what it is. The buildings seem enclosed and act as great sniping roosts, but they're also easy to enter and flank snipers from other sides. The size and variety of the map allows for any class to shine, as long as you get a feel of the play styles of your opponents and where they may go to hide. Just keep in mind one thing; if you think you're well hidden in cover, you're probably not. Nowhere is truly safe from another hidden spot.
Returning Map: Vacant
For anyone who played the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Vacant is a map that stands out. Whether for good or ill depends on your play style. Vacant has very, very few places for snipers to run and hide. It's limited outdoor fighting area makes killstreaks less effective. It's tight corridors ensure the action is fast and intense, on par with maps like Scrapyard, Salvage, and Rust. So, bust out your AA-12 and your danger close RPGs and go to town.
One interesting change from the original map is on the C domination point area, also known as the computer room in the back. Normally that room has two entrances; one in the side, leading to the room full of crates that leads to the outdoors. The other entrance is on the opposide side, leading to the corridors of the rest of the building. One other area that allows access to the room is closer to the first exit. In game types with larger numbers of players, such as Ground War, that door is gated off like in the original. However, in smaller game modes like Free For All and Team Tactical, that gated off door is opened. This can, if you're not careful, completely change the action.
Returning Map: Strike
Strike is the second of two classic maps returning from Modern Warfare 1. Like Vacant, it has a few differences, but it really ends up playing a lot like Invasion does, for those of you who never played the first game. A few long sight lines for snipers, and a lot of enclosed spaces for the rest of us. It's a great map with a few long lanes of action where a gimmick riot shield build with explosives can really shine as well. The B point in domination is especially accessible to explosions.
The one major change from the first game is that the buildings above C are now open from another angle, allowing them to be more easily routed by attacking players. However, this also means for defending players it's harder to hold the point, as opposed the A, where veteran players will know all the camping and access spots already.
Overall the key to Strike is to watch the windows. Nearly every building with second floor windows will have a sniper or gunner posted out watching, hoping to rack up kills when the action swings their way.
When it comes right down to it, what you have to ask yourself if you're on the fence about this map pack is; are these maps worth $3 each? That's what you're paying for 1200 Microsoft Points. If $15 is trivial to you, go ahead and download the new maps; playing with the majority of the populace will bring you the most enjoyment from the game.
If you already own the first map pack and are disillusioned by it, rest assured. This second map pack is far better than the first one in nearly every way. The maps they brought back are better, the new maps are better, and everything is more well-designed and well-thought out.
If you didn't buy the first one, and are considering buying them both now, you can read this review of the Stimulus Package as well. Keep in mind; the basic game has sixteen maps. Out of those sixteen, Rust will hardly ever come up in larger game modes. So if you have both map packs, you're coming close to doubling the number of maps you have to play with. The maps you hate will come up less often, and the maps you like from the map packs will come up more often.