Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #1 Hands-on ImpressionsBy Kevin Kelly - Posted Mar 12, 2012
Activision is continuing their promise of a ton of new content for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and this week you’ll be able to experience the next phase of what we like to call “Operation Keep You Playing MW3 Forever.” If you’re ready for the next installment, then March 20 will see the release of “MW3 Collection #1,” which contains the new maps Liberation, Piazza, Overwatch and Black Box, as well as two brand-new Spec Op modes for the very first time in the history of Call of Duty.
Just keep in mind that March 20 is the date for Xbox Live subscribers, and if you’re a Call of Duty Elite Premium member then you’ve had access to Piazza, and Overwatch, but starting on March 13 you can download Black Box and the two new Spec Ops missions. If you’re a PlayStation 3 player, then you’ll have to wait a bit.
First up is the new map Black Box, which finds Air Force One crashed into an upscale neighborhood in California that looks like a mashup of Malibu and the Hollywood Hills. It’s a smallish sized map that is bordered by the plane crash on one side, and the housing development on the other.
The level itself tilts upwards a bit, with the plane on the lower end and the houses on a gradual hill with a slight incline. Each of the houses (including one that is just being built) have multiple levels for a lot of vertical gameplay, and the house closest to the plane crash features one of the wings resting on one of the upper levels, which you can use as a handy ramp. (As an Easter egg, check out the enormous photo of some of the developers from Raven in the living room of that same house).
We played Survival Mode in Black Box with one of the devs, and while you will most certainly want to develop your own strategies, here are some protips to help you hit the ground running.
- Hold the upper part of the map near the house on the right looking up the hill. The higher part of the street makes a perfect place to set down a turret, and someone can snipe from the upper levels of the house.
- The home that is under construction also offers a good place to put a turret with a good-sized chunk of the map in sight. But stay nearby to defend the turret, and be aware that the upper floor has two access points.
- When a Juggernaut drops, make sure you take him on in the open streets, and not in one of the houses. Trying to take him on in the rumpus room is a quick way to die.
The two new Spec Op modes are interesting because it’s the first time they have ever added anything new to Spec Ops through DLC, and the two Ops couldn’t be more different. In Black Ice, you start out as either the driver or the passenger on a snowmobile heading down an icy expanse and fighting off baddies on snowmobiles in hot pursuit.
After you fight them off, you’ll arrive at the entrance to one of Makarov’s facilities that you have to infiltrate and sabotage. It takes you smoothly from what is essentially a car chase, right into indoor combat where the two of you can split up and take different routes. Of course, once you’ve triggered your objective inside, you have to fight your way back out.
The Negotiators is a more… “colorful” level that finds you held hostage as a prisoner in India, and one of you will be tasked with grabbing a sidearm from one of the captors and fighting your way free, while your partner (i.e. the other player) waits as captives are assassinated in front of him in cold blood. It’s pretty graphic, and you have to wait patiently until you get liberated. In our first run through, I took too long, and my buddy took a bullet in the head.
But, once your partner frees you, the both of you take up arms and work to free hostages scattered throughout the level. There are 35 hostages at the beginning, and that number counts down as a ticking clock as more hostages get killed. Your goal is to save as many as possible before making it to the exit. You can accidentally wing a hostage or two, but if it happens too often, it’s game over.
At DICE, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said that his unofficial slogan for Call of Duty ELITE was, “It’s not a douche move,” and if the content continues to be this good, we’re going to agree with him. With enhancements coming soon to the ELITE service, and even more content in the works, Modern Warfare 3 continues to steamroll over people who haven’t been smart enough to take shelter under Mass Effect 3 or another recent release.