The Verdict: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Stimulus Package


Posted April 2, 2010 - By Matt Keil

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The Verdict: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Stimulus Package

It took some time, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 finally has its first big chunk of DLC, the recently-released "Stimulus Package." The timed-exclusive pack (1200 Microsoft Points, or $15) has five new maps for the game, although two are actually returning “favorites” from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. We played the hell out of them over two days and returned from the battlefield weary of noob tubes and dual-shotguns, but pleased with the Stimulus offerings.

The two returning maps are "Crash" and "Overgrown." "Crash" is a great addition to the game, a finely balanced map with tons of hiding places and an absolutely brutal Bravo flag emplacement that makes Domination a constant struggle for survival. "Overgrown" struck us as a puzzling inclusion, as it’s neither particularly memorable or fun to play, but it can probably be chalked up as a bone thrown to the huge chunk of the MW2 population that refuses to do anything but snipe.

The three new maps are all winners. They’re all medium-sized maps with the standard “three primary routes” design, well-suited to the 12 player matches we generally ended up in. "Salvage" probably ranks as our favorite. It’s a snow-covered map riddled with cool hiding places and ambush points, and excels in just about every game type. Headquarters Pro on that map was a little frustrating, but it was more an issue of not knowing the map well enough rather than a fault of the map itself. Storm is a rainy industrial area with fantastic circular flow and good verticality. "Bailout" is an American town mid-Russian invasion, with para-dropped supply crates scattered everywhere. It really shines as a fast-paced CTF setting. For more insight, check out my Talkabout with Abbie Heppe, who also contributed to this Verdict:

Talkabouts: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package »

The price is a somewhat sticker-shocking $15, which is standard pricing for console FPS maps these days, but it's really up to you to decide whether or not the "Stimulus Package" is worth it, based on the amount of time you invest in multiplayer games. The three new maps are good, and if you played gobs of COD4 online, you've likely formed an opinion of the other two. The question you need to ask yourself is how much time you see yourself playing MW2 online. If it’s your nightly game of choice, you’ll probably end up paying a few cents per hour played in the new locales. If you’re a more casual MW2 combatant, it’s a question of dollars-per-time-played, and it may be wiser to wait for the inevitable sale price later in the year. As long as you log into Xbox Live Marketplace armed with that information, the choice should be easier for you to make.

If you need more, check out our COD4/MW2 comparison videos for "Crash" and "Overgrown".

The Verdict: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Stimulus Package


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