The Call of Duty franchise has been one of the biggest multiplayer games in the industry for several years now, especially after Infinity Ward introduced its current multiplayer model in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Naturally, publisher Activision wants to keep the audience hooked (and spending), and what better way than with expensive map packs that add new content to the game? The first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 pack, "The Stimulus Package," took a bit of heat for being too expensive at 1200 Microsoft Points, or $15. Now the second pack, "Resurgence," has arrived at the same price point. The market spoke when it came to the last pack, but are these maps a good value?
Like "Stimulus," "Resurgence" adds five maps to the game, two of which are rebuilt Call of Duty 4 multiplayer maps and three of which are new. The COD4 maps, Vacant and Strike, are solid choices for inclusion. Strike feels a lot like existing maps Invasion or Karachi -- a war-torn city level with multiple indoor levels and deadly streets. Vacant feels a bit more distinct -- the tight spaces inside the ruined building at the center of the map make for fast-paced, hectic games in any mode.
While the returning maps are solid classics, the true stars of "Resurgence" are new maps Fuel, Carnival and Trailer Park. Trailer Park is a cramped, dense flat stage that lends itself to close-quarters combat, while the massive Fuel is perfect for more long range skirmishes. While the spewing smokestacks of Fuel’s oil processing plant are impressive, the clear highlight of the package is Carnival, which is exactly what the name suggests. Filled with rickety wooden roller coasters, broken down rides and funhouses, Carnival is a dense, complicated map that’s one of the most unique and exciting seen to date.
The Dark Side of War
Despite the inclusion of some great new maps, it’s hard to give "Resurgence" an unqualified recommendation. Just like "Stimulus," your mileage will vary. If you were looking for new game modes or anything else more complex than simply new maps, you’ll be disappointed. There are no new perks, weapons, or any other extras. While many of the glitches and bugs that sent some players running away from Modern Warfare 2 seem to be fixed, the online community is every bit as hostile and aggressive towards new (or returning) players as it ever was. Finally, it's worth noting that the "Resurgence" playlist favors game modes like Search and Destroy and Demolition, so if you just want to play some straight-up Deathmatches on the new maps, you’re out of luck.
The Cost of War
As with the "Stimulus Package," the relative worth of the "Resurgence Pack" will be based on how much time you spend with Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer. If you’re still playing it obsessively, then these maps are a steal. The Carnival map is great and the other new and returning maps are nearly as strong. But if you’re only a casual online player or prefer the single-player mode, then you might as well wait for a price drop, which will almost certainly come down the line at some point. However, as with all Call of Duty map packs, hardcore fans don’t need any advice on whether or not to buy the new levels. They will, and they’ll love them.