MW2 Stimulus Package – Review and Advert
Well the release of the ‘Stimulus Package’ for Infinity Wards ‘Modern Warfare 2’ was by no means a smooth process as I am sure you all know. The problems with updates and servers have been well documented at this stage so there is no need for me to go into any of those details with you here. Instead I am going to give my view on the map pack and changes that eventually came out of the wreckage!
The Stimulus Package
For some reason the original maps for MW2 got old very fast compared to its predecessor and new maps were a must to breath a bit of life back into the game. So for 1200 Microsoft points you get three new maps (Salvage, Storm and Bailout) and two classic maps from Call of Duty 4 (Crash and Overgrown). Let’s start with the new maps;
Salvage – This is the smallest map from the ‘Stimulus Package’ and it’s basically a junk yard. The aim of this map was to satisfy the players looking for close quarters combat (á la Shipment) but does it fit the brief? I’m not so sure! I was expecting some run and gun fun but quickly realised that this is not the place to do it. Although Salvage does seem to play well in game types such as ‘Search and Destroy’ it just doesn’t do the job it was intended for. And weren’t we told it was all one level? Maybe they thought we wouldn’t notice! I find the map itself a bit of an eyesore, just a bit too much clutter. Still we always have that novelty dog house to cheer us up!
Storm – Well this has been compared to a lot of maps (Pipeline, Shipment and Underpass to name a few) but my comparison is with the ‘Hangar’ map from ‘World at War’. So I was a little dubious at first but I think Storm is a bit of a grower. There are numerous buildings with two levels in this map but it still manages to eliminate camping opportunities and weak spawn points. The look of the map is a bit grey and dreary which is probably the only gripe I have with it. A decent all-rounder as far as game types go and if the sun could shine through after the storm this map would be a favourite.
Bailout – The last of the new maps and Bailout is certainly the winner for me. It seems to fit well into every game type and is definitely the most graphically pleasing. Although this map seems quite straight forward to start with the numerous ways in and out of buildings and onto the street make it easier to switch between various play styles and without feeling at a disadvantage at any spawn point. Bailout seems like the most original of the new maps although it does remind me a bit of ‘LVU Campus’ from ‘Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6’. New maps can sometimes be frustrating until you get used to the surroundings and figure out all the nooks and crannies but for some reason Bailout feels like a home from home.
Now for the Classics
Some would say there is no need to comment on Crash and Overgrown but bringing in classic maps to another game can go either way so for me a review is a must!
Crash – This was the map I was waiting for and even just the image of the map in the lobby was enough to get me excited. Not much has changed in my favourite part of town. Before you know it you find yourself running into the same spots like a moth to a flame…but then you quickly change places because there are no safe places in Crash…not any more. This is for two reasons; first of all EVERYONE knows where you are! Yes, this is not your little home town, this is a familiar place to everyone so although you feel all safe and secure in your old surroundings know that the other team has the same feeling too! Second reason is of course the TUBES. Now we did have them back in the good old days of COD4 too but nowhere near as many. Crash has suddenly become tube, thumper and rocket launcher central so game types such as HCHQ on Crash can go from a dream to a nightmare fairly quickly. On a side note what’s with the badly rendered book shelves?
Overgrown – Now this was a surprise! When I heard they were putting in some classic maps a few sprang to mind but I would not have put Overgrown on the list (even though they do have that petrol station building from Overgrown in Rundown). I had visions of never ending air support ripping through anyone who dared to leave the safety of a building. But for me Overgrown has beaten Crash in the classic map stakes. Every game type and style fits well here and even though it’s as familiar as Crash it exhibits a lot more re-adaptability. There appear to be no changes to the map itself besides a few windows you can look in down that long stretch of road…not a dodgy new book shelf or plasma TV in sight. It seemed like Overgrown would be the odd man out but it just works!
So here we are the final piece of the ‘Mapathey’ puzzle and this is where it gets confusing.
The Claim: “We’re adding a few maps to the Hardcore Headquarters Pro playlist on Xbox Live, allowing you now play all the Ranger maps in this game type, something I know a lot of users have been asking for! These maps include Highrise, Invasion, Skidrow, and Terminal.” – Infinity Ward’s fourtwozero (Robert Bowling)
The Result: Well those maps are still MIA! I haven’t seen them at all and not from lack of trying. I also haven’t heard anything about it since the update. If you have played them or know what the story is then please let me know…maybe I should put up a reward poster?!
Finally, if you missed the “Doing It” advert for the Stimulus Map Pack don’t be sad Luckily we caught it here.