Monday, 12 March 2012

Taking On Modern Warfare 3's New Spec Ops Missions

Like clockwork, we have another announcement for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Premium Elite Members. Starting Tuesday, March 13th, those who forked over an Elite subscription fee on Xbox 360 can download two Spec Ops missions (Black Ice and Negotiators) and one new map called Black Box.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Content Pack #1 Trailer

But this time Xbox players without an Elite subscription can finally access all the current downloadable content. On March 20th all Xbox 360 players can download content drops one through six in a 1200 Microsoft Point bundle. So what does this all mean? You're getting the maps Piazza, Liberation, Overwatch, and Black Box, and Spec Ops missions Black Ice and Negotiators. We're still waiting on a confirmation date for PS3 and PC.

During last week's Game Developer's Conference, I had a chance to try out March's new content starting with the Spec Ops missions.

First up was Black Ice. It kicks off with a snowmobile chase. One person has to drive as quickly as possible to a checkpoint, while the other is on the back, fending off enemies. You then continue on foot into a mine and need to set off explosives. The second player, I noticed, receives the most kills after completion. If you're into beating your friends, let them host this mission.

Black Ice
Captain Price stars in this one, which is something I'm sure hardcore fans will appreciate. Unfortunately, I couldn't shake off a sense of deja-vu -- the location of Black Ice reminded me of the campaign mission where Price and Sandman retrieve the Russian Prime Minister and his Daughter from the mine. But this is probably my own observation; since I've played all the Modern Warfare titles, I always get the strange feeling I've seen things before.

Negotiators, the most difficult of the new Spec Ops missions, is something achievement seekers will keep returning to. This mission has you combing through buildings and village streets, trying to save up to thirty-five hostages. I say trying because there's always a chance you won't save the hostages in time -- and there's plenty of opportunity for friendly-fire. In order to earn an achievement for saving all thirty-five, there's no escaping trial-and-error. It took me eight or nine attempts before I got them all, and that's playing alongside a developer. In terms of difficulty, this reminded me of "Mile High Club" from Modern Warfare 1.

Black Box
If you're eager to get your hands on the new map Black Box, it really doesn't feel "new" -- unless you've never played Modern Warfare 2. This map is medium in size and I'd compare it to "Enemy of my Enemy" -- with a few houses added in. This map is available in multiplayer and survival mode.

And, if you're subscribed to Elite, expect an update or two in the next coming weeks. If any of you are Will Arnett fans, you'll be happy to hear what's coming soon. Here's a quick breakdown of what to expect:
  • Clan level max is at 50.
  • Official clan tag appears in gold letters on XBL.
  • Elite TV entering season 2. Will Arnett's "N00b Tube" is asking for video submissions.
  • Elite app for tablet is in progress.
  • Drop Zone is an online magazine that goes up on Elite at the same time as content drops. It even offers game strategies for your friends to try online.
  • "Elite 2.0" to focus on in-game integration. More details to come soon.
You excited for this new batch of content? Let me know what you think in the comments below.



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