The first few weeks of school are a grind. Classes slide slowly downhill from the first day of syllabus reviews and seat choosing, into actual work, and the demoralizing stress of student life starts to erase any trace of sanity. But there is a light in the darkness: new maps for “Call of Duty.”
After “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” was released last November, Infinity Ward, the recyclers of the latest edition of the series, promised consistent downloadable content spread out over the course of the 2012 year. This map pack is the first of many, in a vile attempt to exacerbate my already horrific addiction to this particular series.
The pack, consisting of two maps, was released exclusively through the massively overpriced “Call of Duty: Elite” service, which features stat tracking and an enhanced theater mode, as well as some useless social features. At $50 a year, the subscription enables early access to the map packs, which will be released through conventional market sources in later months. The bang-for-your-buck factor is fairly small for all but the most die-hard “Call of Duty” fans, who, like me, titter with glee and empty their wallets at the mere mention of new maps.
Though graphically similar to their cousins that came with the original game, the maps change the pace of game play enough to make them exciting. Liberation, set in Central Park after a Russian invasion, features long sight lines that are perfect for sniper combat, in a welcome change from the mostly close combat of every other map in the game. Set in a seaside Italian town, Piazza is fast paced, with tight corners and a multi-leveled design that lends itself well to the twitch combat that has defined “Call of Duty” from the outset.
While “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” is an inherently flawed game, with unfair mechanics and poor spawn system, I cannot help but constantly return to it. Along with many other CoD-heads (like meth-heads, just with less life skills), I enjoy the sadistic pain that the game inflicts on my sensitive psyche. This unforgivable lack of self control, paired with continually released map packs, will doubtless lead to further dents in our collective wallets in the coming months.