Modern Warfare 3 DLC: Liberation and Piazza


For months now I’ve hated on Modern Warfare 3, complaining of its unoriginality, bemoaning it’s failures in comparison to Battlefield 3, and in general just letting it collect dust while I enjoyed other games.  But I had an epiphany last weekend.  When a friend of mine came over for drinks, we ended up playing MW3 the entire night.  This is because, despite all it’s percieved faults, MW3 did something right in a major way.  It allows split screen online play.  Now, regardless of whether or not you think BF3 should have that feature, it remains true that with friends over, you can’t really just play BF3 by yourself in front of them.  So we got down to it, mostly playing Kill Confirmed, one of my favorite new game modes.  But as the beer sank in and we looked for greater challenges, I suggested we give Search and Destroy a go.  I’ve played it a few times, but mostly became intimidated by it from back in the COD4 days when I was the worst player at FPS’s out there, at least compared to my friends.  Now that I’ve had some time to really get back into gaming however, I found myself doing quite well.  And with 1,000 XP per kill (with Double XP going), each kill became not only very challenging, but very satisfying.  I found my teammates were more strategic, and I found myself no longer complaining about the issues I had long complained about earlier.  Instead, MW3 became the game I always wished it had been: one of tactics, strategy, and intensity.  We both became absorbed by the game, and I was loving every second of it.  Could it be?  Could I finally look past all my internet-induced biases against Call of Duty and actually see why it is so popular?  Could I actually be having fun?  The answer of course is yes, and I fell in love once again with this age-old franchise.

Finally, the Autumn camo comes into play.

But not all things are fine and dandy, as it turns out I had to wait a month for my PS3 DLC to become available.  Console wars and exclusivity contracts aside, at least I finally got it today, and it included two new maps for me to play!  So I got right down to it, played a few rounds of S&D on both maps, and here are my thoughts on each map individually:

Liberation

Liberation takes place in Central Park in New York between the Russian and American forces.  Although there are a few sandbags and Humvees here and there, it looks otherwise like an idyllic Autumn day in a beautiful park.  When the match begins, you don’t hear rounds and explosions, but instead birds chirping and peaceful silence.  This sets the mood for an otherwise large map created with LMGs and snipers in mind.

It just makes me happy.

I wrote a while back about the problem with MW3 maps.  I described them as claustrophobic messes best designed for indoor laser tag, spiraling to induce constant movement and reduce any inclination towards strategy.  But what I found in Liberation was an actually well thought-out map with two opposing areas which allow turf wars, something I believe promotes strategy and teamwork.  The setting is beautiful and unique, and I found myself having quite a bit of fun with this one.  I still can’t quite snipe as well as I wish in MW3, but an assault rifle with a decent scope allowed me to take down any run-and-gunners with ease as I worked towards the objective. Battlefield 3 could take a page or two from MW3’s book on this one, at least in terms of map setting.  Not everything has to be set in the Middle East, you know…

Piazza

This one came out of left field.  It is an Italian village that promotes blind corners and SMG use.  And though I’ve complained about the use of small maps before, this one actually works because it is multilayered.  What I mean by that is that the map is set on a hill, and there are multiple staircases, higher and lower areas, and multiple ways to shoot into different areas of the map.

It's as cramped as an Italian subway line.

I think it works well, though I like it quite a bit less than Liberation.  I think my main problem is the texturing of Piazza.  It seems to me that the cars (Mini Coopers?) are stuck in rendering limbo, while the murals on the wall seem less deteriorated and more pixelated.  Regardless, it does prove to be a fun map and at least gives me a bit of variety when it comes to the game.  And as we all know, uniqueness proves to be fun, at least when you are still in that learning-the-map phase.

Conclusion

All in all, I got the DLC for free by being an Elite Member.  And though there is no way to say that without sounding pretentious about something stupid, I’m still happy I got it.  I don’t know how much it costs otherwise, but it is just two maps, so use your judgment.  I’ve seen the DLC schedule and it does appear that we’ll be getting quite a few new maps for this game over the course of the year, and I think that is also something Battlefield could take note of, considering we’ve still yet to hear any definitive news about upcoming DLC aside from patch notes (which are admittedly needed, though not quite as satisfying).  Regardless, I’ve had a few bad games of BF3 lately so I think it’s time for something different, and so it’s nice to have a couple new maps to learn to give myself a break.

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5 Comments to “Modern Warfare 3 DLC: Liberation and Piazza”

  1. SHUSTYBANG just did a “Call Of Duty :: From First to Worst :: Roundtable Commentary/Gameplay” You might find interesting.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SHuSTYBANG

    It’s kind of long, I listened to it yesterday while doing household chores. The whole PS3 having to wait for the DLC even if they are Elite subscribers was brought up.

    I popped Black Ops in last night. I played a few rounds of combat training in Nuketown, camped myself up to a Dogs and realized I just can’t get back into this series anymore. After listening to that ShustyBang commentary I believe they went back to doing all the things that made MW2 a bad game.

    I loved Black Ops, it was way more balanced than MW2. And even though I don’t like the rich get richer reward system of the CoD series at least in Black Ops you rewards did not contribute to the next reward. But in the end Black Ops was Lag Ops to me and unbearable to play. The network code is shot in these games, the auto-aim and signal throttling destroys the game. In Black Ops you never knew if you were doing well because you were doing well or the network was throwing you a bone. Or you were playing the lag. In BF3 I know when I’m sucking and I know when I’m doing well, there is no second guessing.

    MW3 does things like letting someone mass all the perks in one go, it’s insane. It’s unbalanced. I’m over the series, it belongs to Activision now and their only goal is to make money, not a great game. And Elite, don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s a rip off. What they should be providing for free they are now charging you for. It’s double a rip off for PS3 users. Maybe if they offered dedicated servers to Elite subscribers it would be well worth it but as it stands right now, it’s a big old shaft up your glory hole.

    I’ve said this before, right now they are charging you for access to your stats on a web page and a few undisclosed maps. In two more iterations of the game you’ll have to start paying for your bullets.

  2. Well, a couple of things. First, as much as I hate having to wait a month longer than the Xbox people to get my DLC, I understand why they’d agree to such contracts, so it doesn’t make me mad. I just wish it wasn’t so. Either way, I played MW3 probably 4 times that entire month, so it wasn’t like I was waiting in tense anticipation. As for the issues you brought up concerning the problems with the CoD series, I couldn’t agree more. It certainly is a broken game, and one that induces more rage in me than I even care to write about. I did fall in love with Black Ops for a time last year, but MW3 has yet to bring that feeling back to me. That’s why I sing BF3’s praises all the time (while it still does have its issues) while slamming MW3. That being said, I did actually have a few fun games playing Search and Destroy the other night, and MW3 is, if nothing else, a good distraction when I’m needing a bit of variety or mindless (i.e. drunk) entertainment with friends.

    And as for the Elite thing, well, I got the “Hardened” edition or whatever it was called, as a gift. So I basically got it all free and don’t pay for any subscription, so the DLC, at least to me, was free. But you do bring up great points. My main point was to say that though I agree, MW3 isn’t any sort of ground breaking game, it was nice to at least have fun with it (Even though it was the first time since I bought the game, months ago, that I did have fun)

    • Deluded fanboy deeudld deeudld. We are all glad you read the word of the day on dictionary.com with your awesome computer, but it may surprise you to know that COD IS actually fun. Although the graphics aren’t the greatest of all time, and it’s pretty noticeable that they didn’t spend nearly as much time on this game as most developers spend tying their shoes, it still has a massive fanbase because it’s entertaining. When I have friends over, I actually find it quite enjoyable to play Nazi Zombies, and I’m not a deeudld fanboy. Thanks for helping us see how wrong we were though. I plan on repenting for my COD ways as soon as possible.VN:R_U [1.9.12_1141](from 0 votes)

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