Adam has been playing the latest DLC for CoD: Ghosts on Xbox One this week, and he’s bringing you his thoughts and feelings about ghost pirates and scarabs.
I play CoD: Ghosts multiplayer a few times per week, usually when I just want to unwind a little and not play games that require me to follow an in-depth story or spend 45 mins+ in one of those lovely Dota 2 matches. Whilst I like many of the maps in the game, I tend to yearn for more variety after a while, and that’s where I’m glad I got my hands on the latest DLC pack, Invasion.
Now, I haven’t played the previous two DLC packs for Ghosts, although I do vaguely know what was included, but I don’t think that’s put me at any kind of disadvantage with Invasion, even with the third chapter in Extinction mode. Plus I think I’m less likely to be jaded by any previous DLC, so perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much?
The previous two packs had a movie theme, with the first (Onslaught) including Michael Myers from the Halloween movies, and the second (Devastation) including Predator from the movie of the same name. These packs followed the same structure as Invasion; three new maps, one remade map from a previous CoD game, although they had a new weapon or two included. Invasion is a little different as it doesn’t include any kind of licensed movie content, however of the three new maps two could be attributed to Pirates of the Caribbean and The Mummy movies.
OK, so included in the pack you get 3 brand new maps, plus a re-mastered version of the Favela map from CoD: MW 2. The three new maps are; Departed; Pharaoh; and Mutiny – each map brings a very distinct style and setting, along with their very own field orders that let you unlock a special perk if you complete them.
Pharaoh is just like a set from The Mummy movies, although without the stellar acting skills of Mr Brendan Fraser.
The first map, Pharaoh, takes place at an archaeological dig in Egypt, as the name suggests. There are plenty of tight corridors and smaller rooms throughout the tomb that’s being dug up, as well as a more open area outside. Amongst the ruins there are flesh-eating scarabs hidden in large jars, which run all over your screen when they attack you until you’re eventually dead. Giant pillars can fall down on top of you too, so you need to be aware of your surroundings for fear of being crushed. The field order on the map will awaken Anubis, the Egyptian god, who rewards you with all perks in the game for a limited time – which befittingly makes you feel godlike.
Secondly we have Departed, which is set in a Mexican town during the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. The rural town is strewn with colourful decorations and flowers to celebrate the occasion, and there’s plenty of cover to be used in the streets with market stalls and carts dotted about. It suits a more run-and-gun play style as there’s little room to hole up and stand your ground in the streets. Completing the field order here will reward you with the Death Mariachi killstreak - it basically gives you dual-wielding Magnums and turns anyone you kill with them into a teammate.
I’d say Mutiny is my favourite of the three new maps; for both its design and the fact that I tended to score better when playing on it. Clearly a Pirates of the Caribbean influence here as it features a huge pirate ship plonked on one side of the map, with the wooden docks around it and small buildings for close quarters gun-toting. You’re rewarded with two ghost pirates when completing the field order here, although it feels slightly weaker compared with the perks of the other two maps. Another field order reward is available on Mutiny too which causes another ship to sail by out in the bay and fire a cannon barrage onto the map, taking out anyone in the way. This second field order kind of makes up for the weak ghost pirates.
The fourth and final map is Favela, and as this was a favourite of mine from Modern Warfare 2, I was happy to see it receive a makeover and return in this DLC. It's just as I remembered it from MW2, albeit with a much more current-gen look this time around. The layout is the same, although buildings previously under construction are now complete and others have fallen into ruin. It felt great to just jump straight back into a map I already knew my way around, especially whilst I was still getting to grips with the other three. I prefer a run-and gun approach to this map, similar to how I play Departed, but I’ll stick to the perimeter as much as possible and pick off the inevitable snipers hiding in the buildings. The field order here will allow you to call in a Y-8 Gunship which functions like the AC-130 from MW2, letting you rain down fire on your enemies with three different types of rounds. I’m glad they didn’t include anything whacky here like the other maps, as it lends itself well to the nostalgia of playing an older CoD map.
Jack Sparrow would feel right at home in the Mutiny map.
That’s it for the new multiplayer maps, which were a welcome retreat for me to the standard maps in the game. Their distinctiveness mixed up the aesthetic that I was used to and brought a new sense of fun, plus the field orders were crazy enough to make me hell-bent on completing them.
Although I haven’t played the previous two Extinction episodes, I did enjoy the third included in Invasion. Honestly, I never really took to the Zombie mode in the previous CoD games, however I recognise that a lot of people loved it. Extinction feels like a way more solid iteration of a similar mode to me, regardless of it being aliens instead of zombies. In the third episode, Awakening, you’re scanning obelisks in the unground alien lair, instead of drilling nests. I didn’t struggle too much to follow what was going on, despite not playing previous episodes, plus it was fun enough purely as something different to do in the game regardless of following any kind of narrative.
New alien types are present in the form of winged beasts called ‘Bombers’ and ‘Gargoyles’. The addition of these new enemies kept variation on the action, as I now had to deal with death from above as well as in front and behind on the ground. Mammoths are also a new rhino-like enemy type which take plenty of fire power to put down.
In summary I’d say the Invasion DLC is a worthwhile purchase if you’re wanting to experience three very unique maps, although I do think the pricing is a little steep. For me the new Extinction episode actually makes me want to buy the previous two DLC packs, just so I can experience the other parts of the story. The fact that extra weapons aren’t included in this pack is a little disappointing, but they’re not missed too much.