Four new maps are out in the wild for Call of Duty Ghosts: Behemoth, Ruins, Unearthed, and Collision, as well as a brand new Extermination Mode, Mayday. The Devastation map pack follows on from the wildly successful Onslaught, but can it match the previous DLC, punch for punch?
This map is focused around an excavator saw and mostly takes place off the ground. It’s long in length, yet appears quite enclosed as much of the action will take place in only a handful of sweet spots. Naturally, there are several vantage points and high-rises for snipers to get a look in but there is also an underground tunnel area which will see its fair share of action as well. As a result, the map is great for chopper-based action due to the wide open space. There are plenty of cover spots dotted around and players will be able to weave between them, but when there is fire coming from the air, especially when outdoors, you’re never fully safe.
Fortunately, the cover points can also offer up plenty of areas for surprise. Whether you’re shielded behind a burned out car or an overturned freighter, there’s an opportunity to keep a dynamic flow of action going, as well as slow, tactical, patient warfare. Of course, with snipers ever present, constant threat on a map like this, a few peppered bullets from the air can change everything in a heartbeat.
This industrially-emblazoned map is competent and a worthy addition to the ever-expanding COD Map-Pack roster, but it’s not particularly memorable, nor is it likely to be a favourite. It a nice balanced environment that is suitable for most game-types and that’s, without a doubt, its major selling point
Ruins, on the other hand, is something else. Set in Central America, troops will go head to head in a Mayan temple. Something refreshing about the latest trend of map packs is that the developers are unafraid to try new things. In Onslaught, we went out into a murky swamp, and traipsed around a haunted house as Jason Vorhees.
But in Ruins, Infinity Ward have gone one step better. Now they’re letting you take on the role of the Predator. Collect the Field Order Reward and blam, you’re in the guise of the famous alien master-killer. Players can use an active camo to conceal themselves, have much improved health, and can whip round the map and annihilate their opponents. And Ruins perfectly compliments that. Similar in style to Fog, there are underground corridors, enclosed spaces, and outdoor plots that are all well-suited for a Predator ambush.
But Ruins isn’t just about our spider-faced friend. It actually happens to be one of the most elegant looking maps in the DLC. A volcano can be seen spewing lava in the distance with pillows of smoke clouding over the sky. In fact, that can be used to your advantage if you collect the appropriate Field Order. Once collected, the volcano erupts and sends lava and rocks raining down on the temple, taking out enemies unceremoniously.
And it’s pretty easy to be caught out by raining fire as Ruins has so many beautiful things to look at, such as waterfalls, falling leaves, distant mountains, skulls engraved in rock, even the blinding sun. Tree trunks look so smooth in HD and the background features are ridiculously elegant.
There’s a section with a long-run of stone steps which can be a real hazard tunnel for anyone climbing their way up, creating a nice flurry of attack. There are murky waters to traipse through on the ground that can conceal an enemies position, and regular head to head conflicts can break out all over the place. One area in particular really encourages cover vs cover fire, and creates an opportunity for the enemy to try for the sneak attack.
With so much going on, Ruins is a busy map, but one with an insane amount of detail, such as plane tails tangled up in vines, and various types of birds flittering around, disturbed by your movements. The sad part? Most of you won’t even notice it’s there.
Without doubt, Ruins is one of the most impressive, refreshing maps to come to Call of Duty in a long time, and is reason alone to purchase this DLC. Wonderful.
Ruins is definitely a tough act to follow, but Unearthed is pretty decent in its own right. Set on a meteor excavation site, Unearthed is a new interpretation of Modern Warfare 3 map, Dome.
You’ll probably remember this one. It’s got some nice corner-turning and plenty of action. The area is full of land craters, cranes, turning arms, and pulleys dangling all over the place. There is plenty of opportunity for anyone to get a kill in a variety of different ways, whether they’re lying prone between blades of grass, or tucked behind a corner waiting to knife someone in the back.
There’s even a neat little Containment Lab tucked away on the site, with white coats and lockers and a containment tunnel that takes you to the outside. You might even find some time to think about what experiments were being conducted on site. Fortunately, it’s also good for all types of warfare and unearthing the element of surprise.
Unearthed is also full of little hidden easter eggs. For instance, one Order Reward lets you call in three Cryptids that will seek out an enemy and explode right next to them. Another enables you to use a map-exclusive weapon, Venom-X. However, only one person can have it per map and once it’s gone, it’s gone for the rest of the game.
Unearthed is a pretty flexible, dynamic map with plenty going on and lots of ways to take down your opponent. But it also has its subtle beauties, such as reflected puddles of water trickling around onto the battlefield and an abundance of freighter-filled covering opportunities.
It’s a lovely Dome upgrade and a real homage to its fans, but the new features also enrich the map in exciting new ways. A nice take on a classic
Collision is quite a beautiful map, but in its own destructive, anarchistic way. Burnt out taxis litter the streets, bridges have been snapped in half, their severed, jagged edges pointing up towards the sky, and much like Ruins, it is full of neat, subtle touches that most will probably never see. For instance, an unfinished game of chess lies strewn across a table, an American flag has been draped over the wreckage. There’s even hanging laundry.
Collision is set next to a container ship that has crashed into the Brooklyn Bridge and the results are catastrophic. The environment is a hybrid of cosmopolitan life and outright devastation. There’s a small hospital onboard the ship, designed for critically ill patients, as declared by the whiteboard next to the facility. And in the distance, you can see the other half of New York, untouched. You can only imagine what they must be thinking from their side of the city.
There are plenty of tunnels reaching up into rooms, high vantage spots, and tight corners. It’s a fairly enclosed, small to medium sized map, but it’s all about head-on collisions, and you will see death after death, time after time.
The Field Order Reward here allows players to control an A-10 Warthog and pull off an airstrike, great for, as you can imagine, chaos on the ground.
Collision is fast and frantic, continually frustrating, but mostly good fun. It’s another solid map for the game and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser when it turns up in rotation.
The real surprise here is Mayday. The surprise being, it’s probably the weakest addition to this content pack. The environment feels horrid, the challenge is horrendously overwhelming from the word go, and even with a few of you working together, it quickly feels dull and uninspired. Even in Onslaught mode the map isn’t enjoyable, but there’s still some fun to be had, providing you actually stood a chance of surviving past the initial stages.
The good news is that you get to fight a Kraken at the end of the run and that is a pretty spectacular battle, even by Call of Duty standards. Unfortunately, the build-up to that is so utterly laborious and tedious. The new enemies are flood-esque in their frustration and style and the environment is just one shade and tint.
Unlike Onslaught, Devastation doesn’t quite get the balance right, but it is still a very solid map-pack. Apart from Mayday and the somewhat average Behemoth, Devastation produces some of the best maps COD has ever seen in Ruins and Collision. Devastation definitely continues the creative vision Infinity Ward have for Ghosts and have produced a (so far) half-excellent Season Pass in the process.