Content Collection One

MW3 ups it’s game with four new maps and two Spec Ops missions.

The first Content Collection has just been released for Xbox last week, with four all new multiplayer maps and for the first time ever as downloadable content, two Spec Ops missions as well. This is the first content that was released to ELiTE subscribers packaged together and made available for non paying ELiTE members.

Now I have upgraded to the ELiTE premium membership (courtesy of a competition ran by @follioe, UK based Activision support) I will be reviewing the content for you, as soon as it comes out and as often as it does.
For further information, the title of each map and mission links to an official video that gives you an overview of what you can expect from that piece. But for now, keep reading for my in depth look at everything made available in the first Content Collection, and discover my verdict on the new DLC.

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Liberation
“A militarized Central Park stretches across a vast landscape, ripe for long-range sniper and LMG fire. Mounted turrets on either end lend power to anyone brave enough to expose themselves in exchange for deadly firepower. Plan out your movement and always be aware of nearby sightlines to avoid becoming fodder for the enemy.”

The first time I played Liberation, I wasn’t such a big fan of the level. It’s a completely open battleground, with a tunnel running nearly across from one spawn to another, reminding me of maps such as MW2‘s Wasteland, with it’s trenches converging on the midpoint, or the CoD 4 map Overgrown, with the ditch running parallel through the map. However, the more I’ve played the map the much more enjoyable I’ve found it. It’s a very agressive objective style map, with the B flag for Domination situated right in the middle of the map on a bridge, that is completely exposed to both spawns. Running smoke grenades alongside snipers and LMG’s is a wise choice here, with long sightlines and treacherous middle map encounters aplenty.

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Piazza
“This seaside Italian getaway is anything but idyllic, as tight corners and branching pathways pose great risk at every turn. Close-range combat dominates, and the team that best utilizes flanking routes will most often come out on top. Attacks from behind, above and below are an ever-constant threat. Keep up your awareness and don’t get taken by surprise.”

The next map couldn’t be more opposite. Piazza is a tight and vertical, winding urban environment set in seaside Italy. Therefore, plenty of cover is available, but there are many more angles of attack that you have to be wary of. Again, every Domination point is exposed completely, with at least three possible entrances to cover while capturing. Submachine guns and shotguns are the standard affair here, with speed and reactions prevailing over accuracy due to the squeezed nature of the map. These are the kind of maps that I personally favour, with aggressive play styles and careful observation of all possible choke points.

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Overwatch
“Shots break out on a construction site atop a New York City skyscraper. Battle takes place along two levels in a near symmetrical layout, with the central bridge and side routes open to attack from multiple angles. Watch your every step, as a lack of boundaries surrounding the perimeter leaves nothing to prevent you from falling far below.”

It’s hard to not draw comparisons to MW2‘s Highrise, or the Hotel map released as DLC for Black Ops less than a year ago. A sprawling construction set atop a skyscraper in New York, Overwatch has long sight lines across the wings of the map, and through the centre, but tight corners and corridors around the two spawns where choosing just one class is made particularly difficult. I’d recommend an assault rifle for the best of both worlds, or using the Overkill perk to take a longer range weapon, with a shorter range weapon alongside, instead of a sidearm. This is my favourite map released so far, with nail-biting objective gameplay and constant watching of the sky above for enemy helicopters and the like.

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Black Box
Air Force One crash lands in the rich hills of southern California. Multi-level homes overlook the neighboring streets, creating a deadly kill zone for players on the ground. With clear sight lines from house to house, however, snipers are far from safe, with counter-sniping an ever-present threat to their dominance.

However, my least favourite of the maps released so far is Black Box. A wide open centre, surrounded by houses and other buildings giving sightlines across the whole map, Black Box is a sniping map only. Apart from the interiors, and the inside of the plane that has crashed to the side of the map, there is no need to carry any other weapon here. For that reason, games are slow paced and not fun for anyone who doesn’t sit at the top of a building and pick anyone off who runs past (which is usually me). Even then, there are snipers sniping other snipers who are both sat waiting for people stupid enough to run through. So, no, this map is far from my favourite, and I rarely enjoy playing it.

Negotiator
Cash in all your karma as you head to India for high-stakes hostage extraction in “Negotiator,” an all-new Special Ops mission in which you’ll breach-and-clear rooms and navigate surface streets to secure the safety of your VIPs. This marks the first time Special Ops has been made downloadable online in franchise history.

For the first time ever in Call of Duty history, Spec Ops missions are now included as downloadable content. The first of the two, Negotiator, is a timed high stakes race to escape from your own captivity and breach and save as many hostages as possible. I like that the scoring system from Survival mode and othe Spec Ops missions is present here, giving you an indication of how well you are doing. However, it also pops up with how how many hostages have been killed, which gets the adreniline going as you try and save more and more as you keep replaying it. An excellent first drop of mission goodness, with hopefully plenty more to come.

Black Ice
Shred ice from aboard your snowmobile as you infiltrate a diamond mine in the Special Ops mission, “Black Ice.” Melt more than snow when you plant high-grade explosives to shut the mine down forever. This marks the first time Special Ops has been made downloadable online in franchise history.

Alongside Negotiator, Black Ice (not to be confused with the bundled multiplayer map, Black Box) pits you against Makarov‘s remaining forces, guarding a weapons cache deep in a snow covered diamond mine. You start the mission with the popular snowmobile mechanic from MW2, disposing of anyone who tries to stop you and getting closer and closer to the bottom. Once you reach the end, you have to plant explosives which destroy the mine and weapons cache, once you have cleared the remaining hostiles. Another solid piece of DLC with you coming back again and again to beat your times and collect the new acheivements.

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That’s the roundup of all past DLC, and from this point on monthly reviews of the DLC will take place.
To get access to DLC first, premium ELiTE subscription is required for the Xbox 360 platform, and you can download all previous content for free via the ‘Store’ tab of the multiplayer menu.
Otherwise, the first Content Collection can be purchased from the Xbox Marketplace for 1200 Microsoft Points.

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