Two new maps launched for Modern Warfare 3, although these maps are only available for those who paid for a Call of Duty: Elite subscription. It’s been a week now, and I figured it was time to share my thoughts on each.
Clearly based on New York’s Central Park, Liberation seems to be the largest Modern Warfare 3 map to date. It’s possible that from their furthest points, Village, Bakaara or Interchange are larger, but area-wise, Liberation seems like the biggest. There are many long sightlines, making this the first true sniper map for Modern Warfare 3. There are also paths around the outside that allow players to circle the entire map.
One spawn is at a large building with lots of military vehicles behind it. This building can be entered, but simply to get into a tunnel that leads to the middle of the map. The other spawn is located by a blown out structure that seems to be some sort of pedestrian walkthrough or bridge. In the middle of the map there is a dried up creek that runs under several walking bridges, and almost spans the entire width of the map. So far it seems like this is the main area of action.
Part of the reason for this, though, seems to be a bug with the spawning system that causes players to continually spawn in this area even if they just died in the same area. There have been a good number of times where I either died or got a kill, only to end up right back there next to someone. At one point, I literally spawned 10 steps from an opponent who I had just been killed by.
This map is clearly the sniper map that so many people had been asking for. It’s beautifully designed, with a nice skyline visible at one end. The military vehicles near one end have incredible detail. The autumn styled design is also gorgeous with lots of pretty colors and fallen leaves that crunch under running feet.
Overall though, this map is annoying. Mostly because of the constant camping snipers that hang out in corners of the map waiting for players to walk across open areas, but also because the horrible spawning constantly causes players to spawn on top of enemies. In an attempt to get the challenge “play a full-length game without dying”, I tried to lay down in a corner behind a box. I was literally in a corner where no one could possibly happen upon me without me seeing them. Without warning, I died, at which point I discovered, when I watched the kill cam, that the enemy had literally spawned two feet behind me.
I am thinking that once the novelty of this one wears off, most people will vote against it.
A very different map, designed to look like a coastal Italian city1, it is very vertical. It’s vertical in a different way though. Unlike Jungle from Call of Duty: Black Ops, it’s not vertical in the sense of “get high, take guys out below”. Instead, it’s more like the inside of a Discovery Zone, lots of staircases and multiple levels, probably 5 or 6 different altitudes in play. The staircases are all steep and long, and along with many corners, create a very fast-paced, “run and gun” style of game. Although the games don’t seem as hectic as Dome, they are probably comparable to Bootleg or Arkaden. There seem to be a couple of spots where action tends to migrate, but because of the tight corners in this map, firefights are fast and quick.
The unfortunate part, is that there are plenty of little corners to hide in. And the team with the darker colored uniforms blends in particularly well in a few spots. The hope is that long-term this doesn’t become a map where people like to just wait in corners for people to run by, but there is definitely a chance of that.
All that being said, this is a gorgeous map, and since I have really grown to love the smaller “run and gun” style maps2 I have enjoyed it so far.
A week is way too early to make any final determinations. I flip-flop often on which maps I like and don’t like. For example, I loved Downturn in the beginning, and hated Bootleg. Now I feel the opposite. Certain maps, like Seatown and Carbon, have always ranked near the bottom, and maps like Dome and Outpost have always ranked near the top. At the moment, my gut says that Piazza would rank right in the middle for me, definitely better than some, but not all. Liberation would rank near the bottom, but it’s final destination is still undetermined.
It’s unclear at this time how non-Elite members will obtain these maps, and when and how much they will be. But there is nothing remarkable here, and if you can continue playing without having to buy the maps (like if you play solo most of the time), I would probably recommend saving your money.
- My first thought was that it reminded me of the city in the photographs next to the cruise ship that recently sunk [↩]
- I would put Dome, Bootleg, Arkaden, Undergound and maybe Lockdown into this class as well [↩]