The second round of Call of Duty: Elite DLC hit Xbox Live last week. This package only included one map, Overwatch, instead of two like the first time around. Overwatch is a unfinished high-rise building, with varying levels of completeness throughout. There are a couple of rooms that look near completion, and yet plenty of wood frames and random stacks of building materials.
The map is fairly large and has two (I think just two) levels that pretty much span the entire map. There are many comparisons that have been made to Highrise, a Modern Warfare 2 map, which looked very similar. The maps also share the inclusion of a large construction crane that can be traversed, and even climbed up to the peak. Other than that, there probably isn’t a lot of similarity. Highrise was a long, skinnier map with tunnels. Overwatch is big on all sides.
The map is spread out enough that different types of gameplay can thrive. Because Overwatch has some of the longer sight lines of Modern Warfare 3 maps1, and there are many items to hide behind, it seems like snipers can thrive. Unfortunately most spots aren’t secluded enough to prevent being flanked, and so far I have come across many a sniper from the side or behind who was completely unaware I was there.
Much like Liberation, Overwatch is set within a New York City-like landscape. When looking off the edge of the map, a beautiful, but damaged, skyline is visible. Infinity Ward does deserve credit for creating awesome backdrops for these new maps, even Piazza looks nice. The actual map itself looks good too. This map also has the uniqueness of having edges that a player can fall or jump off of, resulting in their own demise. While there were several maps in Modern Warfare 2 with this quality, I am not sure if any Call of Duty: Black Ops had this (actually I just don’t remember), and there are no other maps in Modern Warfare 3 where a player can fall completely off the map.
I have only played Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed so far, so I don’t even know where the Domination points are, but I can imagine where they might be. The map seems fairly balanced, with all of the tight corners creating plenty of fast paced, closed quarters action. But the longer sight lines also mean that there are places players can hang back. It seems like there are enough paths to take that it’s unlikely a sniper could stay in one spot for too long without getting flanked.
I haven’t played the map enough to make a decision on it yet, and I am very undecided on it.
Meanwhile, I have now had plenty of time to play Liberation and Piazza. I absolutely loathe Liberation at this point. The map is generally a full-on snipefest, and because it’s so large, good snipers can move around enough that they are hard to find. The spawn points remain broken. Just this week I spawned on the stairs along the creek bed, ran up, took an enemy out, that enemy respawned at the bottom of the stairs, took two steps and took me out. This is a problem that should have been fixed in a month, and yet hasn’t.
Piazza is fun and intense, but it’s weird because there are lots of spots that it seems like you never go. Most of the action is concentrated in the middle and comes from the same few paths. Because there are so few long sight lines, there is no reason to hang back, and the map is about as anti-camp as you can get. For those reasons, I like it. It’s not top 5, but it’s probably in the top half.
- I would say some are as long, if not longer than Liberation [↩]