I avoid Modern Warfare multiplayer, because it's no fun to lose all the time. (I've got no time to practice!) But you might be having fun — and I might finally have the will to join you, thanks to a twist in two of the three new maps coming to the Xbox 360 in the coming days.
Two of the three maps are designed for co-op and are classified as Special Ops missions. Co-op's more my thing. You and me... playing together. Against the computer. I prefer that.
In one of the new maps, Black Ice, I will drive a snowmobile (I'm either Soap or Price, I'm not sure). You'll ride in the back. We could do it the other way, but I'm better at driving than I am at shooting. We'll race down to the massive spiral mine entrance from Modern Warfare 3, dodging helicopter fire while you shoot the people on snowmobiles who are chasing us. I can shoot too, but all I've got is a pistol and it will only fire in the direction I'm pointing our snowmobile.
We'll get to the bottom of this giant hole in the ground, run into the mine and kill some bad guys, then run back out while everything explodes.
That's the Black Ice map. It takes place late in MW3's campaign.
We can also play The Negotiator map together. That one begins with both of us as hostages in the Himalayan village from early in Modern Warfare 3. We're in Delta squad, and we're tied up in different rooms. If we play it the way I played a pre-release version of the map last week, I'll be able to wriggle free first, grabbing a gun off a guard, killing him and then rushing over to you, where you're in line to be executed. I'm fast enough. I can save you. And then we'll shoot our way through the village, targeting hostage-takers and, as we kill each one, freeing more hostages (I'll try not to shoot as many hostages by accident as I did last week).
You'll have to play Black Box without me. That's a basic multiplayer map, set in and around the fuselage of Air Force One, which has crashed in Southern California. In what is probably not an economic statement, you'll also be fighting it out near unfinished homes that were being constructed where the President's plane fell.
I'm terrible at competitive multiplayer, so enjoy that map with other people.
All three maps will be available on March 13 for Xbox 360 users who are paying members of Call of Duty: Elite. If you have a 360 but don't pay for Elite, you can buy those maps, along with the already-released-to-Elite maps Liberation, Overwatch and Piazza, on March 20. The bundle, called Modern Warfare 3 Collection 1, costs $US14.99. PlayStation 3 and PC owners will also get access to the maps in the near future, but publisher Activision won't say when just yet, for some reason.
I've told you what I think is cool about these maps.