Today’s big Modern Warfare update brings two new maps, and the free content feels like a small step forward for the heavily criticised multiplayer aspect of the new Call of Duty.
As promised with the new Modern Warfare, all maps are going to be free for everyone, and released across all platforms simultaneously. But after its launch last month, the big question has been: Will those maps be better than what the game launched with? The community has been very vocal about campy matches and questionable map design. While we only have two new maps to judge by, the added content feels like a step forward for Modern Warfare.
“Krovnik Farmland” brings diversity to the Battlefield-style, 32v32 Ground War as a map that scales down the verticality of gunfights. It’s nice to have a map where the combat feels completely grounded. The farmland gives open spaces for snipers to play, but there’s still plenty of cover near the objective points with barns and silos. The rustic locale gives me vibes of “Seelow” from Call of Duty: World at War.
The farmland should feel refreshing to those players frustrated with the “Tavorsk District” map, which is a city of tall buildings and a skyscraper that you either love or hate, as it serves as a sniper’s paradise. You might think you have good cover as you secure an objective point, but then you die by a skyscraper snipe you never saw coming.
The biggest complaints about campy matches and map design exist in standard multiplayer, where the maps are either too big, have a frustrating design, or play too slowly. Modern Warfare definitely needs more maps tailored for standard 6v6 matches.
There are some players loving the slower style of this new Modern Warfare, and that’s great, but I’ve never seen so many Call of Duty matches run the timer out before getting close to the score limit. I’ve personally seen several matches of Team Deathmatch on Hackney Yard and Gunner Runner end at the 10-minute mark, and those are small maps that should easily play fast enough for a team to reach the 75-kill score limit to win.
One standard multiplayer map doesn’t give enough information to judge if Infinity Ward’s collection of DLC maps will be an overall positive addition, but they do seem more suitable. “Shoot-House” is designed for 6v6, close-quarters gunfights, and caters to players who’ve been asking for more of a three-lane map design.
Shoot-House is going to be for fans of maps like “Nuketown” and “Shipment,” where the small, symmetrical design is made for players who love to spawn-trap for big killstreaks in tiny spaces. I got absolutely wrecked in my first few matches, but all the games moved fast enough that the time limit wasn’t reached. Switching gears from Black Ops 4's speedy gameplay, to crouch-walking through Modern Warfare’s campy original maps, then back to fast action in Shoot-House requires an adjustment period, for sure.
Also, this content drop brings several changes that will help most of the maps feel better to play. Anyone who’s been playing the new Call of Duty has probably experienced the combo of campy matches and rage-inducing death streaks from overpowered claymores and shotguns. Today’s update addresses a lot of these major issues that really punished players for moving around.
Claymores are everywhere. Every doorway and every corner is suspect. The deadly equipment received much-needed tuning to better counter them. Now players can detonate an enemy claymore with bullets without being a sacrificial lamb, as the blast from shooting claymores is now non-lethal when at full health. The trigger and damage radius have also both been reduced to a much more reasonable range.
The ridiculously overpowered 725 shotgun was finally nerfed to properly fit into the shotgun category, whereas it previously served more as an across-the-map sniper. Adjustments to the Operators’ battle chatter, footstep audio, and a host of other tweaks to multiplayer should help players feel more confident to move around the maps.