Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

[DLC] Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package

Best map-pack ever?
Author: Parjanya C. Holtz
Published: May 21, 2010
Fans of Modern Warfare 2 have a lot to endure these days. The shocking news of Activision letting Infinity Ward's studio heads go was just one of the reasons as to what made many gamers feel awkwardly aware of the might they as consumers possess; might with a price tag -- $15 for a set of three new and two recycled maps.


Ultimately the dramatic happenings that made headlines for the industry's most successful studio and its mightiest publisher shouldn't bother you too much, as the Stimulus Package just might be the best set of post-release maps ever to hit a first-person shooter, arguably only rivaled by Modern Warfare 1's Variety Map-Pack.

A few weeks ago I stopped playing Modern Warfare 2's competitive multiplayer, which quite frankly a lack of time played a significant part in. As much as I liked the original set of maps that shipped with the game, many of them just didn't seem to “click” with me. It's hard to rationally explain, considering that none of the maps seemed unbalanced in any way, but maybe I was just spoiled by what I was used to from Infinity Ward's previous game. I was more excited to find that "Crash" and "Overgrown" were coming back, likely two of the best maps from Call of Duty 4. But what truly makes this set of maps shine is the variety, as each map feels distinctive and unique on its own, paired with the excellent balancing we've come to expect from an IW game.

Bailout

“Bailout” is visually and architecturally the most interesting of the new maps. It's set between two rather large building complexes which are divided by a road, plus an empty pool and a number of terraces in between. As most Modern Warfare maps are, it's very cramped with lots of corners to watch and spots great to hide and camp in. But the map is also very vertical, meaning that both snipers and players with scoped assault rifles will have an advantage coming in. Also interesting is how the road descends, giving the entire map a natural feel to it.

Storm

At first glance “Storm” might look like a mash-up between two COD4 maps, “Vacant” and “Downpour,” but it's more than just that. The center of the map comes about in the form of a large warehouse that has multiple openings to all sides, making it an excellent map for Team-Deathmatch and especially Domination games. A number of smaller buildings and containers surround the center of the map giving snipers a few good spots to hide in as well.

Salvage

If you like Search & Destroy, you'll love “Salvage.” A junkyard that's very consistently divided in its center to form a good starting point for both attackers and defenders. Furthermore Team-Deathmatch and Domination work exceptionally well with the map. Getting from one side to the other in S&D is especially interesting as the map is divided by a high wall of scrap-metal, encouraging defenders to guard three, maybe four, key spots at which the attackers might try to get through.

I should mention the dog house. Don't get caught in there.

Crash

Most of you probably don't need me to tell you what “Crash” is like. For the sake of completion I will say that it might just be the most balanced map out there. It has some excellent spots for snipers, which is unusual for such a small and tightly cramped map. It's also very vertical, with maybe the only three story building in the entire game.

Overgrown

I personally think “Overgrown” is MW1's best map. It's full of high grass to crawl through, shacks to hide in, and in typical S&D fashion it's clearly divided into two parts by a dried out river bed. Especially interesting is how both bomb sites are kept apart by mentioned river bed, resulting in some very interesting attacker/defender scenarios, as getting from one side to the other can be quite dangerous. Also rather unusual is how the bomb sites are relatively far apart from one another.

If you haven't played Modern Warfare 2 for a while, the Stimulus Package presents an opportunity you shouldn't pass on. It'll feel like putting on a good old pair of shoes, or like riding a bike after not having done so for a long time. Sure, the drug is dangerous, but it's also way too good to keep resisting. Now if only they'd date that Resurgence Pack for PS3 already.
The Verdict
10.0

Ignore the naysayers, the Stimulus Package is worth every single penny of its $15 price tag.

9.0Graphics:

It's Modern Warfare 2, which means the graphics are still the same. Visually the pack does nothing too spectacular, but what you'll see is not too shabby either.

9.5Sound:

Still great.

10.0Control:

It's still the first-person shooter with easily the by far best controls out there. If you miss a target, it's because you suck! Simple as that.

10.0Gameplay:

The core gameplay is obviously unchanged, but the maps are what really get the best out of modes like Domination and Hardcore Search & Destroy. Absolute bliss!