Activision and in-house developer Treyarch are taking another page from Infinity Ward's Call of Duty playbook, this time with a new downloadable Spring content release. Like last year's Variety Map Pack for Call of Duty 4, Treyarch's new Map Pack 1 contains four maps for COD: World at War and will run you $10 on PlayStation Network or 800 points on Xbox Marketplace. And, oh, hey, it's available right now! But is it worth your time and money? Let's take a look.
The most interesting new addition in this map pack is a new map for the Nazi Zombie mode. Considering there was only one Nazi Zombie map in the shipping game, that's a pretty significant increase in playable content for what's apparently become a really popular mode. Treyarch crammed Nazi Zombies into the shipping game at the last minute, in a breakneck labor-of-love fashion, but players have apparently taken to the new mode like, uh, zombies to brains. So I imagine a lot of you will be happy about this new map.
The abrasively titled Zombie Verruckt starts the four-player team out with two players trapped on one side of an old hospital, holding off the undead lovelies. The other two players have to cash in the points they earn from killing zombies to clear debris from stairwells and access higher levels of the facility. Your ultimate goal is to reach a generator and restart it, restoring power and reactivating doors that will let you join all four players up to make a last stand against the zombie horde. This multi-stage approach ought to give this map a different feel than the simple hold-out-as-long-as-you-can action in the original Nazi Zombies mode. It's also worth noting that Treyarch will start tracking stats from the Nazi Zombie mode on callofduty.com once all this business is live.
You know, I could blabber on all day about Zombie Verruckt, but you could also just watch this trailer to get a feel for how it--and the rest of the map pack--will play.
You'll also get three regular infantry-only multiplayer maps in Map Pack 1, as seen in the trailer above. Here's a quick rundown with a little more information.
- Knee Deep. This map is on a heavily jungled South Pacific island, Japanese versus the U.S. A river bisects the map, with battered wooden buildings on one side and a stone fortress on the other. There's a lot of contrast between high and low ground here, from the upper riverbank down to the river.
- Station. This is a ruined train station in Berlin, with the Soviets attacking the German defenders. The expansive train platform serves as the central hub of the level, and the roof has collapsed in, providing you a ramp to run up and gain the high ground. Numerous peripheral rooms and stairwells extend off of the central platform.
- Nightfire. This is the most visually striking of the three maps, sending you running through besieged Berlin's nighttime streets. Everything is on fire, which gives a nice contrast between the orange glow of the flames and the otherwise blueish color palette. There are several buildings you can enter to snipe at your opponents from second-floor windows.
The maps in this pack are all well-made and graphically appealing, so my gut feeling is that if you're still playing World at War online, you need to get this pack. After all, the rest of the community will, too, so you'll just be left behind on old maps if you don't jump in. Though, if you've already gotten your fill of WAW and have moved on to more recent games, the pack may be less enticing. But since Treyarch has literally doubled the amount of Nazi Zombie content in the game, anyone who had a lot of fun with that mode in particular ought to give this one a look.