Call of Duty: Ghosts – Devastation follows up Infinity Ward’s Michael Myers cameo with interstellar badass Predator. But even his cackling laughter and mad-skills can’t stop the second chapter of Alien Extinction campaign Mayday from feeling like the real meat of the package. Dave Cook gives his impressions.
”The Ruins map itself kicks off something of a theme for Devastation. As the DLC’s name suggests, these maps are filled with destruction and decay, and feature environments comprised of multiple, largely thin routes, strung together by the occasional wide area.”
I had a feeling cameos were going to become a regular feature in Call of Duty: Ghosts DLC drops. It’s clear the paying public are getting increasingly restless about paying for straight-up map packs with bugger all substance, so it’s nice to see Infinity Ward thinking outside of the box. However, chucking out-of-context characters like Predator and Myers into the mix risks these maps feeling more like a gimmick than relevant, solid content.
That’s not to say Predator’s appearance in new map Ruins isn’t welcome of course. The first time you’re sprinting across the jungle map and a warning flashes up to say someone has turned into the one ugly motherfucker himself, you’ll likely feel a pang of excitement and dare I say it, fear, in your gut. I’m yet to be killed by a Predator player face-to-face, but I have heard him making that croaking sound while stealthily picking off my buddies on the other side of the map.
I did, however, get killed by his self destruct mode. That’s right, Predator can sacrifice himself near death by triggering the bomb strapped to his arm. Once active, a countdown appears on the bottom of everyone’s screen, followed by that familiar, sinister laughing from the film. Once the digits expire, the whole map is nuked and the opposing team dies. I didn’t really care that I was on the receiving end because the madness unfolding before me was actually quite fun. It reminded me of the daft old days of Timesplitters 2 multiplayer which dispensed utter nonsense at its finest.
The Ruins map itself kicks off something of a theme for Devastation. As the DLC’s name suggests, these maps are filled with destruction and decay, and feature environments comprised of multiple, largely thin routes, strung together by the occasional wide area. I died often while playing for this write-up due to being blind-sided or by forgetting to get my aim up when entering tight corridors like a chump. Compared to broad locales like the on-disc map Stonehaven, these maps are constricted and dense.
At the heart of Ruins lies a multi-storey temple, that offers vantage points for players to hold and shoot down upon unsuspecting opponents. The water-logged basement is full of short corridors leading to path splits. I’m not joking when I say it’s easy to get caught off-guard here, especially with so many forks in the road. Choose the wrong path, and you might find yourself shot from behind by a player coming down the other route. The Oracle and tracker sight work wonders on these maps as a result.
Collision is a complex beast, despite being quite small. It takes place on a freighter that has torn through a suspension bridge, and is heavy with debris and twisted metal girders that make it that little bit harder to pick out enemies at a distance. If you’re sure you’re six is covered, you can absolutely play a slower, more cautious game on this map. However like Ruins, there are junction points and thin walkways everywhere, so you’re probably never too far from a hostile.
Both teams spawn in at either ends of the vessel and as you’d expected there’s an open killzone in the middle, with elevated windows at either side to allow for tense exchanges. Although this sounds like a typical Call of Duty map, with freight container mazes and rusting metal rooms, Infinity Ward has done a good job by not reusing assets like crazy, which is something I felt the team deserved praise for in its first map pack Onslaught. It will absolutely punish infinite sprinters unless they’re careful.
It’s a tough map that leaves players exposed, especially the closer you get to the wider middle section. The holds down below are thin and are similar to the paths in Ruins, but up top you’ll find that there’s less cover and that each route is noticeably broader than what you’re used to. My advice would be to stay elevated and cautious, then pick off anyone down below who happens to be running around like a fool. I’d say that playing it slow and steady will win this particular race.