“Extinction: Episode 2 takes Infinity Ward’s alien-blasting side offering and steers it closer to something that resembles a game in its own right.”
The last new map is Behemoth, which is set on a colossal drilling platform. I like this map due to its shape. It’s essentially a big circle with two rectangular spawn sections jutting out from either side, and in some ways is the exact opposite to Collision in that the middle is dense and full of cover, while the areas leading to each spawn zone are full of long corridors with little cover. Each dash along these paths could see you killed if you’re careless.
There are three floors to the central platform, and the basement is a wide area with a stack of crates in the middle that branches off in four directions. Due to the multiple entry points this should only be used as a short-cut and isn’t a place you want to try and hold. That’d be suicidal, trust me. The middle of the map also has two elevated control rooms that can serve as long range sniper spots, but the opposing room is really far, to the point that assault rifle users might struggle to find their mark.
Aesthetically, this is a cold map, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. The sight of churning drills and heavy machinery give it heft, while the sound of groaning mechanism and clanking steel make for a harsh industrial vibe. It’s a good map that – from my experience so far – encourages skirmishes in the centre and makes for a steady pace. It’s also great for objective battles, given how contested flag B is in Domination for example. In short; that circular middle section is great fun.
Lastly; we have Unearthed, which is a retread of Modern Warfare 3 map Dome, presented here as an abandoned Project Nightfall facility from Extinction mode. I’ll refrain from explaining this one too much, as it’s largely the same as its predecessor, except for a crane platform that can be lowered and entered to give players a height advantage. It’s still a fun map, and easily one of the previous game’s stand-out locations.
All of this content is adequate enough, but it can’t compare to the genuinely impressive Extinction: Episode 2 – Mayday, which takes Infinity Ward’s alien-blasting side offering and steers it closer to something that resembles a game in its own right. The chapter is set some time after the events of Nightfall, and takes players to a research ship out at sea. As soon as you dock with the vessel you’re off with your drill, laying waste to Cryptid hives and fending off waves of beasts as usual.
But what I like about Mayday is that here are so many optional rooms that can be drilled open and an abundance of containers to be looted. You can spend ages drilling open armoury rooms and alternative paths before moving on to the next hive, and the promise of new loot to be discovered makes exploration all the more endearing. At one point I came across a room full of lockers that each required a key to open.
I eventually found a key in a side office, and went back to claim an attachment-heavy LSAT LMG from a locker as my reward. There are, of course, still weapons lying around that can be bought, but I was picking up all-sorts from containers: cash, explosive devices, attachments, whole guns and more. It’s not quite Borderlands 2 levels of looting, but I do like the surprise that comes with finding something extraordinary inside a random drop.
“The Ripper is a beast that spews out bullets at an alarming rate with reasonable recoil, but burns through ammo really fast. It’s nuts.”
Speaking of extraordinary, Mayday introduces players to Call of Duty: Ghosts’ newest SMG, the Ripper. This short-to-mid range beast spews out bullets at an alarming rate with reasonable recoil, and comes with a green flip-up sight as standard. It’s brutal, but burns through ammo really fast. That’s where the balancing kicks in against humans, but when faced with Cryptids, the heavy rate of fire keeps advancing aliens at bay before they get a chance to strike. It’s nuts.
At certain hives, a giant Cryptid tentacle will tear through the map and engage players in a mini boss fight. The tendril belongs to the Kraken, a giant alien lurking below the ship that pops up from time to time to make your life a living hell. After a while you’ll be able to remember when one of it’s tentacles will appear, so these aren’t random encounters by any means, but they’re still tense and exciting.
Chuck in the new Ripper A-2 sniper rifle, lots of collectible blueprints and crafting options, and you’ll find there’s a lot of content on offer here in what started off as a side-offering to the main campaign and standard multiplayer modes.
Dare I say it; I’d like to see what Infinity Ward could come up with if given the chance to make a new sci-fi shooter series, but I get the feeling they wouldn’t be allowed to do that just yet, not while the Ghost series is ongoing anyway. Still, in another life perhaps?