It’s been a testing few years for Call of Duty and its (somewhat) devout fans, as once again, we’ve been subjected to a boost-jump oriented affair. Disregarding the intriguing rumours concerning CoD 2017, with its boots perhaps being in contact with the ground again, we’ve got a new DLC pack to work through. Sabotage, as per usual now, comes with four multiplayer maps (including a remake) as well as a zombie offering.
Noir is first up, and aesthetically at least, we’re off to a cracking start. As its name suggests, it’s of course set at night; and in the future streets of Brooklyn, is where you’ll fight. Medium sized and classically three-laned, the map’s empty tight corridors and contested upper vantage points offer a decent mix of gun styles. If it weren’t for a certain assault rifles eNViable dominance, you could potentially see every gun type here. It plays well on most modes, with the action converging on where Domination’s B flag sits. The outer perimeter doesn’t see too much action, so if you play it a little sneakier, you’re bound to get the drop on people.
Neon is up next, and if I’m honest, I’m not at all a fan of this map. Its crisp, clean art style looks eye catching enough, reminding me of the Black Ops 3 map, Spire from the Eclipse DLC. Its futuristic, sanitary white palette isn’t quite enough to entice me back however, as the problems lie within its layout. Catering for long lines of sight and generally rewarding a more ‘campy’ style of play, it can often be somewhat difficult to manoeuvre freely without being picked off at a distance. The (intentionally) ‘glitchy’ atmosphere is fairly unique however, what with cars spawning when you get close etc, but overall, the design itself lets it down for me.
Renaissance is the penultimate multiplayer offering and is by far my favourite, due to two main reasons. Firstly, there’s not a huge amount of wall-running or general jetpack antics to contend with; secondly it feels as though it would’ve fit right at home on Black Ops 2. Immediately giving off vibes from BO2’s Standoff map, it’s small to medium sized, Venetian, and very fast paced. Set out in almost a figure of eight pattern, it gives plenty opportunities for SMG’s to dart in and out of cover whilst assault rifles can (try to) cover the longer sight lines. I particularly enjoyed Domination on it due to the B flag being in an excellent spot. There’re few lines of sight onto it, meaning you actually stand a chance of capturing it for a start, along with select pieces of cover on both sides of which to defend it with.
Dominion is the token remake this time around; remember the snipe-heavy map ‘Afghan’ from MW2? Well it’s back, sort of. Back in the day, you’d have a hard pressed time even considering going out into the open in Afghan. Whereas here in Dominion, almost entirely in part due to the advanced movement, you rarely feel in as much danger. There are still those of course, who attempt to live in the heyday by sniping either on the cliff ledge or inside one of the overlooking rooms, but nowadays it’s too easy (and frustrating) to avoid them. Simply bounce your way around the map, up the cliff and you’re instantly behind them. I’m sure for snipers it takes away the joy of almost being able to hold down an entire map singlehandedly. And for everyone else, it’s just another large, chaotic map that rewards a slower play style.
Rave in the Redwoods is the pack’s zombie offering; bringing with it an easier time for newcomers. Of course completing the easter egg will still take some cryptic crossword style unravelling, but for the main part, I felt much more at ease than in the past. Starting off in desolate log cabin, you’ll soon find yourself a surprisingly effective melee weapon to grab; I opted for the golf club and was surprised at how effective it was up until some late rounds. Once again, it focuses on one of Willard Wyler’s dastardly ploys, continuing after the escape from Zombies in Spaceland. Whilst the ‘Hoff might’ve abandoned you for pastures new, rest assured sooner or later you’ll come across a new celebrity friend in the form of Kevin Smith. If that’s not surreal enough for you, herds of rampaging sasquatches, and 90’s style rave graffiti should sort you out. As to be expected, it’s likely once again the highlight of the DLC.
Now for as to whether or not you should buy it? Well that depends upon how much time and money you can afford to sink into the game. If you’re a die-hard fan, you’ll likely have the season pass, but for everyone else, it’s getting a tad expensive now. What with the game itself costing in the region of £50 at launch, and either an extra £35 for the season pass or individual DLC packs at £11.59 each, this isn’t cheap for a yearly title. This is of course disregarding the borderline, free-to-play supply drop model too. Adding over 700 items into the pool has significantly reduced the odds of getting what you’re after in a supply drop; I think it’s a little unnecessary to charge this amount of money on top of everything else. In regards to the pack itself, the zombies map is again the highpoint, with Renaissance and Noir being the standout pair in terms of multiplayer. Neon for me, presents an unenjoyable map design and as for Dominion, it’s simply not the same with advanced movement.