Call of Duty : Advanced Warfare (HAVOC DLC)
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare released the first DLC pack for the game today titled Havoc. With Advanced Warfare itself changing things up with exo suit gameplay, how does the DLC stand up? Well it stands up well and just like the core game, the DLC really benefits from the new Exo Suit style gameplay. Even zombies get a breath of fresh air with the enhanced jumping and moving abilities.
The DLC pack has two areas that it adds to. The first being the obvious 4 new maps for multiplayer fun, and the second is of course the addition of zombies! Normally this is a Treyarch thing, but Sludgehammer dipped their hands into zombies and it came out glorious.
Let’s start with zombies. The new map is very familiar layout wise to early zombie maps. It goes in a circle, and is very linear in those terms. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of dead ends and you will get stuck in them as you figure out the map. The good news is that somehow the layout keeps players rather close together, so if you happen to have a team that revives each other, you will be able to do that rather well. Granted you don’t go down a corridor because they are just small enough to get stuck in, which is where most players will die.
Along with the map comes the Advanced Warfare mechanics. You get an exo suit after you power it up and put it on. Then you can run around the map and power up different things and enhance the exo suit, with things you normally see online. This little perk was rather neat to me since it isn’t handed right to you off the bat, but once you get into higher levels it gets rather annoying. The Exo suit is within the building, and those corridors I mentioned early? Yeah, good luck running through them as a standard player without being ambushed by characters. I ended up dying multiple times in a row simply because the game was relying on everyone having exo suits and I simply couldn’t stay alive long enough to reach one.
The game relys on them because the developers know you know how to jump and work with the suit by now. That means you will normally bring all the zombies to a rather open area and find a way to heard them around. You can imagine why this is so hard without an exo suit, imagine trying to fend off 50 or so zombies that increase in speed each round…. To fend off the heard ability several zombies will have special exo suits on too and if they attack you they will do certain things like knock the power out of the suit for a limited amount of time. Another creative perk was the death marker. If you die, you can run to where you died and pick up all your lost gear. The only thing it doesn’t give you back is the exo suit, but at least you get a sweet little boost.
Everything else about this seems rather similar to standard zombie missions. There are slight changes though. The “mystery box” is now a 3D printer, and it spawns guns a little faster. You can still upgrade guns too. The one thing I noticed that was taken out was that you don’t waste a lot of time boarding up where the zombies come from. This means the pace is rather fast constantly though, which lead into my problem above. If you die and don’t get revived, you have absolutely no breathing room to run anywhere to prepare yourself.
I’m normally not very good at zombies and die rather quickly, which doesn’t make it as fun for me, but I found myself and a team lasting over 25 rounds in my first try. I wasn’t carrying the team though with 250 kills as first place was peaking at 500 kills. The game still has a challenge to it, but the new map we get along with the exo suit abilities make things a little easier to grasp. If you manage to not die, or get revived a lot, then you will level out pretty fast and be capable of handling the zombies for extended periods of time. In fact the only reason the group I was in lost was because everyone got bored and left the lobby after 20 rounds.
Zombies does have a cool opening cutscene that I wish continued. It seems like homage to Resident Evil, which was neat, and it looks neat too. The only problem is the story doesn’t really go beyond that with the exception of some dialogue. I wish it did, and I wish the voice talents were utilized more. Overall though, zombies is nowhere near as fleshed out as it was in Black Ops 2 so don’t expect that, it’s more like it was in the first Black Ops. It was rather neat seeing zombies run after players through corridors though!
The online portion gets 4 new maps, Core, Urban, Sideshow, and Drift. Core is a good blend of open and close combat in my opinion. Up top there may be a lot of long distance shooting, but when I played multiple times it was somewhat closer in the tunnels. It feels very much like the other maps of Advanced Warfare really.
Urban is more close range, and a lot of the battle takes place in a courtyard area that is mid level ground. There is a lot of emphasis for exo suit abilities to grasp an edge, but you are mostly close quarters here. The map does change a little with opening and closing doors announced over the environment.
Sideshow is honestly my least favorite map gameplay wise. The environment is cool because it takes place in a circus area and there are laughing clowns and the special perk is even a bit goofy with rainbow cannon balls, but overall it’s a snipe fest. You are basically in a huge open area with very little to hide behind, with tons of places to get high ground sniping. I played it a few times and every single time gameplay was slowed down because everyone was attempting to snipe each other.
Drift overall seems to be the most creative gameplay and environment wise. It has some special perks to make it awesome, and the layout is rather neat by allowing control points to decide the game. This means everyone will be fighting for those control points constantly, hoping to gain an edge.
(Please note I can't really review visuals as we played on 360! We have to wait for the PS4 release to review "next generation!" Unless Microsoft is so kind to send me an Xbox One?)