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The only thing that stops the dust is the rain. It’s a sweet reprieve, but there is no middle ground. The land is either as dry as the Betty Ford clinic, or as wet as the ocean floor. Everything can be seen from the ridge overlooking Armadillo as John Marston gently bounces along atop...

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection 1 Impressions

Posted on Tuesday, March 13 @ 16:53:25 PST by


Apart from story-driven games Bioshock, Borderlands, and recently Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, I rarely delve into competitive first-person shooters at all. I usually reserve that domain for my roommate David "The Mexicutioner" Carlon, and I'm happy just to observe all the wanton destruction he and his friends inflict on noobs online. So when one of my assignments was to sit down with Activision and play some of the Spec Ops missions for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection 1 (now that was a mouthful), I was looking for an exit route.

Thankfully, I wasn't alone in my adventure. My buddy for the day, Louis Edwards from PlayStation Lifestyle, had extensive experience with Spec Ops missions, and his confidence oozed its way into my inner dialogue: "Come on, Nick, this isn't going to be any trouble at all."

Our first mission, brought to us by Raven Studios, was the uncompromising chill of Black Ice. After an action sequence on a snowmobile, where Louis drove and I shot enemies also on snowmobiles with an assault rifle, we were given the command to infiltrate a diamond mine. Our mission was simple: Blow it the fuck up. For as inexperienced as we were at the mission, we got in and out quickly--so quickly that we thought out upping the difficulty.



Negotiator, however, kicked our asses multiple times on Recruit. This hostage rescue mission is structured around an on-rails shooter, where both players need to know where each hostage is and how each event falls within the mission to save everyone. Of course, rescuing yourself is difficult enough; at the beginning, one player is strapped in a chair about to be shot and must be rescued by the other player, who must steal a highlighted gun off a soldier's hip, shoot him and his partner, race towards the next building, and breach the door in time; otherwise, the co-op mission fails before it even really begins.

All together, it took Louis and I about ten attempts to reach the ending (with only 22 hostages saved). Suffice it to say, Negotiator will be a test for all veterans to see not only how many hostages they can save, but also how fast they can get through the level. These two stats will likely factor into online leaderboards.

Though we weren't able to test out the new multiplayer map Black Box, the Collection Pack 1 looks to make the most out of its 1200 MSP purchase price. As Daniel reported earlier, Black Box, Black Ice, and Negotiator will be available March 20 on Xbox Live (coming soon on PS3). Non-Elite members will also (finally) have access to the first three extra multiplayer maps Piazza, Overwatch, and Liberation.
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