Hot on the heels of the Stimulus Map Pack, the Resurgence Pack once again brings five more maps into your Modern Warfare 2 world. As before, there are three new maps and two carryover maps from Call of Duty 4 - enhanced to run under the Modern Warfare 2 engine.
As before, you will need to perform a mandatory upgrade and foot out 1200 points ($15) for this pack - bringing my personal cost of Modern Warfare 2 to the near $200 mark (yeah, I admit it - I own the night vision goggles) - and immediately there are two new game modes to play; Resurgence and Resurgence Hardcore. Both options provide you with access to JUST the new maps - but as before, it randomly shuffles through game modes (Team Deathmatch, Domination, etc).
As a die-hard Free-For-All player, I was also delighted to find out that the maps are also in that game mode's rotation as well; however, if you want to be guaranteed to play the new maps with any frequency, you're going to have to play the dedicated modes.
Let's start with the carry over maps; Strike and Vacant.
For those of you familiar with COD4's maps, you'll remember Strike either very fondly or with utter contempt. I always recall this one as "the one with the little sniping room". This is the map featuring the statue in the square along with the back alley behind the buildings. For some reason, the dumpsters always stand out on this map for me.
For those of you not familiar with Strike, let's say that this map has something for everyone. There are numerous second story sniping positions littered throughout the map - along with that, there are many hunting positions that feature a view nearly the entire length of the map offering many excellent camping positions.
The "little sniping room" (the highlight of the map IMHO) sits right above the square, and offers a two-windowed access to the killing fields. It features a single point of access - giving it a real edge to those competent with claymores and tactile insertions. The room itself is very small with large almost picture windows on the two sides - making the snipers in the roost fairly visible. As a "bonus", the walls are thin - offering the "shoot the fish in the barrel" option to those with FMJ attachment installed.
The map features a lot of long, wide open spaces with many ready-to-explode cars in strategic locations throughout. As with most maps, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to hide in to await your prey running by. A couple of them are downright evil if you equip yourself with a Heartbeat Detector attachment.
Needless to say, there is a lot of sniping and camping happening on this level - since no one wants to stay out in the open too long.
What can I say about Vacant? Call of Duty 4 people will fondly remember this as "the shotgun map" as it features a large, indoor maze-like building, large hanger area and very limited outdoor play. What little outdoor play there is consists largely of giant empty shipping containers.
If you're new to Vacant, you can expect to find a lot of "run and gunning" here - it's a shotgun lover's paradise. Most of map has very low visibility and short distances - making it very confining (hence, a shotgun map). With lots of twist and turns, you'll find a tactical knife enhanced pistola will be a great asset here. Plenty of darkness for the campers that like to stalk their victims from behind as well as some medium range distance locations outside-looking-in for the snipers and "distance lovers". Sniping isn't what this map is about, and if you want to big body count, you're going to have to take the fight inside.
As mentioned, there isn't much going on outside ... the giant shipping containers offer basic cover, but nothing more. Attached to the main building is a giant hanger-style structure with tons of solid boxes for cover and your best shot at having something to "defend" for those that feel they have to do so. The hanger has nearly full visibility to the outside but still offers some cover for those looking to sneak inside and take out the resistance.
There are plenty of camping locations - dark ones too - that offer some good stealth opportunities ... but since everyone is running around with shotguns, I wouldn't make silent stalking your M.O. on this map. For Free-For-All players like myself - this map is gold - plenty of killing with high body counts to boost that XP.
Vacant has always been a fan favorite, and it's nice to have it back in the lineup.
As with the carry over maps from the Stimulus Pack, you will find these maps largely untouched with minor MW2 engine enhancements (like paper blowing around all over and the occasional chicken in a cage).
I know, who cares about the carry over maps? Let's get on to the meat maps; Fuel, Trailer Park and Carnival.
Fuel is the map you love to hate.
First off, it's huge - possibly the biggest map so far. This is a Marathon map - you'll be doing a LOT of running around just getting from spawn point back to the action. In some cases, the spawn point is literally 30-60 seconds of "running" away from the action. CRAZY.
The map features many multi-level buildings - including rooftop access - making it feel even bigger. As with any map with a lot of rooftops, this is a sniping-lovin' map. Rooftops and second/third floor windows offer almost full map coverage for sniping, meaning you'll get killed a lot and not realize who popped you or from where. If you want to stay alive, you'll have to break yourself of the standard "ground warfare" mentality that most maps foster. I would compare this map to Favela - since you have to be looking up half the time you play it.
One of the things I like about this map is that there are many ways to get where you want to go (with a few exceptions), including one of my favorite methods - the ol' drain pipe underbelly entrance into one of the favored buildings.
Fuel is a good Domination map - since many of the areas are almost impervious to attack once you place a few good men in key locations. Fuel is a horrible Free-For-All map as there is just too much down time between kills for me. There aren't a lot of nooks and crannies - it's a straight forward map.
Overall, Fuel is a nice addition. The sheer OPENNESS feeling of the map is to MW2 as Overgrown was to Call of Duty 4. There are some amazingly nice touches in the map - including oil pumps running in the distance - and some of the buildings interiors are much more intricately designed that what we're used to.
The Trailer Park map is your typical high body count, twists and turns run and gun map - shotgun and knife friendly. Guess where it takes place? That's right ... an abandoned trailer park. There are so many dwellings to run through that it will take you some time to get the lay-of-the-land. This is almost a "Vacancy" map - only "outside".
This is a very flat map - forget about the tall buildings and sniper roosts. While there are a handful of sniper-style locations, you won't find yourself being able to stay still very long. With the taller structures gone, there is plenty of poly count to make the trailer interiors that much more detailed and it's one of the more 'realistic feeling' maps I've played in the series. It feels like someplace you've actually been (or could go). While I'm sure the other maps are realistic, I don't have a preconceived notion as to what a Fuel site looks like.
I know what a trailer park looks like - and this is it - right down to the crappy above-ground community pool.
Those looking to "defend" a location have plenty to chose from in the Trailer Park - with many locations having two or even just one entrance.
After a serious military operation like the Fuel map, Trailer Park just lets you bust out the close combat weapons and go to town.
The final map, Carnival, has to be my favorite one of the Resurgence Pack - which is why i saved it for last.
Carnival takes place in an abandoned, broken down carnival setting and all the fun stuff you would expect to see is in here. From bumper cars to fun house mirrors - you'll find it all within.
Carnival is one of the most well-balanced maps I've seen. It offers plenty of options for snipers and run-and-gunners alike - with all the strengths and weaknesses of each type of player.
Snipers will love crawling along the roller-coaster track, hiding behind the lifeless coaster cars - awaiting a mark to appear in his scope. Plenty of taller structures offer second floor sniping offerings, although by nature this map doesn't feature a lot of long ranged viewing. There is a lot of area, but not continuous view area.
The run gunners will enjoy the tight confines of the indoor rides - the hanging mannequins offer nice decoys and the mirrors are always fun for a laugh.
There are moderate open areas for some distance target work, but you won't find favor for this type of player in this map either.
I would call this map "level playing field" for all players - offering no real advantage to one type of player or the other. I personally enjoy these sort of maps since the body count stays pretty high, but you aren't being killed by the same sniper over and over and over again every time you respawn.
Unfortunately, this map seems to be the LEAST likely to come up on rotation ... at least on Free-For-All (where Fuel comes up constantly). I haven't spent nearly as much time playing it as I would like because I'm just not willing to play the dedicated game modes and suffer through low-XP scoring matches like Domination.
You know, a lot of people have a real problem paying $15 for a map pack - and to those people: "I understand". It's even harder to swallow when you realize that two of the five maps (yet again) are from a previous Call of Duty. That being said, let me offer a bit of wisdom from someone whose Xbox 360 is essentially a life-support system for a Call of Duty disc.
We all know the real staying power of Modern Warfare 2 is in the multiplayer. Those of you who are even INTERESTED in map packs probably have several MAN DAYS logged playing this game; I bet some of you (like me) have WELL OVER 100 hours playing this game in multiplayer alone. When I look for value in entertainment, I compare it to "movie dollars". When I see a REALLY GOOD movie, I'm paying about $9 for the privilege - or about $4 an hour. When you price a game like Modern Warfare 2 - and see that $70 tag (in my case, it was $150) you have to look at the overall value. If I've gotten 100 hours of play time with MW2, that's a $400 value (in "movie dollars"). That's damn hard to beat. Sixty cents an hour for quality top notch entertainment? SOLD!
Now, what about these "map packs"? $15 ... in movie dollars, I'd need about four hours of play time to "get my money's worth". Heck, I had that THE FIRST DAY I bought the map pack! Obviously, if you aren't that die hard of a player, you might not get four hours of quality entertainment out of the pack. I'm betting, though, that most of you reading this will get way more than four hours of enjoyment out of this.
Let's wrap this up. Should you get this map pack? Absolutely. Get the other map pack too. NOTHING beats map variety with long sessions of playing this game. I haven't done the math yet, but with JUST the two expansion packs, you're looking at ten maps to play on plus all the native maps. At ten minutes a match, you could probably play two full hours and never play the same map twice (like THAT is going to happen ... Favela, Fuel .. Favela, Fuel ...). That's worth the cash to me.
If you've logged two hours total in multiplayer, this pack isn't for you. There are no new weapons or game modes - no extra perks to earn ... it's purely a multiplayer expansion package. But if you're multiplayer sessions add up into the mid-to-high double digits, this map pack can only enhance your future game play.