Review by: Bill Jones
“Map Pack 2” follows the same cues as the first downloadable map pack for Call of Duty: World at War, offering gamers three more general multiplayer maps and one new zombie level.
Starting with the latter, four players will find themselves back together to start “Shi No Numa,” the Zombie Swamp (unlike the separation in “Verruckt,” from the last map pack), picking off zombies from the windows. Things heat up fast, however, with Hell Hounds tearing through the jungles to bring things to a quick close if players aren’t careful. Players open more of the stage to reveal a swampland filled with weapons (including the new Wunderwaffe DG-2) and perk machines.
The swamp is fun and provides a number of corridors in which to stage strategic battles. Keeping players together again also makes for an interesting dynamic. It doesn’t feel quite as creative as “Verruckt,” but the aesthetics of the setting are much more appealing and with such limited options for fighting Axis of Evil zombies, one such level is always appreciated.
“Banzai,” “Corrosion” and “Sub Pens” comprise the three additional multiplayer maps. None of the maps are huge, but each presents a unique way to do battle.
The focal point of “Banzai” is a wood bridge, with several pieces of cover on either side. Objective-based fights are best here, as they will often force teams to wage high-casualty wars trying to capture the bridge. While fighting head-on across the bridge is often inevitable, gamers can also choose to work through a series of caves around the outskirts to try flanking the enemy. Alcoves inside the caves also provide great points to launch an ambush on rookies just rushing into the trap.
“Corrosion” features a Russian train yard that, like its name suggests, is falling apart. The mid-sized map feels a bit cluttered, and battle tends to go every which way with two floors and train cars making for an awkward multi-level approach.
“Sub Pens,” on the other hand, is a lot more tight and organized. The submarines in the middle and the small planks used to cross them create some incredibly tight choke points between the two main structures, which conversely offer a few open rooms for big firefights. The map presents a major challenge on objectives like “Headquarters.” When that objective hits the middle of the map, even with good teamwork gamers are likely to be sitting ducks while trying to claim the area.
“Banzai” and “Sub Pens” both provide a lot of fun, but “Corrosion” feels like a throwaway map without much character to set it apart from the darker stages from “Map Pack 1.” Still, the other two are good enough, along with a new zombie romp, to keep World at War fans appeased awhile longer.
For more info, www.callofduty.com