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COD: World at War - Map Pack #1


COD: World at War - Map Pack #1

ESRB: Mature - M
Platform: Xbox 360
Category: First Person Shooter

Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision

Last year, Infinity Ward released the Variety Map Pack for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare approximately 5 months after the games release. We at GameBoyz enjoyed the Map Pack, but felt it arrived a little too late and we were disappointed no follow-up Map Packs were released for what still stands as one of Xbox Live’s most heavily played online games.

Almost a year later to the date, Treyarch releases Map Pack One for Call of Duty: World at War. The pack includes three new multiplayer maps and adds another chapter to the four-player co-op Nazi Zombie mode. The downloadable content comes in at a cost of 800 points, which is the equivalent of approximately $10.00 dollars. Having played World at War online for many nights I was looking forward to the release of the downloadable content. I am still of the belief the maps should not come at a cost. Nevertheless, I understand that the maps do not get developed for free so I understand the price.


The map pack was released on 2009-03-19 and unfortunately the Xbox Marketplace was suffering from some serious issues on the date of release. Interestingly enough, the Marketplace suffered from the same issues when the Variety Map Pack was released approximately one year ago. Perhaps everyone and their brother were downloading the pack which created a serious slow down. I tried several times from about 6:00pm to 9:00pm (PST) with no luck. Finally just after 9:00pm I had some success and managed to download the pack. But it did take some time to download.

The first map I had to chance to give a spin was “Knee Deep”. “Knee Deep” takes place on the island of Peleliu in a once tranquil village turned chaotic Japanese command center. It is a medium sized map which very much reminds me of the many multiplayer maps seen from the Far Cry franchise. You and your squad fight through the jungle which includes a stream where you just happen to be wadding ‘knee deep’ to get from one side to the other. All throughout the map, various bunkers and huts are located making for some really good close quarter combat. There are a couple of good sniping points but for the most part it is best to equip yourself with a gun that does some damage at close range. The harsh jungles of “Knee Deep” are ideal for tactical team games and all-out assaults on multiple enemy positions. Visually it is stunning map, which is typical of all CoD multiplayer maps. I am always amazed at how good everything looks and how smooth it plays and “Knee Deep” is no exception.

The next map, and my least favorite of the bunch, is “Nightfire”. I am never much of a fan of night time maps so for this reason alone its stands as my least favorite. But this is not to say it isn’t a fun or great looking map. I actually had the most success in this map as I located a couple of sections in the game which gave me a significant vantage point. A fire-bombed Berlin provides the backdrop for “Nightfire,” and it is a medium to large sized map. Shelled buildings and war-ravaged streets are prevalent throughout which just happens to create an intense atmosphere. Although the battles take place in the night, the flames of the burning city expose the enemy as they run amongst them. The effect is cool and adds an element we have yet to experience in any of the multiplayer maps in World at War. The only downfall of this map is players tend to run to a building which is located towards the center of the map which gives you nice view of the majority of the map. One player went on a 15-0 (kills to deaths) run as he hunkered down in that one location; frustrating to say the least.

My favorite of all the new maps is “Station”. “Station” takes place in, as you would guess, an underground bombed out train station. The map is littered with destroyed subway cars, hidden passageways, loading platforms and second story overlooks to use to your advantage against any number of enemies. It is a long map and but the narrow passageways make for some fearsome firefights. Snipers and close range weapons can all be put to good use in this slick looking map. The map is ideal for objective based games like Headquarters and Capture the Flag as no one initial spawning site gives you team any kind of advantage. The map is very similar to a certain map we played in Rainbow Six Vegas (name escapes me); nevertheless the developers did a wonderful job creating a balanced and enjoyable level.

For those of you who enjoy World at War’s Zombie Mode, the Map Pack includes another chapter to the four-player co-op Nazi Zombie mode with “Verrückt”. The map is essentially a zombie asylum located in the outskirts of Berlin. Players are split into pairs, and the challenge is to find each other for survival. The map features more weapons, and more perks via the addition of Perks-a-Cola machines. Additionally you can employ electroshock defenses against the endless Nazi Zombie horde. All in all, it is a good looking and very enjoyable map.

Speaking for myself, the map pack is worth the purchase as I continue to play World at War on a regular basis and compete with the hardcore online gamers. That being said, nearly all the games I played on the new maps featured gamers who have not only played the game before but are also wicked good as the majority of them had high Prestige rankings. So keep that in mind before you take the plunge. If you don’t play too often you may find yourself easy pickings. My only other ‘beef’ is that the map pack should be cycled through the main multiplayer modes. If you want to play the regular (original) World at War maps you have to back out of the Map Pack menu and jump into the original one. At the end of the day the new maps are sharp looking and really add to the online experience of the game. Here is to hoping we see a Map Pack Two real soon and long before the next instalment in the hit Call of Duty franchise arrives.


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