Call of Duty: Ghosts: Onslaught Review

Feb 1, 2014
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Call of Duty: Ghosts: Onslaught Review

There's one whole heck of a lot of disagreement this season on how Call of Duty: Ghosts aught to be reviewed. While we didn't find it all that terrible, quite a few gamers out there disagreed with our assessment - heavily. Because of this - and because the cry against our review was so radically one-sided, we decided to take another look at the game, playing now for weeks on end to get in as deep as possible to see things from every gamer's perspective - and now comes along Onslaught, complete with a new weapon, four new maps, and none other than one of the most menacing horror movie villains of all time: Michael Myers.

What you've got here - for those of you not familiar with the term "DLC", is a "Downloadable Content Pack", costing you an additional fee (above the price you've already paid for the game) to deliver additional content to your gaming system. In this case we're looking a the game's expansion "Onslaught" on an Xbox One because the companies involved agreed upon a short period of time where the expansion would be available on Xbox One only - it'll be out for the PC and other systems like the PlayStation 4 imminently.

Non-Fog Maps and Weapon

There are four new maps in this release, each of them offering up their own unique bits and pieces. Fog is by far the most interesting due to its extreme attention to macabre detail and the inclusion of Michael Myers, but it's BayView we'll be speaking about first - it's our least favorite.

Though it's always interesting to explore the inclusion of moving pieces in this puzzle board, there are really only two bits in this map that make it worth choosing if you're ramping up toward a round. The first is the metal detectors. Each one of this map's many giftshops and restaurants have metal detectors at their entrances, making it extremely difficult to get around in any sort of stealth mode.

The second reason BayView is interesting is the tram. There's a tram that moves back and forth through the level with enough room aboard to allow several players to ride aboard. It's interesting to see players either flock to the tram or avoid it completely, as it's a coin toss - at the moment - whether you're going to be subject to the opposing team's scanners or not. They might never see you, or they might be tracking your dot on the map with ease - either way, you're riding the tram.

Containment is a map where Infinity Ward lets loose some rather simple but effective new elements in gameplay, one being a bridge in the center of the map on which a truck filled with radioactive material stands. If you get too close, your scanners turn to pixels, and you'll have to "pick up on your visual scanning", if you know what I mean.

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You can also destroy this bridge and the truck entirely by completing a field order and grabbing the reward. Make sure you're nowhere near the bridge when that airstrike comes calling. Otherwise the map is a joy to explore, full of breakable bits and graffiti on all surfaces. Lots of room for sniping, hand-to-hand combat, and all sorts of unique ways of going about your business.

Ignition is a classic map, a remake of the "Scrapyard" map from Modern Warfare 2. This is another map that changes shape partway through the round, though in this case it's less about a player wanting to destroy something hampering them and more about a rocket exploding in mid-air, raining down bits of hull upon the landscape.

Users are able to trigger jets once this happens - if you see one set off, don't get too close. You will die.

When I say "remake", I don't just mean re-skinned - it's a positively good map for low-down machine-gun action and stabs without a doubt. Find yourself on top of a the few structures that allow it here and you'll also have a fair amount of sniping area to make due with - though you won't be able to hold your position long, thankfully.

The new gun goes by the name Maverick and is able to exist as a sniper rifle or an assault rifle. For those of you not planning on purchasing the DLC - fear not - Maverick cannot be used as both weapon types at once, and it's certainly not powerful enough to be something all the best of the best players will need to purchase to continue dominating.

maverick

It's certainly decent, but far from the most powerful weapon in the game by any stretch of the imagination. And it looks good in red.

Fog and Michael Myers

The Fog map in this DLC is so entertaining, there's a whole extra article about it here on SlashGear. It's not the most well-balanced map ever made, and it's certainly not somewhere that'll give you any real-life survival skills - if that's what you're after.

Instead Fog is all about an ode to horror movie classics. While you won't find direct references to any one film, you'll find all the trappings of any dark, dank, in-the-woods slasher worth its salt. Bones and rotting meat, shrines with candles and skulls, and buckets of filth for good measure.

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And Michael Myers is here too. All you'll have to do is have some luck and skill to access him. Once you've completed a field order and are lucky enough to receive the Michael Myers care package, you'll be transformed into Michael yourself. From there it's all tear-***ing around the map at a speed that's faster than any other character whilst wielding an axe.

Michael is essentially a "maniac" type character, though we're pretty sure he's faster than any other normal type in the game. Michael is also busting out with more hit points than essentially any other kind of character too. He takes an extraordinary amount of effort to kill, true to form.

And if you've not watched the demo video above yet - yes, he does hunt to his own theme music.

Extinction, Episode 1: Nightfall

Instead of zombies, this game's out-of-left-field mode is aliens. While you never have to get anywhere near these freaks of nature in the normal game's storyline or in online multiplayer* if you don't want, you will be able to roll into this bit of gameplay as its own unique bit, if you wish.

You get to play a limited bit of this extension of the game in the standard COD:Ghosts, but here it gets especially nightmarish. It's not the same sort of scary you get with Fog, but with creatures like "The Phantom", you'll be jotting about in fear due to abilities like teleportation. The aliens have gotten larger in this expansion, and they've also gotten smarter.

Extinction gameplay expands to a place where you're working with four players, each of them able to choose their own class from amongst four: assault, tank, healing, or mechanical. If you get teamed up with a crew that doesn't know the meaning of teamwork, you will die. Quickly.

While the original Nightfall map can be repetitive and - believe it or not - can get boring - here you're treated to a healthier amount of change and surprise throughout the episode. Just figure out how to take control of an alien to fight on your side and you'll be golden.

Wrap-up

This expansion doesn't change anything major in the standard bit of the game outside of multiplayer, so it's not something you should purchase expecting your entire Call of Duty: Ghosts experience to be transformed. Instead this expansion begins to show how the game will be able to evolve.

In other words: if you hate the game already, don't expect this DLC to bring you 180 degrees in the other direction. If you've enjoyed Call of Duty: Ghosts thus far, this expansion is more of the same with tweaks here and there made to make your experience all the better.

Of course we're still in a place at the moment where the very idea of downloadable content packs are seen as a positive evolution for the industry by some, and an unnecessary evil by others. Vote with your wallet, as always - if you're all about DLC content in general, then yes, this one's worth the cash just for the fun of it. If you're running a rally-cry against DLCs in your spare time and on weekends, this DLC isn't going to turn you to the dark side.


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