We're able to talk about three of the multiplayer maps: Afghan, a desert map, Highrise, a skyscraper, and Favela, a shanty town in Rio de Janeiro. I largely played objective-based matches like capture-the-flag, which all three maps were great for. Each map has a lot of great features, and we'll definitely be giving them a more in-depth look later. Until then, I'll leave you with some basic descriptions of what you can expect.
Afghan is a rocky desert map, the centerpiece of which is the ruins of a downed jumbo jet. The open central area, which contains the aeronautic set piece, is great for snipers as it’s overlooked by several high cliffs and bunkers. At the northern and southern ends, the passages become more confined in caves and on ledges, and the fighting gets more intense.
At one point, my team and I were backed into our base, where we were defending the last of two bomb sites. Enemy flanks were approaching from three directions – a cave in front, and two narrow passages to the left and right. They dropped a sentry gun into the mouth of the cave, and that wreaked havoc on us for a few seconds until someone managed to hit it with a grenade.
We separated into two groups to cover the two side passages, and everyone contributed to the defense of cave. I decided to switch to a riot shield, which turned out to be pretty effective. I was able to stand in narrow passages and block the enemy advances while bashing them with my shield. Meanwhile, my teammates were able to pick them off with ease as they piled up in front of me. After a minute of non-stop fighting, time finally ran out, and we won the match.
The term “favela” means shanty town, which, you guessed it, is what this is. The best way to conceptually divide this map is into two sections – the high ground and the low. The high ground is on the rooftops, which provide little cover but offer faster travel and a broad view of the larger streets and objective sites. The low ground is great for making escapes, as you can disappear around corners faster than your pursuer can rattle off bullets, though you must always be weary of the marksmen who lurk above.
This map’s uncharacteristic modern urban setting is very welcome. The map is comprised of the roof of an unfinished skyscraper (complete with helipad), two interior office spaces at the northern and southern ends, and a passageway which connects the two sides.
The offices are great for crouching around in - I was able to shotgun blast quite a few guys through cubicle dividers (papers and blood went everywhere, it was great). The rooftop exterior, however, is a dangerous place, and you can easily be forced into narrow passageways. It does offer a series of suspended metal beams which can be used to climb up to an excellent sniping roost. Finally, the passage below is exposed in the middle of the map, but is otherwise covered. If you’re lucky, you can use it to sprint all the way from one side of the map to the other without being noticed, and launch a surprise attack from behind your enemy.
That’s all for now, but don’t be a stranger - we have more previews, an in-depth review, and extensive strategy features to come. Modern Warfare 2 is out November 10th.
Sep 15, 2009