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Review: What is the best multiplayer map from Modern Warfare 3 Map Pack 1?

Modern Warfare 3 Map Pack 1, it has been out a while now (for PS3 & Xbox at least!) so hopefully most of us will have got all the ‘Nommy’ content it holds via an ELITE subscription or by purchasing the map pack. Map Pack 1 brings us 6 pieces of brand new content into Modern Warfare 3, four of them are new Multiplayer Maps and two are Spec Ops missions, something which has never before been included in Call of Duty DLC season. Since multiplayer is the portion of the game we are all going to be playing most, the maps for that are likely to be contributing factor on whether to buy the Map Pack.

So whats the best one!?

Before we start, take a  look at the video below which summarises all the maps in the first Modern Warfare 3 Map Pack. It is fair to say that every single map that the first pack includes is unique and a real hoot to play so there really shouldn’t be any maps you are disapointed with, although some are better than others due to certain short comings and problems! 

 We will start by looking at the first piece of content in Map Pack 1, a multiplayer map called Liberation:

Liberation takes place in Central Park: New York Manhattan. It’s a map that many will recognise from real life as it is such an iconic location. The map is a vast, militarized landscape, ripe for long-range sniper and LMG fire, with mounted turrets on either end that lend power to anyone brave enough to expose themselves in exchange for deadly firepower. Two things comes to mind when I think of Liberation: BIG & SNIPERS. Liberation is possibly the biggest multiplayer map in all of Modern Warfare 3 while at the same time being almost completely open on the surface, snipers have access to a huge view across the whole map. While non-sniper classes can get around the map via the dried up lake and certain underground areas, at heart Liberation is a sniping map. That said, the map can work quite well for runner classes which can use the huge map to their advantage to flank behind the enemy snipers and wreak havok!

Visually the map is fantastic, its got a greatn leafy Autumn feel going on. The only down fall to Liberation is that because of its sheer size when playing non-objective based matches such as Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed I rarely find myself in a game which actually reaches the required score. The size of the map casues the game to be slow and frankly quite boring since finding enemies is quite a challange, on objective based games it is great since all players have mutual places to fight for but if you are a big fan of TDM or KC then Liberation probbably isn’t for you.

So Liberation was one of the biggest maps in Modern Warfare 3, what does that mean for the second map Piazza? Thats right! Piazza is one of the smallest maps in Modern Warfare 3 and one word sums it up pretty nicely: INTENSE.

Described as a “very vertical, chaiotic, route map” and designed for those who love to run around and gun people down at close quarters. A great map for tactical gameplay types in which you have to be fast and ready for anything. Piazza is pretty much the oppositve of Liberation, it is not made for snipers at all, if you can manage to snipe in Piazza then I take my hat off to you!

Piazza has lots of verticle combat areas, lots of stairs and lots of chairs! (Eh?) Piazza was a nice little sea side town, where the village folk would spend their days in their plastic chairs in the sun drinking tea! At least until you arrived and started blowing it all up… I really like Piazza because it has so many great combat areas, the verticle-ness of the map is what makes it truly unique and it gives me a great excuse to whip out my SMG! Piazza is great for all game modes so it should appeal to everyone! (Unless you are a full on Sniper)

Next up we have Conent Drop 3, Overwatch possibly my favourite map in all of Modern Warfare 3 at the moment but the winner shall be revealed at the end…

Remember Highrise from MW2? Remember how AWESOME it was? Yeah, Overwatch is just like Highrise and it is just as awesome. Cranes you can climb on & Secret locations? Check. Potential to fall 80 stories to your death? Check! It’s definatley like Highrise!

Shots break out on a construction site atop a New York City skyscraper, 80 stories up. Battle takes place along two levels in a near symmetrical layout, with the central bridge and side routes open to attack from multiple angles. It has 13 thousand square feet of death dealing extravagance, complete with a restaurant, a pent house and loads of sniping nooks and crannies.  Watch your every step, as a lack of boundaries surrounding the perimeter leaves nothing to prevent you from falling far to the ground below to your untimely death!

Overwatch is just fantastic. It is a map which is pretty much even no matter which side you start on, its symetrical in most ways. Overwatch is different to other maps in Modern Warfare 3 because the whole map is two seperate levels, you’ve got the top and the bottom levels (obviously) but each one offers something different. Non-Objective based game modes are an absolute rush, especially at the beginning where all players rush to look down the middle straight at each other and snap up that First Blood achievement! You’ll be firing at the enemy quicker than you do in Dome, so you know it is definatley special.

Unlike Liberation & Piazza, Overwatch will appeal to all players in Modern Warfare 3 becasue it will suit to you no matter your play style. I can easily pull off top score on an Overwatch map with a sniper rifile or with an SMG, when that happens, you’ve got a killer map!

One big frustration with Overwatch though I find is the position of Domination flag B, it is right in the middle of the map and is, at times near impossible to capture since you are exposed to attack from every single angle while you capture it, you’ll be chuffed if you do capture it though but it is definitley a challange!

The final Multiplayer Map in the first collection is Black Box.

Battle beside and through the wreckage of a downed  Air Force One in “Black Box.” Multi-level homes overlook the neighboring streets, creating a deadly kill zone for players on the ground. With clear sight lines from house to house, however, snipers are far from safe, with counter-sniping an ever-present threat to their dominance. Those that prefer close-quarters combat can succeed in the tight confines of the crashed airplane or in hunting down enemies posted up within any of the surrounding homes.

Black Box is another, brilliant addition to Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer because it is so different from the maps currently available, the lovely houses and grass make Black Box great to look at too which is always a bonus! Before I played Black Box I expected a fairly small map but as it turns out Black Box is actually pretty big, on par with Liberation in fact! The difference is though, Black Box works as a big map for all player styles because the map has three main buildings in it which seperate the map well and don’t create huge sniper views. This means Assault rifle and SMG players will love Black Box just as much as everyone else because but snipers still have the best opportunities.

Black Box really does offer everything as a map though, you can have your long range fights outside between houses and your close quarters intense moments inside them! I always think of Black Box like Estate from MW2, just with 3 houses instead of one.

Domination is probbably the best game mode for Black Box since the flag positions are so strategically place, capturing each one requires a different way of approaching and has numerous ways of defending. The only downside to Black Box is it is a very square map, with no underground areas it can feel a little plain at times.

The moment of truth: The Conclusion.

Above we have 4 brand new maps, each one offering something completely different to the Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer experience but for me, one sticks out above all the rest. To summarise:

  • Liberation: Great for snipers but too big!
  • Piazza: Intense SMG fun & fast paced action but very small.
  • Overwatch: Appeals to all players! Falling off the edge can get annoying though!
  • Black Box: Awesome visuals but lacks something special I can’t quite put my finger on!

The map that really shines for me is Overwatch, it just offers so much to the game and works in literally all game modes for all players. There are certain sections of Overwatch where you’ll be fighting the enemy like never before! Visually the whole map is stunning too, you can look off into the distance at the whole of New York city and gaze at is beauty while taking down the enemy in a carefully constructed and tactially thought out map.

If you haven’t got the first Map Pack for Modern Warfare 3 then don’t hesitate about buying it, it is seriously worth it, just for Overwatch!!

Content Collection Map Pack 1 is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 & PC for $15.

What is your favourite map from Map Pack 1 in MW3? Let us know in the comments below.