Published on April 1st, 2010 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder9
Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Pack Review: Still Overpriced
If you’ve followed the site for the last couple weeks, you likely already know that I’m not the biggest fan of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s first DLC, the so-called Stimulus Pack. I’ve been leading a crusade, of sorts, over Twitter against paying the $15 / 1200 MS Point price tag that Activision decided upon.
Needless to say, I’ve been hit with a small amoumt of resistance – which is pretty standard when you go against the status quo or “lie down and take it” as some call it. Today, though, I was hit with resistance from a couple of people who agree with the cause, and I can definitely understand their reasoning. As you may have guessed by the “Review” in the title, I got my hands on a code for the Stimulus Pack for the low, low price of free via Twitter.
In their opinions, I was being hypocritical by speaking so loudly against paying for the content, then playing it. In their opinions, I’d have been better off just giving the code away to someone who would’ve ended up paying for it, and again – I can see their point. They, and some others may see it as hypocritical.
Considering that I’m not one of those who likes to give excuses, I’ll fill you in on some truth with this past paragraph before I get to the review. Not once have I told anyone to not play a game they own and have already paid for, nor have I denied that I would pay a reasonable price for the pack given the chance. I will not pay for it at the current price, though. Considering that the code I received was free to me – and didn’t add any money to Activision’s pockets – I feel that I’ve broken none of my principles behind #MW2StimulusSucks. The ultimate goal was – and still is – for the price to be repriced at 800 points, so as to keep the price of map packs fair and to keep them from slowly rising upwards.
Before you react in rage at that last sentence, rest assured that the publishers will slowly and surely raise prices to see what the market will bear. Imagine if horse armor had become huge – think about how much more our games would cost for DLC, etc.
Having said all that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
Bailout is a based in an apartment complex, with multiple levels of approach. There’s at least two different levels of attack for most parts of the map, with lots of hallways and corridors and a decent mix of long range and short range available to you. Between the doorways, hallways, balconies, and apartments, both campers and runners alike should be satisfied.
Salvage is based in a junkyard (surprise, surprise), and similar to Bailout has a bunch of great high/low altitude spots for you to take advantage of. The shipping containers and concrete tunnels strewn about the map provide ample cover, while the second story vantage points give you a decent enough range of view to the lower levels that makes them very worthwhile points to hold.
Set in an industrial complex, complete with tractors and everything, Storm has a great mix of inside and outside combat. There’s a roof or two that’s perfect for a sniper’s nest, even if it will get you shot on short order. You’ll always find a good corner to hide around, and the second story walkways are perfect for getting the drop on unsuspecting enemies. The shipping containers inside of the larger buildings also provide great hiding spaces.
Crash & Overgrown
The first thing that comes to mind with these maps is that I played them to death in the original Modern Warfare. These maps are best for those that don’t want to learn new maps and the structure is the exact same as the first Modern Warfare, so if you know these maps you’re golden.
The map pack includes three pretty good new maps and two classic maps, but overall I can’t say the experience is worth $15. If it were five all new maps at $15, it’d still be a little pricey, but that would be a lot more tolerable than this. I still own Call of Duty 4, so I can play Crash and Overgrown at any given time of day if I want to; it’s just as easy as switching discs.
Bottom line, paying a quarter of what the entire game costs for three new maps and two maps that should have been free as a true “Stimulus Pack” seems more like a money grab tactic to me than a community-oriented move. The marketing for this pack would have you believe that it’s meant as a move to get people more interested in Modern Warfare 2 again, but the price tag says otherwise. If it was truly meant to get people playing again, the old maps would be free, there would be at least one more map, and the price would either be cheaper by five dollars or there would be a handful of Spec Ops matches thrown in.
This pack is a “Stimulus” alright; it’s a Stimulus for Activision’s pockets.
So if you couldn’t tell, after playing the maps I continue to stand by the original intent of #MW2StimulusSucks, which is not spending more than $10 for these maps. You may ask:
But Deejay, if you have the maps, why would you buy them again?
Well, the answer is simple: Those of us that have participated in the whole #MW2StimulusSucks campaign have been doing so to show Activision that we’d rather pay 800 points for the maps than 12oo. The code that I have, considering it’s JUST for the map pack, was likely paid for by Activision to give out as incentive to gamers, therefore costing Activision money, which I’m completely okay with.
The entire purpose behind the campaign was to announce our disappointment at the current pricing, so when they drop the price to it’s rightful place in the downloadable content spectrum, I’ll be happy to help somone support Infinity Ward. I’ll do that by buying both an Xbox Live and PlayStation Network card for the closest amount of the map packs and giving those out to readers of this site.
That’s my way of supporting both the developer for a good decision and you, the reader, for keeping me on my toes. Does that sound fair?