This product was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 using a review copy provided by Activision.
Available Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Infinity Ward
Players: Single Player, Multiplayer
I haven’t reviewed a Call of Duty title since I was an active community member on gaming forums back when Modern Warfare 2 came out. It’s been a while, but the formula is still pretty much the same. We have a new set of maps for multiplayer and even one for Zombies, so let’s get down to it.
The four multiplayer maps included in Sabotage are Dominion, Renaissance, Noir and Neon. While they are definitely new, Dominion is actually a remake of the classic Afghan map from Modern Warfare 2, which I really loved. Each seem to bring their own vastly unique style and cater to a variety of gameplay types. While my days of 360 no-scoping and tactical nuking are pretty much over, I did enjoy myself in the rare moments when I actually stayed alive long enough to appreciate the map design.
Starting off with Dominion, a remake of the Modern Warfare 2 map Afghan. Tugging on the chain of nostalgia, Infinity Ward has managed to convert a classic Call of Duty map to something worth revisiting. While we have updated textures and models that tie in with Infinite Warfare, the basic layout of the map is near identical.
Hopping right in, I could immediately start navigating my way around, having spent hours and hours of time in the original Afghan. It’s still a haven for snipers, but the new movement mechanics like boosting and wall-running make it a whole lot easier to get from one place to another. Dominion offers a faster pace when compared to its predecessor and takes on a different identity rather than blatantly reproducing the same type of combat.
A well-designed map, mimicking an old-school Call of Duty design that many might find attractive. Personally, I found the layout of the map to be a little tepid, pushing players towards the center in pre-determined routes in most cases. The condensed layers of the map offer minimal vertical movement although that could just be my own lack of experience with the game. Experienced players will likely find better pathways to move around the periphery of the map and make better use of the externally located buildings.
Out of all the multiplayer maps, Renaissance is the only one that I felt a lackluster response from but I do appreciate how it looks. The canals that surround the map box you in and offer an interesting terrain to battle around.
Noir is the map that could easily become another classic. On the surface, it’s a simple three-lane layout and offers a wide range of opportunities to put your wall-climbing skills to use. The futuristic Brooklyn design is visually impressive and the interior details in the buildings are seriously well-crafted.
The map is compact and offers close-range combat in almost every corner. There seem to be minimal lines of sight, similar to Renaissance in that respect but there’s more of an emphasis towards fast-paced action. Each area of the map is fun to navigate through and I certainly enjoyed playing on it.
In stark contrast to the more traditional looking maps in this pack, Neon goes out of its way to scream out its unique design style. Like that younger sibling that just has to get everyone’s attention. And it worked.
Neon is a bright and blaringly futuristic map that is undoubtedly my favorite multiplayer map out of this DLC pack. Modeled to be a simulation training ground for futuristic warfare, the map is filled with bluish textures made of digital cubes. It almost feels like the textures are glitchy, but in a way, that makes them look even better (if that makes sense).
There are a couple of cool ways the map differentiates itself from the others. Upon death, players explode into a shower of blue pixels and the vehicles on the map disappear and reappear at some point. Even when you blow them up, you’ll see that the cars just reappear afterwards, which looks awesome. There were times when I was taking cover behind a car only to have it disappear and leave me vulnerable, adding a whole new element of gameplay.
Now, I’m still taking my time getting through the Zombies game mode but I’ll touch upon it briefly. Being a huge fan of Zombies from all the way back in Nacht der Untoten to Black Ops III, it’s kind of become my main reason for getting Treyarch Call of Duty games. Rave in the Redwoods is a brilliant addition to the Zombies mode and I had a wicked fun time playing it.
It’s the second episode of the Infinite Warfare Zombies series and takes place in another film, so to speak. It’s wacky, energetic and still retains a level of terror that should keep you on your toes at all times. You can find a few mechanics included that are similar to Spaceland but there are a ton of new additions that keep the map feeling fresh at all times.
The setting is a summer camp out in Bear Lake which has been run over by party raver people, whatever they’re actually known as. The map is a bit larger than Zombies in Spaceland and surprisingly, you don’t start with a weapon. All you have are your bare fists, although you can find a couple of melee weapons around the lodge like a golf club and a machete. There’s a lot to explore in the map and I won’t be spoiling much, but there is a surprise appearance by Kevin Smith (which I wasn’t expecting) and a brand new Wonder weapon as well.
The Sabotage DLC pack offers a ton of new content and it’s a great addition to the game. If you have the Season Pass already, you’ll be glad to add this to your library of maps. The new Zombies map is something I’m looking forward to playing even more than the multiplayer ones. If this is the kind of content Infinity Ward has planned for the future, then the game is definitely heading in the right direction.