Call of Duty: Ghosts released its seconds DLC set, Devastation, on the PlayStation network earlier this week, and well, Infinity Ward is consistently stepping up their game.
In the previous DLC set, Onslaught, upon completing field orders (in-match challenges) players had the chance to don the musty mask of Michael Myers in the fan-favorite, Fog; and get extra bonuses in other levels as well. It also ushered in a new chapter of Extinction, Infinity Ward’s response to Treyarch’s Zombies. It was a stellar DLC offering, and you can read all about our adventures with it HERE.
The newest DLC set is another excellent group, with an emphasis on small- and medium-scale maps. Not surprisingly, the highlight this time around is Ruins, where you can become a Predator upon completion of field orders. On its own, Ruins is a fun, fairly hectic map with a ton of tunnels, over-under areas and hidey-holes to explore…but adding in the Predator feature makes it that much better.
Unlike Michael Myers, who had a fairly easy melee attack/speed buff, the Predator has a melee and shoulder-cannon attack, thermal vision, active camouflage and slightly quicker movement. But the real treat is the localized mini-nuke that triggers when finally get killed, just like in the original film. There’s even the creepy, guttural laugh as the bomb counts down. It’s a blast…unfortunately, the controls aren’t super intuitive, so it took three tries before I got a handle on the button layout.
That being said, once you actually get the Predator, it’s easily the best drop in Call of Duty history. Maybe in any game ever. There’s seriously nothing that matches the giddiness that I experience when I complete a field order and get graced with the Predator. Is it ridiculously overpowered? Yes…yes it is. But unlike Juggernaut, Maniac or even Michael Myers, the whole experience feels effortless. I got my first massive killstreak as the Predator…and then poof, it was gone. Well, not exactly “poof”; it was more like a mini nuclear explosion…but I was still left wanting more.
On the PlayStation 4, all of the intricate details in each map look even more gorgeous, and the Predator’s “trophy cave” is jaw dropping. In the 360, you can see that there are skulls and whatnot littered around the lone “nest” corridor, but on the PS4 it’s incredible. Yes, I got shot the first time I saw it–JUST like I did in “Fog” when I found the Evil Dead shed.
Unearthed is another good multiplayer map, that’s essentially a re-skin of MW3’s “Dome” map. The twist this time around is that it’s an alien dig site, with clear Extinction overtones. There are plenty of enclosed, kill-chute passages, sniper camp spots and big equipment to crouch behind. The best part of Unearthed, however, is the Field Orders activation, which turns all of your teammates into quick, vicious aliens, who have a movement/shield buff and can attack from a lower vantage point. There’s also an interactive crane that you can blast back and forth, with a cage that offers a decent amount of protection from lower shots.
Behemoth is a map that takes place aboard a massive, strip-mine/buzz-saw/forest-wrecker that’s reminiscent, oddly enough, of Summit, with all of the narrow catwalk/paths that culminate in a series of rooms that are rife for firefights. The level design surrounding the map is pretty gorgeous as well, and I’ll admit that I got iced a couple times staring out at the destruction surrounding me.
Mayday is the second DLC chapter in the Extinction saga, and introduces a new currency (teeth) as well as enhanced character and class customization. It’s also the hardest chapter thus far, so you’ll have your hands full if you haven’t endeared yourself to a team yet.
No, really. If you thought the last chapter was hard when you ended up on a team of “lone wolf” jackasses, Mayday will be nearly impossible. Plus, you won’t really be able to have a complete experience as a second play through, since there are a ton of doors to cut through, and it behooves you to know which doors to open, in which order.
Even though it (mainly) takes place in the closed corridors of a derelict ship, there are plenty of nooks and crannies for Cryptids to hide. In addition, there are two new species of Cryptid: the Seeder (which is a fast-spawning turret that can appear on ceilings, walls and floors), and the Kraken. Remember the MASSIVE Cryptid at the end of Nightfall? Yeah, you’ll have to take it on, in Mayday…and he’s easily 100+ feet tall. Add to that, each swing of his tentacle sends you into “last stand” mode, his roar saps your movement speed, and his shriek freezes your special abilities for half a minute (if not slightly more)!
You’ll also have access to shiny new schematics to craft with, as well as new uses for Venom-X (the weapon you can synthesize from Cryptid guts), including fire mods, electricity mods, and the ability to spawn friendly Seeder pods to fight for you!
If you’re feeling sassy, Relics can separate the pros from the casuals. After hitting the first prestige level, you can equip a Relic which handicaps you (less damage, no class, more weak, only pistols, etc.), but offers a hefty 20% experience bonus. Each subsequent prestige level lets you equip an additional Relic, up to level 5…so there’s the potential to get up to 100% more added to your final score, at your own (ridiculous) expense.
The last major addition is the Ripper weapon; a SMG/assault rifle hybrid that you can activate (or deactivate) on the fly. Initially, it was a massive fan favorite, but we quickly discovered that, like the Maverick, it’s far better suited in one form (SMG) over the other. Nonetheless, we found ourselves keeping the Ripper in every teammate’s loadout, simply for the flexibility it offers, be it SMG lead spitting, or the built-in holographic sight on the assault rifle. Like I said, it’s good but not great, and I’m assuming the margin of error is designed to balance the adaptability of the gun.
All in all, I absolutely LOVE Ruins, Mayday and Unearthed, Collision and Behemoth are designed for incredibly intense, mostly narrow firefights…and are less fun for objective missions. If you’re a diehard fan of Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed or Free-For-All, you’ll likely think this DLC pack is the bees knees. Me? I’m content to play Ruins and Mayday, ALL day.
Call of Duty: Ghosts Devastation DLC is $14.99, and is currently available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.