Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Sabotage DLC Impressions – Out of the Woods
Call of Duty seems to be following a formula, even when under control of a different developer. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s first DLC is another single word named pack, Sabotage, containing four new multiplayer maps and a new Zombies campaign. Three of the multiplayer maps are brand new, while one is a reimagining of an old Call of Duty map, again a trend that permeated Black Ops 3’s DLC packs last year. While we were a little hard on Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer when we first reviewed it last year, we decided to take another look with the new Sabotage DLC.
The biggest highlight of the new maps is how impressive the visuals on each of them are. I was content walking around each one solo in private games just talking in the details of these futuristic worlds that they’ve created. The level artists have really gone above and beyond to make them each feel like real living places, and not just sets where multiplayer combat happens to take place. We’ll look at each one in more detail below.
Noir is a neo-futuristic level, located in Brooklyn, and combines elements of the old classic architecture of the city with neon lights and space-age technology. It’s visually beautiful, filled with shopfronts for things like barbers and nightclubs, often becoming nearly distracting from the hyper detailed visuals. Once you get past those and start playing seriously, it’s got a good three-lane set up that doesn’t explicitly feel like a played out three-lane map. The center area tends to lead to a lot of flanking and deaths from behind, but sticking to the sides can offer a lot of advantages in any of the game modes.
Renaissance takes away a lot of the futuristic feeling of Infinite Warfare and puts players into Venice, a detailed environment that wouldn’t feel out of place in an Assassin’s Creed game. It’s a very small and tight map that means engagements happen very quickly. There are a couple of side lanes that offer long sight lines for snipers, the rest of the map is quick corners that require lightning reflexes to eliminate any enemies that you might come across. I didn’t find myself often flanked or shot from behind on this map, a consistent issue I had with maps in the base game.
Neon was perhaps the most surprising and fun map of the bunch. It’s a digitized training ground, and even has the added effect of players shattering into a bunch of digitized bits and voxels when they die. Everything in the map retains this digitized style with bullets and explosions de-rezzing environmental objects for a few moments before they reappear. It’s like a modern day hyper-detailed version of Tron. The layout is an odd one for a Call of Duty map, being Z or S-shaped with differing elevations at multiple points, but it’s one that really works well and makes every combat scenario a lot of fun to engage in, again avoiding a lot of the reliance on the radar/minimap that the base game’s maps had.
Dominion is the reimagined map in the pack, taking after Modern Warfare 2’s Afghan map. It’s easily my least favorite, but maybe that’s because I didn’t play Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer when it originally launched. Dominion has an open design, far more so that any recent Call of Duty map, and it’s a sniper’s paradise. I could hardly stick my head out of an opening without being headshot from across the map like the scrub I am. It doesn’t feel like it tailors to multiple play styles, and instead gives the advantage to those good with a scope. Visually, it’s another excellent map though, an interesting take on Mars being terraformed and colonized, and the varying elevations could create some interesting scenarios, but the open middle just promotes camping out know gopher holes with your eye to the scope, and that makes for very boring multiplayer matches.
Rave in the Redwoods
It seems that the marketing on Infinite Warfare’s DLC has been more to push the new Zombies campaign, with the maps being auxiliary and expected content for those that play multiplayer. Rave in the Redwoods is a direct follow up to Zombies in Spaceland, with Wyler transporting the four aspiring actors into yet another cliche movie theme, this time a 1990s inspired rave deep in the forest, going with a decidedly Friday the 13th sort of feel. Of course zombies invade this one too.
It’s nice to see Infinity Ward doubling down on what was in the base game, instead of abandoning it like Treyarch did with Shadows of Evil, which never followed up on its bizarrely interesting setting. The cast with the likes of Paul Reubens as Wyler and Seth Green as one of the four actors are all back to voice their roles, and each actor gets to a play a new archetype in this “film.” There’s a new focus on melee weaponry, which makes it much easier to save up money and kill zombies without needing to watch out for ammo counts. There are tons of secrets and Easter eggs hidden here as well, so Zombies fans will get to digging until the release of the next campaign sends them into another frenzy.
Sabotage is a great map pack that improves on much of what Infinite Warfare’s base game offered. The maps are getting better at not promoting excessive flanking or being shot from behind, but Dominion is a huge step backward. Everything in each of the maps looks visually stunning though, and Rave in the Redwoods is a worthy follow up to Zombies in Spaceland, upping the ante on Zombies, and really making me curious what kinds of ideas they’ll explore going forward.
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Sabotage DLC review code provided by publisher. Reviewed on PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.