I suppose my initial reaction to the DLC pretty much sums up the whole thing really. I actually thought that my PS4 hadn’t downloaded or installed it properly because there was so little to see. When I first opened up the game to play Havoc my response was “Shit, something’s gone wrong!!”, so I uninstalled and tried again. Only when I repeated the process I got the same results and my confusion was replaced with a disappointing feeling of “Is that it?”
The Havoc DLC has four new multiplayer maps, a new gun and (of course) exo-zombies. Now the maps themselves look, as you might expect by now, quite stunning. They are all strongly themed and you could spend quite a lot of time admiring the detail the developers have put into them if that didn’t involve getting shot to pieces in the process. And they’re all new maps too, which is a bonus. Recently there has been a trend to release a repainted old “fan favourite”, but I’m pleased to say this has not been done with Havoc.
I was disappointed with the way they played, though. If you look at the vanilla maps that people enjoy the most (it’s easy to tell simply by the number of votes they get during the intermission) then these all have similar traits; compact and tight. With the exception of ‘Urban’ these maps are more open plan, and take you away from the core Call of Duty experience. And it’s a real shame because I would love to spend time playing these maps, but there’s more fun to be had in Solar and Bio-Lab.
Now you may be thinking that maybe the maps are more geared around certain game types, and perhaps you’re right. However this leads me to my second point: the fact that you can only play Team Deathmatch or Mosh Pit. I simply do not understand why Havoc only has these two game types to choose from, especially when you consider Mosh Pit is actually several game types rolled into one. It simply makes no sense at all to me.
One of the great things about CoD over recent years are the different types of game they let you play. The ideas might not all be original (for example One Shot Sniping has its roots firmly with Halo) but they are made available for you to try. Personally I love Domination, but recently I have found myself trying out Search & Destroy, Uplink and Kill Confirmed. Why can’t I find these in the Havoc DLC? Why limit my choices so much? As above, the vanilla maps give me more choice and therefore make them a lot more appealing to play.
As for the gun, it looks pretty cool and plays okay but it’s gonna take a lot to prize me away from my ASM-1 and BAL-27.
Finally then we are left with zombies, or should I say exo-zombies. I was really stoked about this beforehand, wondering what Sledgehammer would do with the exo-suits and how they would adapt the environment to get the most out of this new ability. Like before, though, I was left with a feeling of anti-climax. The zombies themselves are quite fun and the game mode plays out pretty much as expected; the come, you kill, you level up and you go again. Some stagger, some jump and some crawl.
It’s the map that let me down the most. I found myself spending most of my time flitting between the parking area and circular room as the interconnecting tunnel was the easiest place to kill the hordes. There was little need to go and explore new areas except to get gun upgrades and to decontaminate my character. I also felt the map failed to make full use of the exo-suit abilities, with the laboratory just being a place you can just jump around a bit in. Perhaps my opinion will change if I ever find myself wanting to spend the time levelling up even more, but the game fails to inspire me to want to do so.
Overall the Hvoc DLC has been a bit of a let down. The maps seem to fail to grasp the Call of Duty spirit and the lack of game type choice just don’t make me want to step away from the vanilla multiplayer (especially with updates like Gun Game being available). The exo-zombies is okay and I’m sure will appease most of the zombie fans, but for me it’s a little bland and uninspiring. Here’s hoping the next DLC, Ascendance, gives me a little bit more to be excited about.