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The quick answer is: no. A longer answer is: hell no. (A review of the Stimulus Package.)

I only ask this because, once again, Infinity Ward has managed to rack up another bit of fame by introducing a new map pack – marketed as the “Stimulus Package”. After hearing this, I decided that this map pack was pointless, the other maps already included on the game are already just as well planned and laid out, but seemingly, that doesn’t seem enough for the community. In fact just a couple of days after the game was released…pretty much the same time it took me to complete the entire story mode on the hardest difficulty, a question was asked on Inside Xbox show SentUAMessage about Modern Warfare 2 DLC. No seriously. here, it happens about 4 minutes and you can see Dan (the one on the left) trying not to show how annoyed he is.

4 months later and Infinity Ward has come up with a map pack containing 17,000 new maps! Wait. No. That’s not right; in fact only three new maps and two ported maps from the previous game. Lesson learned; don’t listen to a damn thing that the community says if they are just rumours. Nevertheless the most annoying thing is that Infinity Ward are deciding to charge 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20) for this frankly worthless map pack. So initially I decided not to. And that in fact was a good decision, because on the day of release, it decided to not work properly. So I continued playing BioShock 2 and Final Fantasy XIII and hopefully willing to sell Modern Warfare 2 when I can. However soon Manchester United played against Chelsea at Old Trafford and I decided to spend £5 hoping that Chelsea would win. And they did! And hey I got £10 from it, so I decided to spend it on this “Package” and hopefully I could claim Modern Warfare 2 as the worst game in the series, and also the most money I would have wasted on one game (£80.19), which is a staggering second compared to Rock Band which was £120.00.

And I was disappointed, I’m in front my Xbox 360 which just finished downloading the surprisingly small 349MB map pack (I can only assume that Infinity Ward hid some of it somewhere on the disc itself, bastards), and rejoice you monkeys – its actually pretty good. The two of the five maps included are directly taken from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, being “Crash” and “Overgrown”, with the addition that Modern Warfare 2 makes with the absurd amount of range with each weapon the tactics have slightly changed for each map. They still work as well, but anyone who is used to sniping from Call of Duty 4, will likely need to change their style if they want to get even the slightest amount of kills. The surprising thing is, they both work without favour a particular sort of style or weapon.

The other three maps included on this pack are “Bailout” a suburban apartment complex, “Salvage” a snowy junkyard, and “Storm” a warehouse centred…open area. The only problem I have with these is that structurally they are all the same. A middle open area, with the outsides mainly closed, although “Storm” has a closed warehouse as an open area and an open selection of buildings for the closed. And unless I’ve overlooked it Infinity Ward have only added this pack within its own playlist, so the same tactics can work pretty much on every map within this ‘pack’. And because that it wasn’t mixed with the old playlists, then it only caters for certain styles of gameplay. Still, whatever your gameplay style you can still have a lot of fun running around on these slightly complicated maps.

But the bottom line is that it is still £10.20 for the five maps, which is quite expensive, if you also bear in mind that two of the maps are from an old game, then you may think it isn’t worth it. And to be honest, it probably isn’t. You’re not really missing out on gameplay features, sure it has nooks and crannies and open areas and elevated places and whatever tickles your fancy and Riot Shield usefulness, but it still has all of that stuff in the maps that are already playable. So my advice is to get it if you are already bored of the maps available and/or you can afford it. Because let’s face it, if you are £10 short when Project Natal comes out, you will be kicking yourself when you spent it on the Stimulus Package instead.


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