It’s here! Finally, it’s here! Today, the Arctic Strike Map Pack for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier was released for PS3 and 360 and after playing it for most of the day I can say that it is good. Before I dive into what I like about the DLC pack, let’s get rid of the boring details. The pack brings a higher level cap, 3 new multiplayer maps, 1 new multiplayer gametype, 1 new Guerrilla Mode map, and 6 new guns. The Arctic Strike Map Pack will set you back 800 Microsoft points or $9.99 on Playstation Network. If this first paragraph is all that you read of this article then know that I think that the new maps alone are worth the price.
Let’s talk about those new maps. First, they’re all pretty big. Riot, the smallest of the new maps, feels about the same as Mill in terms of raw size. Skyline and Evicted are larger still with long tracks of fairly open ground giving snipers maps where they can truly shine. But, Thom, you hate snipers?! You’re absolutely correct, I do, but they’re an integral part of the game and things felt a little empty when I wasn’t constantly having to worry about being shot from a couple hundred meters away. Each map feels very well designed too. Skyline has multiple levels with both interior and exterior sections. There are a couple objective spawns that are extremely difficult to capture but it just stresses the need for team work to truly succeed at this game. Evicted mostly open with a few cramped corridors which can make for some frantic firefights. The map also features two lanes along the sides which connect the two spawns and are prime for sniping. Riot is set in a war torn Moscow with ruined vehicles in the streets and a few hollowed out buildings and alleys with plenty of flanking potential. The maps are mostly symmetrical with neither side having any real advantage over the other.
The new game mode is called Stockade. Basically, it’s dodgeball. Whenever a player is killed he waits until an opposing player is killed to be freed from respawn prison. That’s a real term because I made it up just now, unless I didn’t. Throughout the match objectives will spawn which allow the players to respawn their whole team at once. Two of these objectives will spawn, one for the Ghosts and one for the Bodark, forcing teams to choose between offense or defense or splitting their forces in hopes of stopping the enemy team and returning their comrades. These objectives are captured much faster than the objectives in the other game modes which helps keep the feel of the game somewhere between tense and frantic. Stockade is a difficult game to play with random people online but when you get a squad of friends together it becomes something amazing. I had more fun playing Stockade than any other game mode to date.
For some, the new weapons will be the big draw and it is nice to see some new blood in the mix. There is a new weapon for each class and faction combination. Riflemen get a new assault rifle with the F2000, made famous by Sam Fisher, for the Ghosts and the CZS805 for the Bodark. Engineers each get a new PDR with the Mk17 PDW for the Ghosts and the OCP-11 for the Bodark. Rounding things out, the Scouts get a pair of new SMGs with the BT MP9 and Type 05 JS for the Ghosts and Bodark respectively. All of this weapons are immediately available for people that purchase the DLC. I didn’t like all of the new weapons but some of them really stuck out for me. I found the F2000 to be a nice alternative to the TAR-21 for short to mid-range firefights and the Type 05 JS to be a nice alternative for the SMG wielding Bodark Scout.
I haven’t had a chance to play the new Guerrilla Mode map yet, my fellow Ghosts were too keen on playing with the new MP selections. To be honest, the new Guerrilla map could be terrible and this DLC would still be worth the asking price. If you like the online multiplayer of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier then you will have a great time with the Arctic Strike Map Pack.