DLC Review: COD Advanced Warfare: Havoc

Having waited for the XBox exclusive deal to come to an end, PS4 gamers can now get their hands on the Havoc DLC, the first of many updates for Advanced Warfare. Adding a new co-op survival mode and some awesome new multiplayer maps, this is definitely an update that avoids the “cash-cow” tag being applied.

Looking first at the new maps on offer, they’re all brilliantly designed and show that Sledgehammer are more than willing to put some time and effort into these DLC packs. Drift is probably the pick of the bunch, set in a Christmastime shopping centre with snow on the roof and plenty of smaller shops to nip into the hide, take cover or set traps. Part way through the match an avalanche siren goes off (which will surely only make matters worse) which ends up changing half of the map quite dramatically, making for some interesting tactic changes at times.

Sideshow is set in a motel with an apparent clown theme which, if like me you’re not a big fan of clowns, will freak you out far more than the snipers which benefit from the long sighted open areas. There’s an interesting mix of small areas and sniping spots, but I’d put this map down as the weakest in the set just because it opens up a playing style which had been mostly outlawed in AW – lying down taking cheesy pot-shots at people half a mile away. Urban and Core are more enclosed with various choke-points where battles for control can get quite fierce, but take full advantage of the Exosuit’s abilities with chances to nip around at speed and take part in some very vertical matchups. With the game’s popularity, games aren’t hard to come by either, so there’s plenty of chance to enjoy the maps.

The main draw for many though will be the Exo Zombies mode, a return to the previously used Zombies horde mode which sees you facing off against waves of zombies with a team of other players. Based on the single Outbreak map you’re tasked with fighting your way into an Atlas research lab while surviving against an ever-tricky mob of zombie things. Find your way to the Exo testing area and you’ve got all of your toys to play with, handy considering the zombies seem slightly brighter than your average undead and have figured out the suits for themselves too. Bugger. Not only that the waves get quicker, meaner and more frantic beyond a certain point. It’s a massive challenge, and one which requires good teamwork. That, and not dying.

Buying the farm will have the fun side-effect of losing your Exosuit, meaning you’ve got to get yourself back to the testing station to find another one to use. It sounds simple with some extra freedom of movement, but once the hoard get a bit more advanced it’s a pain in the arse, and chances are you’ll spend more time dead and waiting than actually contributing. The key is to not get into that situation to begin with, but that’s far easier said than done.

The cast of big names has been extended too, with the likes of┬áJohn Malkovich providing characterisation for the Zombies mode. You don’t get to hear much of them which is a shame, but I’m wondering if there’s more to come in the future updates which might make their inclusion slightly more worthwhile.

But make no mistake, Havoc is an excellent add-on to Advanced Warfare. If you’ve got the Season Pass then chances are you’re already playing, but otherwise I’d take a serious look at this, it’ll do an excellent job at extending your enjoyment.

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