Today's most unsurprising piece of news is the fact that Activision is gearing up to release the first of four DLC packs for the latest installment in the Call of Duty series.
Onslaught, as the pack is called, will launch on January 28 for both Xbox One and Xbox 360, continuing the series' tradition of favoring the Xbox Live platform ahead of PlayStation and PC players. There is presently no word of PlayStation 3, 4 or PC versions -- the press release doesn't even mention them -- and if you're hoping for some Wii U DLC, then you will almost certainly be waiting a very long time indeed, based on past experience.
The Onslaught pack includes four new "classically designed Call of Duty multiplayer maps," whatever that means. Judging by the descriptions, a big part of Ghosts' multiplayer maps going forward will be various dynamic elements -- presumably intended to compete with Battlefield's stupidly named but spectacular Levolution system -- that provide various environmental hazards and interactive elements to watch out for while nimbly avoiding other players.
Perhaps most notable among the four maps is Fog, a horror movie-inspired map set on the banks of a murky lake. Completing a specific Field Order on this map allows a player to "become the embodiment of evil and don the persona of one of cinema's most iconic horror characters, Michael Myers" -- i.e. the fictional character from Halloween, not the guy who played Austin Powers. When this happens, the soundtrack will begin playing the theme music from Halloween to mark the occasion. Sounds like a potentially interesting experience.
The second map in the pack is called BayView and is set up for close-quarters combat on the seafront of a Californian coastal town. The close proximity of the ocean allows you to call in artillery strikes from an offshore naval destroyer, which seems a little overkill, but will almost certainly get the job done.
Containment, the third map, is set in a "war-torn Mexican village where the battle rages along both banks of the dried-out riverbed," apparently. This is another small map with its focal point being a bridge that houses a truck carrying leaking radioactive material. You'll presumably be able to use said material to your advantage via some means or another.
Finally, the fourth map, known as Ignition, is a reimagining of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's Scrapyard level featuring "dynamic gameplay elements" such as rockets crash-landing into the fray, and two rocket test engine sites that you can, of course, attempt to trigger and incinerate anyone unfortunate enough to be standing in the vicinity.
Alongside the four maps comes the first episode in a four-part narrative for the alien-hunting Extinction mode. Nightfall, as the level is called, kicks off a new narrative that introduces two new characters, two new alien species and a new weapon as the team attempts to infiltrate a remote Alaskan facility and retrieve intelligence on the alien invaders. The climax of the new episode comes in a showdown against a three-storey tall alien who would like nothing more than to feast on your squishy bits.
The Onslaught pack also includes a new gun for use in multiplayer -- the Maverick. This is a dual-purpose rifle that can be used either as an assault rifle or sniper rifle depending on how you set it up.
Activision hasn't announced specific pricing for the Onslaught pack as yet, but expect it to be around the $15 mark, going on past experience. You can also acquire it as part of the Call of Duty: Ghosts Season Pass, which also nets you a bonus multiplayer map and some character customization bits and pieces.