Infinity Ward's latest campaign to bring back players features racially diverse people complaining that Modern Warfare 2 has simply become too boring for them. More vexed by the players who continue to hide 'in the airplane' than by the ones who consistently exploit, Infinity Ward suggests that part of the problem is getting too used to the maps. So thus, the Stimulus Package was made in hopes of bringing back those players whose personal lives have been publicly affected by too much online gaming. While it's easy to dismiss the upcoming DLC for its high price point and absolute lack of bug fixes (some new ones will be introduced for free on the same day as the dlc), that's not to say the Stimulus Package doesn't have a bit of thought put into it.
Each map is designed for a completely different playstyle, and as a result has a different visual appeal to it. Sniping, close range, camping, or a mix of all the above make for a very nice variety in an otherwise straightforward online game, and seeing that they're looking to appeal to various gameplay styles is a great plus. It supports the concept of having various load-outs, as well as using them effectively. Modern Warfare 2 always came across as a game where you were supposed to have specific weapon builds for specific levels, but turned into a game of rocks-paper-scissors where rock beats everything (unless paper or scissors are cheating). If more focused levels are the start of a more focused game type, I applaud Infinity Ward for their new direction and look forward to seeing more.
Now this isn't to say that 1200 Microsoft Points isn't an expensive proposition, but considering that most people only bought the game for online in the first place it may not be that bad of a deal. If we were to make the blanket statement that each map costs around three USD 'gameplay value' then Modern Warfare 2 costs around 48 bucks, three for each map (sixteen maps, including Rust). It's not a bad deal when you look at it that way, although they're charging for three new maps and two that they only needed to graphically update. With luck that means they fixed some of the old exploits (although I'll bet my 15 bucks someone will be sniping me from underneath Overgrown at day one).
Stimulus Package comes out March 30th and while it may not change many of the core issues with Modern Warfare 2 it may present the opportunity to see a different kind of game. Maps that not only cater to a certain type of combat style but also actively punish people who attempt to barrel headlong through any situation are more then welcome. No doubt if community feedback is strong enough, and the maps really prove to be effective in what they're trying to accomplish, Infinity Ward may give us a better deal on the next map pack. Which should be out in another few weeks if players got Mapathy only four months after the games initial release. With any luck, they won't bring back Bloc, Bog, or Wet Work.