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Hands-on with the new Spec-Ops levels in Modern Warfare 3

5:00 PM on 03.12.2012

Call of Duty Elite Premium Members on the Xbox 360 side will be getting a brand new multiplayer/survival map plus two new Spec-Ops missions tomorrow. This content, along with the three previously released maps, will all be available in a bundled package for $14.99 on March 20 on the Xbox 360.

Of the three new additions, "Negotiator" is my favorite as it's the hardest Spec-Ops mission I've played in Modern Warfare 3. So hard that after four tries I had to give up.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #1 (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PC)
Developer: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games
Publisher: Activision
Release: March 20, 2012
MSRP: $14.99

In Negotiator, you and a friend start the level held hostage in different rooms. Player two is able to break free from his bindings, and has to quietly steal the gun from one of his captors. Once player two is able to dispose of all the guards around him, he needs to rush to player one's position where the guards are slowly executing all the hostages. Once player one arrives, that person needs to breach the door, bust in and clear the room to save his partner. As the slow-motion commotion goes on, player one finally gets his arms free, and catches a gun that gets knocked out of a guard's hands in over-the-top John Woo fashion.

From here, you'll have to work together as you go through the level, breaching rooms and saving hostages. The enemies here are really tough and after the first two fails, Sledgehammer Games Co-Founder, Michael Condrey, suggested I take it easy and go through the level at a slower pace. It's definitely a good idea, as I was able to get further into the level with my next couple of tries.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to pass the level in my limited time. A lot of the hostages ended up dying on my watch too. Good luck to all you Achievement hunters, as saving all the hostages will get you earn you some points, and possible a few broken controllers along the way.

While I had trouble with Negotiator, I did nail Black Ice, the other Spec-Ops mission. The level starts off with you and your partner riding on a snow mobile as you're heading towards a mine. While player one is driving (and can still shoot at anyone in front of him), player two is riding bitch and taking out whoever he can.

After about a couple of minutes of driving, you'll arrive at your destination and hoof it on foot to your target of a enemy weapon cache. Your goal is to blow it up, and once achieved, you'll need to hightail it out of the mineshaft and get on a helicopter waiting outside the shaft to escape.

Last but not least is the new multiplayer/survival level called Black Box. The level depicts a "What if" scenario where Air Force 1 has crashed into the hills of Los Angeles. I only played the level on survival, so I can't comment on how the map flows with other players. I did, however, really like the level design.

For once, I think $14.99 for a downloadable content pack for a Call of Duty game is a great deal. On top of the four maps (that double as survival levels), you're also getting two new Spec-Ops missions. Check out the video up top to see for yourselves what all the new content looks like.

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