Blitzkrieg Bop

While the first two of seven new multiplayer modes were revealed last week, Activision saved another one for Gamescom. I checked out Blitz mode and the new map, Chasm, that was revealed during the Xbox One press briefing.

Blitz feels like a twist on Capture the Flag, but instead of grabbing a flag, now the players are the flags. This mode sets up two points on opposite ends of the map, with a simple objective: Any player on your team must get into the opponent’s scoring zone, and vice versa. If a player walks into the zone, they’re teleported back to their base and score a point for their team. This means that, essentially, both teams are on offense and defense at the same time.

An interesting little catch, though, is that the developers are already one step ahead of players and have built in a preventive measure to guard against massive scoring from a team working well together—say, four guys moving in tandem across the map. Once a player enters the scoring zone, a 10-second timer starts before someone else can enter. This gives the opposing team time to regroup, and it could put some folks’ survival skills to the test if they’re waiting out the timer near the zone.

This makes Blitz seem like a potential favorite stomping ground for lone wolves. Since you can only score with one person at a time, staying away from teammates might prove more useful if you can hold your own in a firefight. You’ll still have to work together to see who’s making their way to the base, but sending only one or two guys out a time and having the rest camp out near the base might prove a fruitful strategy.

What was most interesting about my hands-on time at Gamescom, however, was that the new map and mode were kept separate. So, I played Blitz on Octane and Strikezone, but I didn’t get to explore Chasm until I went back to Search & Rescue. This makes me think that Blitz may be limited to small to mid-sized maps.

Chasm’s probably my favorite of the new maps we’ve seen thus far. While it’s not as spread out as Whiteout, it’s got a lot of verticality: You’ll work your way through the rubble of a collapsed building and down through the street into a subway system. Since the map features several layers of small platforms, high ground will be critical depending on the modes you play, and several points are perfect for camping and protecting objective points—in this case, placing bombs for Search & Rescue.

The new audio system for Ghosts really shined on Chasm. During my session, players would shout out targets near cubicles or on railway lines rather steadily. I don’t know if the excess noise at last week’s event prevented the system from working as flawlessly as it should’ve, but I heard everything loud and clear at Gamescom.

So, three down, four to go on the Ghosts multiplayer reveals. As of right now, Search & Rescue remains my personal favorite, but Infinity Ward is certainly capable of topping it with something surprising down the line.