It's nice to see a bit of a refresh in this area, which was previously only rewarding one type of player. Yes, the most style is to go for kills - what else are the guns for? - but this method caters to more individual play styles and evens things out much more.
A couple of good multiplayer game modes have been introduced including 'Kill Confirmed' and 'Team Defender'. The former is similar to the traditional Team Deathmatch but every player has a dog tag that is dropped on death. You pick up dog tags to gain personal experience points and points for your team. The interesting element here is that you can pick up your teammates' dog tags to deny the opposition the points.
Team Defender is basically capture the flag but there is no destination to take the flag to in order to gain points. Instead, the team that has possession of the flag must hold on to it for as long as possible, gaining points over time. Custom modes have also been added so you can create the type of match you want to play. You can tweak the time limit, score limit, and switch off perks so the game plays to your requirements.
A further update to the multiplayer segment of the game is Call of Duty Elite. It's the social networking part where players can do things like keep track of stats, compete in competitions and form clans. We've been unable to log-in to Elite so can't comment on how good it is.
Last but not least is Special Ops, a series of short and objective-based missions that have a new game mode called 'Survival'. The beauty of Special Ops is that you have the option to play co-operatively locally or online, or can just play solo. There are 16 missions to work your way through, with a ranking system that allows more weapons, air support and gear armouries available as you level up.
Survival mode is best played in co-op with a friend, or even an online stranger, but is still good fun in solo. You have fight waves of enemy forces that increase in both number and difficulty as you progress. As you play you earn 'cash' that can be spent on upgrading weapons, ammo and air support.
Overall the game looks and plays better than ever and we're glad the single player campaign hasn't been modified in any drastic way. Multiplayer has had the most new development with a significant increase in the level of customisation, and it's always good to see new weapons, rewards and modes. Special Ops rounds off the offering perfectly and the new Survival mode provides even more fun. µ