Call of Duty 2023 has now been confirmed by Activision as Modern Warfare 3, a Sledgehammer-developed sequel to 2022’s MW2 and the third installment in the rebooted series.
As a result, the community (and us) are looking ahead to what will come. We already know some of the content because of MW3 leaks and some classic CoD maps – namely Scrapyard and Terminal – are already chalked for reincarnation.
They’re all from recent Sledgehammer and Infinity Ward installments, seeing as MW3 is set to be a fusion of both. Some of our picks might seem a little out of place, time wise. For these, we’re thinking in the vein of Shipment 1944 or Raid from Black Ops 3, where the developers reskin a classic to make it match a new setting.
Finally, don’t expect the best and most fondly remembered maps – expect underrated gems that might just be perfect candidates for a comeback.
1) Himmelmatt Expo (MW2, 2022)
Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer maps were, in general, a sizeable improvement over Modern Warfare 2019’s. There’s still the odd stinker (Taraq, I’m looking at you), but they’re largely replayable and well designed.
Himmelmatt Expo stands as one of the better ones. Coming as a post-launch map with Season Two Reloaded, it was quickly added into the Call of Duty League’s map pool thanks to its excellent mix of close-quarters combat and larger open spaces. There’s even a swimming pool to cool off in and a theatre to enjoy – in amongst the gunfights, of course.
2) Eagle’s Nest (Vanguard)
There were a lot of problems with Call of Duty: Vanguard. The setting was a bit tired, the personality lacking and the weapon play a long way short of Treyarch or Infinity Ward. A few maps stand out as infinitely fun, with Eagle’s Nest one of them.
It’s among the smaller maps in Vanguard, set at an Axis meeting house 1,834 meters above sea level. The setting is beautiful, incorporating rocks and snow and forestry well. It’s incredibly fast-paced too, giving players three lanes to explore, die and charge back into the action.
A nice variety of combat areas (from a long line of sight perfect for snipers to the chaotic central area in the building) round off a map that’d be great to see, updated and reskinned in MW3. Maybe it could be a secret retreat of the Las Almas cartel or Task Force 141.
3) Gibraltar (WWII)
Another lacklustre CoD, Sledgehammer’s follow up to Advanced Warfare was the return to World War II a lot of the community wanted, but the execution was pretty bland. A few maps stood out – with Gibraltar being one.
Set on the British-ruled island, it offered a sun-soaked background for players’ combat, incorporating verticality in a way that SHG clearly have a penchant for. There’s multiple staircases and levels to this map, ensuring players are rewarded for smart play and tactical pushes. Who knows how Gibraltar might factor into MW3’s lore? Just bring the map back, please. Hell, even make it the backyard of Captain Price.
4) Throwback (Infinite Warfare)
The Call of Duty nobody really wanted, Infinite Warfare was arguably destined to fail from its inception. The maps were certainly not the main issue with Infinity Ward’s 2016 installment, as Throwback demonstrates.
A slightly larger three-lane map, it possessed an excellent flow and boasted a creatively designed central area with two buildings overlooking a futuristic train yard. There’d need to be tweaks to the map – wall-running spots would have to be reworked, for one – but the map’s inclusion is a throwback we’d love to see (get it?).
5) St Petrograd (MW 2019)
We’re rounding off our picks with St Petrograd from the first installment in the rebooted Modern Warfare franchise. Maps were a massively mixed bag in MW2019 (that’s putting it kindly when you remember Piccadilly, Azhir Cave and Euphrates Bridge).
There were some great maps though. Most will remember Hackney Yard or Gun Runner, but St Petrograd’s excellent mix of sniping lanes and SMG-friendly buildings was a treat when it came up in the map rotation. Paired with the eastern European city vibes and we had ourselves a great map that’d fit right into MW3, wherever it’s set.
Those are our picks for underrated maps we’d love to see back in MW3. We’ll be all over everything Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as we approach its November launch. In the meantime, why not drop Activision a text?