Last night, Infinity Ward issued an update for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that brought back an April Fool's playlist - and I love it.
Shipment is one of Modern Warfare's best multiplayer maps, its tiny, square playspace a chaotic playground for two teams of five or six players. It was playable in this form around the clock as part of the Shipment 24/7 playlist - something fans had called for for some time. But now Shipment has levelled up - bringing back the wonderful troll update that was Modern Warfare's April Fool's 2020's playlist.
With 20 players crammed into Shipment, the carnage is relentless. You can find yourself instantly dying upon respawn over and over again. Killstreaks can be devastating, wiping out the entire enemy team in the blink of an eye. Wheelson, Modern Warfare's remote control tank buddy, is a hilariously effective weapon. Corpses pile up on capture points. B, which is in the centre of the map and accessible from all four sides as well as other cheeky nooks and crannies, is a virtual hell on earth, the bodies piling up so high players can hide amid them while prone. Survive for longer than 10 seconds and you're doing well. Survive for longer than that and you probably have enough kills to call in a Gunship... or worse.
It sounds like a nightmare. It sounds incredibly frustrating. It sounds impossible to cope with. And it's all of those things. But once you accept that reasonable spawns don't exist in this hellhole, and that you will probably die 50 times per match - and get 60 kills in the process - Shipment 10v10 becomes something special, a kind of blistering Live Die Repeat kill-em-'up that is the antithesis of Modern Warfare's awful, campy large maps. It's a bit like A Clockwork Orange's eyeball-torturing Aversion Therapy, except you're playing it.
Shipment 10v10 won't be for everyone, of course. It probably won't be for those who are mindful of their kill / death ratio, that's for sure. But it most certainly is for me. And it helps that you end up powering through the grind as a result of all those kills. There's a reason Modern Warfare describes the playlist thus: Call of Duty players only want one thing... and it's disgusting."
What next? 20v20 Shipment?
Or, wait for it, Shipment battle royale?