Though Call of Duty Elite members received it last week, today marks the official release for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3‘s new Face Off mode, and so we thought it best to give a few impressions on the multiplayer shooter’s new, more intimate offering.

For those that might not know, Face Off allows teams of two or three, or just a single player, to do battle with opposing forces of the same number. It was initially going to be a 1v1 or 2v2 mode, but 3v3 was introduced into the Elite playlist perhaps just to test the waters.

Of course, the maps included with Modern Warfare 3, and those that have released as DLC, were not built with smaller player numbers in mind so Infinity Ward has hand-crafted four new maps to accompany Face Off. The first two, Aground and Erosion, were released for free (to Xbox 360 players) last Tuesday, but the other two, Getaway and Lookout, are included as part of Content Collection #2, which hits the Xbox Live Marketplace for non-Elite members tomorrow.

Each map carries that signature Infinity Ward design sensibility, only on a smaller scale, and with much longer sight lines. Gameplay is still kill or be killed, with the winning total lowered from the typical 7500.

At first, players might find themselves overwhelmed by the prevalence of snipers, but all types of Modern Warfare 3 players will find ways to succeed. Aground is a particularly difficult map to find early success on, but teams that can work the sight lines to their advantage can make quick work of the competition. It all boils down to how familiar a player is with their teammate and how well they can communicate with them.

In fact, Face Off is the perfect mode for Call of Duty players who like to connect with a single friend and wage war on the Modern Warfare 3 battlefields. Lone Wolfs might still enjoy the experience of Face Off, but they will typically fall prey to a lot of traps. The tactics involved when two players can call out enemies and stick together is something that the Call of Duty franchise has been sorely devoid of, but working together is key for Face Off.

Face Off Mode Impressions - Aground Map

There will still be tons of those nagging Modern Warfare 3 issues — extreme campers are a particular nuisance when fewer players are involved — but ultimately this new addition is both fresh and invigorating. Like anything relating to Call of Duty it will have its naysayers, but ultimately this new mode shows that Infinity Ward is willing to prolong the length of their franchise between iterations, and to keep the players happy. If you’re curious to see if Face Off might be the mode for you just hop onto Xbox Live and download the first two maps for free.

Have you had a chance to check out Face Off, the new mode for Modern Warfare 3? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Modern Warfare 3‘s Content Collection #2 is available now for all Xbox 360 players.

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