Yes. You heard me correctly. Shipment is the worst map in Call of Duty. Let me explain my reasoning.
Wait, what is Shipment?
Shipment is a very smol map that is literally just a square arena with four shipping containers creating a four-way intersection in the middle, along with some more shipping containers on the sides to make those parts of the math not just complete sniper death zones.
In actuality, it’s a very interesting map. Removed with all of the context surrouding COD’s camo and weapon grind, I would say Shipment is a pretty cool map. Not the best or pentultimate COD map (right now that crown goes to Farm 18 but I’m probably showing my zoomer cringe nae-nae baby-ness for saying that), but a fun excursion.
The problem is that Shipment doesn’t exist in a bubble. The whole reason Shipment is so popular is solely because of the fact that camos exist.
A quick recap of COD’s camo system
If you haven’t played COD, you might not know that since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you can apply different paint jobs to your guns to show everyone how Operator™ you are. In that game, you only had to get headshots to get camos, but over time, players had to dance many more different types of dances in order to get all of the coolest camos.
In the most recent Modern Warfare games, you have to complete certain achievements with your gun in order to unlock camos. These achievements include headshots (again) but also kills from far away, killing multiple people in quick succession, killing multiple people without dying, etc.
Obviously, it takes a while to unlock all of these achievements. If only there was a way to get into fights more quickly to allow for unlocking these achievements faster. Oh wait.
Shipment is great for camo grinding…
The map is extremely small for 12 players to occupy at once. Thus, you get into a lot more fights a lot more quickly. This, of course, makes it easier to accomplish certain camo challenges like double kills, headshots, hipfire kills, etc. You may have trouble getting longshot kills due to the map size, and you may have trouble saying alive long enough to get multiple kills without dying… but otherwise, it is a great map for grinding out those camo challenges and unlocking them all for a particular weapon.
…and that’s a problem.
Players like to optimize the fun out of a game. If they wanna do something, and there is a better way to do that thing, they will do that thing in an attempt to be better at the game… even if it’s A. not what the developers want the players to do and/or B. it just makes the game worse to play. A great example is in stealth games: there is a large section of players who bypass an entire section of a stealth game’s design and reload their save whenever they get detected.
In COD, Shipment presents this exact same problem. Part of COD’s design is the varied maps that are on offer. A good COD game needs good maps in order to shine. The Modern Warfare reboot released in 2019 (which I will from now on refer to as MW19) is a good example of this: the mechanics are tight, but the maps are shit. If there are lots of fun maps on offer, they supplement the core gameplay by providing the player with a steady feed of varied arenas to run around and shoot people in.
But there’s also that camo grind to think about. Obviously, you’ll get through the camo grind faster if you play on Shipment. So… what if you… only. played. on Shipment?
Sure, you’ll get the camo grind done faster. But it will also suck. Cause you’re playing on the exact same map over and over again. You’ll start to get bored. You’ll start to get annoyed at all of the little mistakes the developers made with the core gameplay because that’s all that’s left after you stripped out the variable of different maps. Congratulations. You just optimized the fun out of Call of Duty.
Quick aside about Modern Warfare II
Like I said before, MW19 had shit maps. So, of course, one of the things Infinity Ward aimed to fix with the new Modern Warfare II (which I will from now on refer to as MW22) was to make the maps… not shit. And they did it! The maps are… not actually trash this time! I’ve already shouted out Farm 18 as one of the best COD maps ever made. Shoothouse is also brilliant (tho that kinda doesn’t count because it actually came from MW19, shockingly). Crown Raceway, Fortress, and Las Almas are very solid as well. The only maps that I feel are “meh” are Museum and El Asilo, but the fact that there are no maps as bad as Picadilly, Hackney Yard, or Azhir Cave is a massive plus in my book.
Of course… you won’t realize any of that… if the only map you play on… is fucking Shipment.
This is why I feel a bunch of ppl who complain about MW22 are somewhat misguided: if you purposefully ignore one of the best parts about MW22, of course the scales are going to be scewed towards the negatives. The maps are one the biggest reasons why I want to play MW22 and have massively enjoyed my time with the MW22 beta and free trial. Sure, MW22 is not perfect (see: Activision doing everything in their power to leave MP players stranded in the desert starving and dehydrated while offering every single Warzone player a private villa and a million COD Points)… but actively ignoring one of the best parts about the game is doing the game a massive disservice and paints you as disingenuous.
Shipment sucks, suck my cock, ok goodbye