Season 2 of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 starts today, though you'd be forgiven for dismissing it outright considering how poorly received Activision's latest FPS behemoth was. But there's also a free trial of the game kicking off tomorrow, and considering what the trial offers, it might just be worth paying attention to.
Running from February 8 through 12, the free trial provides access to a cross-section of the game's multiplayer. You get to play five competitive multiplayer modes, namely team deathmatch, hardpoint, domination, kill confirmed, and team gun game (which should be called 'team dumb name'). These modes can be played on nine maps, including Rust, Highrise, Rio, Karachi, and everyone's favourite chaotic kill-box, Shipment.
Alongside this, the trial also provides access to MW3's full zombies experience, which lets you blast the undead in a full open world—the largest zombies map to date, according to Activision.
Season 2 itself makes numerous additions to Modern Warfare 3. It adds a whole bunch of new maps to the experience, including several 6v6 maps like Stash House, Vista, and a remastered version of Das House. War Mode also gets a new map in the form of Operation Tin Man, centred around an aerial assault on an Urzikstan skyscraper. Zombies mode, meanwhile, receives an extra story mission that sees you investigating The Second Rift, a new anomaly that's appeared in the Exclusion Zone, alongside new schematics, challenges, and more.
Of course, the appeal of all this depends on whether or not MW3 is worth playing at all, regardless of how much it costs. The game still has a Mostly Negative rating on Steam out of nearly 7,000 reviews, while Morgan didn't mince his words about the quality of Activision's latest in his own writeup, calling it "an absolutely unessential chapter in the series' 20-year history".
That said, his ire was mainly directed toward the campaign and changes to competitive multiplayer. He actually liked the new Zombies mode, calling it "actually the best thing going for Modern Warfare 3." Since the free trial gives you full access to MW3's zombies mode, it means you can play the best bit of the game on Activision’s dime.
Hence, grabbing the free trial and rinsing Zombies is probably the optimal way to enjoy MW3. And in the unlikely event it turns out you like the rest of the game too, well, that's a bonus.