COD “Revolution” features new maps and zombies
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 11:02
This past week, the first of four downloadable content packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was released on the Xbox Live marketplace.
“Revolution” features four new multiplayer maps, a new zombies survival map, a new zombies mode and a submachine gun named the Peacekeeper. This is a slightly heftier DLC release than the franchise is known for, but quantity does not guarantee quality.
Though the content is not released on Playstation 3 until the end of this month, this bonus experience is worth the $15 it’s asking for.
The first map on the docket is titled Mirage. Set in an Asian inspired mansion after a cataclysmic sandstorm, this map forces players to compensate for the uneven ground when engaging in skirmishes. One large structure in the center provides a combative focal point while surrounding smaller structures provide quick cover and avenues for flanking. This is the most standard map of the lot, but it is varied in its basic form and is well balanced, which is ultimately most important.
The second map coming to us is Grind. True to its name, this arena is set in a stylish skatepark, easily one of the most creative map concepts tried by the series yet. Again, a central building acts as the anchor in the map, but the crux of the combat will generally take place amongst the surrounding ramps and pipes.
The rounded corners and smooth gradients introduce a welcomed tactical element rarely seen in the Call of Duty multiplayer framework. It’s good to see creativity pay off in supplying a unique experience.
Next up is the map Hydro, bringing the battle to the base of an electrical dam. Unlike the first two, this map has a more linear nature, with a spillway acting as a clear division between the two sides. With obnoxiously cramped corners and blocky design, the only feature that sets this map apart is the spillway itself, which will occasionally release a surge of water, taking with it anyone in its path.
Finally, the last multiplayer map to be tested is Downhill, a ski resort in the French Alps. Being boasted as the return of snow maps in Call of Duty multiplayer, this level supports a more conventional layout. Despite the name, the map has fairly even terrain with many winding paths and open lines of sight, occasionally punctuated by obstructions.
Similar to Hydro, this map also has a dynamic element. One half of the map holds a building, within which gondolas pass through as they travel up and down the mountain. These will kill you if you find yourself standing in their path, which looks a little goofy given their speed, but at least provides a change in flow to the battle.
The new zombies mode, titled Turned, presents a gameplay twist long desired by fans, finally allowing you to play as one of the undead. Three friends can team up on a fourth in a very small area of the original map, each jostling to be the one to take the human down.
Once that kill is achieved, that player becomes alive again and each sequential kill while human improves their weaponry. It’s a nifty idea, but the claustrophobic combat space and overly fast pace gives it a twitchy and unfocused vibe with little lasting appeal.
Die Rise, the new zombie survival map taking place atop a skyscraper, concludes the DLC content. The most immediately evident quality of this new environment is its focus on verticality. Most zombie maps prior have such a heavy emphasis on watching your back, the added danger zones below and above are a welcomed change to the formula.
The map’s structure hits a good balance of tight spaces for tension while still providing enough directions to travel in. You always have the feeling you’re progressing or achieving something no matter how long you play, giving it an edge over the previous zombie map.
It’s unusual for downloadable bonuses to exceed the games original content, but it is safe to say this pack has done it. The default maps are widely considered questionable in quality and these new maps feel like a return to form, with appealing color palates and balanced foundations.
While the new zombies mode might not warrant your time, the new zombies map more than makes up for it, topping off this downloadable content that is ultimately worth the purchase.