Like a bottle of bad tequila, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is three shots down and still has one more to go before the season pass wraps up on all the DLC offerings; and things are looking a bit shaky right now. While Revolution set a high bar, Uprising felt lacklustre in comparison. And it’s a feeling that is more or less the same in Vengeance.
The trickiest of the new maps by far, Cove is a small arena of quickfire hiding spots and ambush paths that go round and round. That’s the core idea behind this map really, as you’ll have to constantly be on the move here. Chokepoints are everywhere, as are cover points and its easy to see this map being used as a frequent choice for Domination in the future.
Nowhere is safe, as the few vantage points on offer are just open to counterattacks. It’s the kind of map that’ll have you cycling through all your load-outs, and it’s the very best map offered in Vengeance.
Expect to see this one pop up far more frequently in online play.
Keeping things original, Detour has players on a map that can only be described as a gauntlet. It’s a linear path that will have players constantly butting heads and bullets on a ruined suspension bridge that is littered with cars waiting to be exploded.
Even though it’s straight forward at first glance, Detour has plenty of alternating paths for players to take advantage of, and it’s certainly a tricky map that complements the standard set by Cove.
It’s ideal for Capture the Flag type games, and various other modes, and it’s the kind of map that really encourages team-based gameplay. But it’s a bit on the small side, and it’ll only benefit smaller parties, such as 4 on 4 death matches and the like.
And here’s where things go downhill. Uplink is a remake of the classic Black Ops map Summit, which was a popular choice back when the first game in that particular series launched in 2010. And yet Uplink feels like a more boring version of that map.
While visuals are probably the last thing on the mind of a COD player when it comes to online, it’s a pity that Treyarch never managed to make Uplink as beautiful as that particular map. Uplink is boring and while the layout hasn’t changed, favouring a mix of indoor and outdoor action with sneaky ambush options, it’s been done before.
And it’s a wasted opportunity to add something original to the map list.
Keeping up with the tradition of offering something a little out of the ordinary, Rush takes place on a Paintball field that stretches from indoor to outdoor. It’s the kind of map that should have been a winner, but it feels like Treyarch has failed to take advantage of the theme on offer, playing it safe with generic shapes and rooms within which to do battle.
There’s no real substance to Rush when compared to Grind from Revolution, and it feels like a paintball-splattered vanilla map at best. Rush is quite simply, the weakest map on offer here.
After doing a stellar job with Mob of the Dead in Uprising, Treyarch may have used the best of their zombie-themed DLC a little too soon.
While Buried is pretty much classic zombie action but in a bigger environment, it doesn’t offer nearly as many fresh ideas that Mob of the dead did. There’s no ghosting to take advantage of, and very few new gameplay ideas on offer here.
What Buried does do though, is create an absolutely massive new arena within which to do some undead-busting. Most of the game hubs are unlocked from the get-go, while the Western theme lends itself quite nicely to the latest tale of Romero-survivors. Chalk can also be picked up at various points, which can then be used to draw up new weapon and item spawn points.
The big new gimmick in Buried though, is one Leroy that can be found underground locked up in a jail cell. The behemoth brawler NPC can be fed candy throughout the waves of constant zombie attacks, items which keep on your side and as a useful weapon, or he can be liquored up to help tear down barricades.
Buried isn’t a bad new addition to the Zombie component of Black Ops 2, but it’s not an essential part of the experience either, like Mob of the Dead was. The new Ray Gun on the other hand, is a weapon of incredible destruction, a laser rifle that puts the original pistol version to shame. If you’re lucky enough to get one, you’re probably going to want to have babies with it.
As a whole, Vengeance will most likely satisfy diehard fans, but it’s still missing that spark of creativity and fun that made Revolution such a great DLC pack. While it’s easy to recommend Uprising as the only pack that you’ll really need, it’s still a bit difficult to recommend dropping quite a bit of cash for the season pass. But once that final DLC pack rolls around, that decision will be easier to make.
Black Ops 2: Vengeance was reviewed by Darryn Bonthuys