Much like the movie Highlander, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is the best thing ever, when it comes to video games. Naysayers be damned, as Treyarch managed to knock out a damn fine game in the annual franchise that was fun, exciting and slick in the presentation department. As usual, the COD experience is one that has a leaning towards multiplayer and zombies once the end credits roll. And much like with previous games, there’s extra content on the way to keep players satisfied until the next game in the series arrives. Revolution, is the first of four such packs.
First off, let’s take a look at the multiplayer maps that come with revolution. Four new maps are bundled with the DLC, that take players to warzones in snowy conditions and skate parks. Let’s take a closer look.
Bundle up, because someone left the fridge door open. Downhill is the only map that has players trudging through snow in Black Ops 2, and it’s a haven for snipers because of this. There are plenty of vantage points hidden throughout the stage, as well as quite a few choke points that will benefit fans of heavy machine guns and cable cars that are deadlier than the Ebola virus. Yes, beware the slowly moving cable cars, they’re bloody deadly.
Overall, not a bad map, but one that can be infuriating for more gung-ho players.
Next up, it’s the Hydro map. A moist map, a Waterworld of bullets and liquids. And much like the Kevin Costner film of the same name, it has the tendency to bomb at times. The key hook here, is that Hydro has two distinct levels that are above and below the players, that can be triggered to flood players out. Of course, escaping the incoming flood is one of the key aspects to survival, and finding choke points to kill friends and foes as they make their way back up is what will lead to some massive score streaks.
But beyond that, Hydro feels a bit too predictable and vanilla at times, making this a rather polarising map at the end of the day.
Speaking of interactive stages, along comes Mirage. This map has proven to be a hit so far, thanks to the great design and the fact that it’s heaven for campers and snipers thanks to the massive advantages that the balcony offfers when players below are caught in a sandstorm. It’s a more challenging map, and one that had me absolutely annihilated in matches by more experienced players. In essence, it’s a level tailor-made for veterans.
Tony Hawk, welcome to hell. Quite simply the best map in the bunch, Grind is a stage that is inviting to both newcomers and experts. The half-pipes and shop interiors are ripe for choke points and all out attacks by groups, while the various attractions of the park itself contain several sneaky spots to lay low and ambush players. Not too mention that this is one of the few maps out there that happens to be a godsend for shotgun players, as I found out on a regular basis. Whether you prefer old-school buckshot or SMGs, keep the close-quarters weapons ready for this colourful 360 stairway to heaven beninhana.
Weapon – The Peacekeeper
Next up, we’ve got new piece of hardware on our hands. Gentlemen and gun enthusiasts, say hello to the Peacekeeper. The Peacekeeper is a mixed bag so far. Sure, it’s light and quick on the reload, but the fusion between SMG and an assault rifle has a terrible rate of fire and is useless at close range. Still, it packs a punch at medium to long-range, and has some phenomenal accuracy overall.
Also, beware, because everyone in CODBLOPS 2 seems to want to have babies with this gun, as maps are crawling with players who are wielding the Peacekeeper.
You can’t keep a good zombie down, and that goes for double points in Black Ops 2. Zombie mode received a face-lift this year, and it paid off. Meaner, harder and somehow more fun, the third gameplay component gets a new level in the form of Die Rise. Previous Zombie maps have been open air affairs generally, but Die Rise plays out like a mix between Die Hard and The Sprinting Dead.
Trapped in a skyscraper full of the undead, players need to work their way down, and can shortcut through elevator shafts or take their chances on the staircases of that brutal building. This map however, is one for the well trained zombie fan. It starts off at a decent pace, but the more vertical setting makes it hellishly difficult as the waves arrive, moreso than in any of the other stages.
Oh, and not too mention that some zombies are packing body armour and horrid little imps that are just waiting to teleport into your face-space with their one-hit kill attacks. Mixed in with all that undead action however, is a new weapon to try out in Tranzit, the Sliquifier. Unlike the much derided Jet gun which was harder to find than Wally’s corpse. The Sliquifier has easy to find parts, and can slime opponents in Ghostbusters 2 goo that will have them slip-sliding and taking an explosion. It’s a great crowd control weapon that complements the mode nicely.
Oh, and once you’ve built it? Everyone else can throw down some cash to try and get it out of the mystery box.
Last, but certainly not least, is a new Zombie mode by the name of Turned. The idea is simple. Four (or less) players pitch up, and one of them happens to still have a rather human, beating heart. The rest of the gang are now zombies themselves, and have to take down their human opponent. Whoever happens to be human at the time is going to earn some points the longer he lives, and whoever has the most points at the end of the stage is the winner.
So how do you get to be the human? Simple, kill the air-breather. Do so and you’ll find yourself wielding a gun instead of mangled rotting hands, but be warned: This just might be the most difficult game mode in Black Ops 2. The zombies move far quicker, far sooner, and you’ll soon find yourself being overwhelmed within seconds if you aren’t properly prepared.
Factor in the human element from your undead compadres looking to take a bite out of you, and Turned is actually a pretty damn good mode that freshens up the zombie experience, as well as being a satisfying table-turner. It can get a tad reptetivie at times, but if Treyarch can throw some new ideas into Turned by the time the next DLC pack rolls around, then Turned could be a mode to watch.
Revolution is a hit and miss experience in the multiplayer map department, but for zombie fans, it’s going to be completely worthwhile. The Peacekeeper rifle is a well balanced piece of tech when handled properly, and the overall experience is at least a positive step in the right direction. If Treyarch can improve on this map pack in the next three DLC instalments, then that season pass will have been well worth the dollars.
COD: Black Ops 2 - Revolution was reviewed by Darryn Bonthuys