Activision and Treyarch has dropped the first downloadable map pack content for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, titled the ‘Revolution Map Pack’, which can be purchased now for 1200 Microsoft Points (discounted for Season Pass holders). Is it really as ‘Revolutionary’ as it implies or should you instead save your hard-earned cash for something else? New Maps, New Gun, New Game Mode, it does have a few first’s for the Call of Duty franchise.
The content within the Revolution Map Pack includes ‘Downhill’ – a map based on a luxurious ski resort in the French Alps with great varied engagements and a vertically up and down each lane on different sides. It’s heavily snow themed setting feels as if it pays homage to the original Black Ops map ‘Summit’ only with a more fun holiday theme instead of the war-torn military based look. Look hard enough and you’ll even see a snowman or two, but if you don’t fancy an all-out war – you could always peruse the shops for a new snowboard or a set of ski’s as the attention to detail in the background scenery is outstanding. Something has to be said for a Map Pack that can also sell you a new set of ski’s – but due to the nature of it being top and bottom sided teams it’s more perfect for objection based games such as Capture the Flag and Domination. Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed tend to be a campers dream as the internal areas of the map offer many hiding points – especially for those who do nothing but snipe in corners – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
‘Mirage’ is a map that is the complete opposite of ‘Downhill’ – the snowy mountains and luxuriously stocked shops have been replaced for a sand-blasted and covered resort in the Gobi Desert that offers interesting fights and seems to resemble 2K Games ‘Spec Ops The Line’ a lot, but visually that is due to most of the area being covered in sand. This is one of the most visually displeasing maps since it just looks completely orange and the whole scene tends to be just on the one level. It’s hard also for the hardcore Call of Duty fans not to disassociate this map with the ‘World at War’ map named ‘Castle’. If you can remember that map, think of it just plastered in tons of sand and the burning hot sun beaming in the sky – now you have ‘Mirage’! Another annoyance with this map is that you tend to just go round in circles; it’s not over-large and has a central indoor area but it’s the least fun map of the Revolution Map Pack and my instant reaction was that I was put-off to play on this map – it may be orange, but it’s still pretty dull.
‘Hydro’ as you might have guessed from the name alone involves a lot of water and a surprise drowning on the spillway if you don’t react quickly enough to the alarm bells! ‘Hydro’ is another decent sized map that is a scenic surprise in its detail which offers an equal amount of both internal and external areas to roam around on varied levels, making it ideal for Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed and just as fun with more the more objective based modes. The theme is that of Hydroelectric Power Plant in the heart of Pakistan and it’s great for fast close quarters fights – detailed enough to remind you of the lovechild between original Black Ops map’s ‘Launch’ and ‘Radiation’. This map is fun to play on any mode and feels like a true Call of Duty military style map to get you pent up with aggression and on the hunt to kill.
‘Grind’ one of the larger maps in the Revolution Map pack that adds a little more fun themed environment to your missions. It’s based on a radical skating park near the famous Venice Beach with ramps, jumps, tubes all set in a sunny location with bright colours and vivid eye-catching detail at every corner. It’s the least non-traditional as far as it goes for map packs, but the tubes and skate park environment offers plenty of hiding spots, a mix of internal and external places to roam on varied levels making this map ideal for any game mode within Black Ops 2. It’s as if the sun shone over ‘Downhill’ as these two maps are the best within the Revolution Map Pack if not the game to date!
The entirety of the Multiplayer Maps feel as if they each have their own season of Winter: ‘Downhill’, Summer: ‘Grind’, Spring: ‘Mirage’ and Autumn: ‘Hydro’ and the level of design and detail makes this an intriguing map pack that seems to be based in two halves of “fun-Style” and “Military-Style”. For the first time ever in the history of Call of Duty – the DLC now includes a weapon which was previously not possible with past Call of Duty titles (for whatever reason). Whether this is an already on-disc weapon unlocked via the map pack or actually true DLC is unknown – either way the Peacekeeper Gun is a great hybrid weapon that would sit well with lovers of Assault Rifles and SMG’s. Even though the Peacekeeper weapon can use all of the weapon skins just like all the other weapons in-game – the original design of white and blue is actually kind of striking in its own right showing a more unique-ness to its display.
The gun is not only a “first-time-ever” for Call of Duty as the Zombie Mode in the Revolution Map pack this time allows you to play as a Zombie in ‘Turned’ a way to see how the other half live and feast on the human. ‘Turned’ offers two load-out options of Reverse Gun Game and Shotgun – regardless of your loadout it will not change the gameplay as this is the worst game mode made to man (or Zombie). It starts with one player being the Human and the other three players as Zombies who must find and kill the Human.
Playing as the Zombie which is a fast-paced undead creature that can only grab and claw is a let down because it instantly feels as though more players are needed to gain any enjoyment. Three Zombies, one Human, rinse-and-repeat. It’s just plain boring and although a ‘first’ for the Zombies and an alternative to the traditional method, it’s not really original and there’s nothing to be enjoyed through playing this mode.
Die Rise, however – the new Zombie Map is something of a marvel to behold. Not to be confused with ‘Der Riese’ from both World at War and the original Black Ops, ‘Die Rise’ is a tower block on many levels that soon gets infested with Zombies from top to bottom. The theme to ‘Die Rise’ is a post-apocalyptic Shanghai, China where you take your Zombie survival skills across huge vertical skyscrapers (fall out and it’s sadly game over) but new additions include elevators that can transport perks, varied camera angles to portray you in a ruined skyscraper on the brink of collapse and a lot of vertical drops. The level design is amazing and the whole vertical theme in falling apart skyscrapers adds to the tension of survival and it is unlike any other Zombie map you might have played – likely to be the toughest yet!
Surviving in ‘Die Rise’ is hard and only the persistent will achieve a decent score as it is incredibly tough with new meaner Zombies in their own body armor and wave based Minions who pounce on you with little notice! There is also a new buildable Wonder Weapon ‘The Sliquifier’ and a handful of new Achievements to be had for the Gamerscore hunters.
The Revolution Map Pack is simply an absolute must-have addition to the rotation of maps in the Multiplayer element of Black Ops 2. I’ve made no secret of my dislike for this year’s iteration in the Campaign Mode, but its saving grace was Multiplayer and the new DLC only adds to the enjoyment that can be had when you fancy a quick run-and-gun game, or something more competitive. If you like Zombies, then you can’t fault ‘Die Rise’ offering a new alternative way to play in a vertical setting.
The Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Revolution Map Pack DLC should be on your hard-drive now! It may resemble some older Call of Duty map packs, but hey at least it doesn’t include any! A great collection sure to please as reviewed by myself and fellow Call of Duty fan: Jonzari , for thisisxbox.com.