Treyarch’s new maps and modes deliver the good times
When you’re in charge of the biggest entertainment release of all time, and a large chunk of your audience have already paid for four DLC packs with a heftily-priced season pass, there’s an enormous level of expectations about what you’ll deliver next.
The answer for Treyarch and Black Ops 2 is Revolution. The trailer claims you have a responsibility to ‘kick ass’ – and we can honestly say that this statement aptly describes the DLC – it does kick ass.
Revolution features four new multiplayer maps, a zombie map, a new ‘Turned’ mode and a, first for the series, a new gun. More on these later. There’s a lot of variety for your money, let us break it down for you…
The first new map is an American skatepark. It’s a medium sized arena, which feels like Stadium from the original Black Ops, but plays with more flow.
Building the map with ramps, tubes, and quarter-pipes creates a diverse battleground. Grind looks great too and set against a backdrop of blue sky it feels more vibrant than previous beige areas. Even Tony Hawk would be proud of this showpiece.
A personal favourite moment of ours happens as we make our way around the back of the spectator stand. There’s a blip on the UAV, which spells trouble ahead, but the enemy doesn’t spot the C4 on the television truck until we detonate it and send his charred corpse is sent skidding up a ramp like a human skateboard. Gnarly.
For a map with many narrow channels and pathways, there are fewer bottlenecks than you’d expect and this is no bad thing as Grind is a well balanced map that you’ll never get tired of seeing – expect Grind to become a fan-favourite.
This dam facility set in Pakistan is more complex than your standard Black Ops 2 multiplayer map. Above ground, it resembles any other CoD-style industrial park, with warehouses and vans dotted all around. Think of Pipeline from Call of Duty 4, or Summit, in the original Black Ops.
Hydro’s warmly familiar symmetrical layout creates an environment ripe for tactical gameplay, either for the lone-gunner or dedicated clans. The central slope area creates a kill-box worthy of the climax of the action-heavy Expendables with snipe points, cover, and vehicles ready to explode. But it’s Hydro’s underground section where things get interesting.
The maze of tunnels that are ankle-deep with water, provide numerous pinch-points and shady campsites, perfect for nailing a few cheap kills. But at any time during play, a foreign voice can be heard on a distant tannoy, initiating a countdown, after which a surge of water will burst through the underground and drown anybody stupid enough to still be there. Harsh. It makes battles down below feel really tense.
Your next stop is China’s Gobi Desert, where you’ll fight your way through an abandoned resort, flooded with sand dunes. Mirage is absolutely beautiful. It has a unique haze to the battleground that is brought on by the scorching sun overhead – the perfect backdrop for a bloodbath.
The map is laid out in a very angular fashion; when playing Domination mode the objectives take on a distinctive triangular position. This, combined with the relatively compact size of Mirage, seems to give the game an unrelenting pace.
While Mirage is centered around a huge resort structure, the periphery includes wide-open outdoor spaces and rooftop vantage points. If you’re a sniper then feel free to whip out your .50 cal and give it a polish, because this map is for you.
Finally we have a trip to the French Alps and a battle on a massive mountain ski slope. For those of us who’ve longed to hear the sound of crunching bones harmonize with the sound of crunching, blood-stained snow, then this is your spot.
In terms of layout, Downhill is a nice compromise map. It’s built around long, narrow outdoor pathways carved into the snow, with open areas at either end. The centre is a building which holds the ski-lifts – be careful as they kill anyone that touches them as they move.
Downhill caters for everyone – from gung-ho pistol poppers to…erm…those who bring a tent, sleeping-bag and a sniper to a Team Deathmatch.