Call of Duty: Black Ops. The best selling game of all time, right? Yeah. Now, it’s not like that happened due to some insane cosmic coincidence, people love Call of Duty. Hell, I love Call of Duty. It’s a fast-paced, thrilling, immersive, and natural feeling shooter. So I bought the first map pack and loved it. Great multiplayer maps, with a great new zombies experience. Now that Escalation, the new map pack featuring four new multiplayer maps and a zombie map with more celebrities than I know what to do with is out, the big question is this; is it worth the $15 dollars? Hit the break to find out.
Let’s start out with the multiplayer maps.
Hotel is exactly as the title implies: the map is a hotel. Except that it’s got a cool sort of feeling to it being that your playing on the top floor of a Cuban hotel. With gambling machines lining the walls of the interior of the hotel to an empty pool (why is it that in a time of crisis, everyone always empties their pools?), Hotel is probably the most realistic looking map in the entire pack. The actual map is composed of two buildings on either side of the map, with the pool area in between, of which I like to refer to as the “dead zone”. The two different parts of the hotel are the casino area and the rooms, with both sides overlooking the entire pool area. Now I call the pool area the dead zone because of that exact reason. There’s really no safe area in the entire middle part of the map. As soon as you make your way towards the pool, expect someone from afar to scope you out and pick you off almost instantaneously. Treyarch must have noticed how annoying this is though, because they have a bath area to the side of the pool area which you can use to safely make your way from one building to the other. Overall, a fun map for small-medium sized games of deathmatch and SnD.
Stockpile is a snow map based in what appears to be a Soviet-esque village with missiles. This map is heavily centered around the middle building (as you can tell from the picture), with both teams spawning and almost always running straight into it to fight for control of the building. This map features garage doors on that building which can be opened and closed to stop the enemy from entering from that garage for a good minute or so. A lot of CQB in this map so I’d play it with an SMG. Great map for Domination.
Convoy is another map with a straight-forward name. The map takes place in an American town where a US military convoy was ambushed by Soviet soldiers. The center of this map is the overpass where the convoy was hit but you really won’t find anything but snipers up there sitting on the catwalks supporting the signs. If you aren’t much of a camper, you’ll find the majority of your time on this map spent under and around the overpass, weaving through the various buildings and running-and-gunning everyone in your sights. Great map for small games of TDM.
Treyarch really are some straight-shooters. Zoo takes place in (guess!) an abandoned Soviet zoo. Apparently in the Soviet Union, their zoos are so fancy and the country was so wealthy that they could afford to posses a monorail. Well, if you watched the trailer detailing all the maps, you’ll remember that one of the designers of the maps said to get onto the monorail to control the map. I say screw that. Feel free to navigate around the map but try to avoid getting onto the actual monorail, you’ll be right in the sights of every sorry bastard on the entire map. Instead, be the guy to have your sights on the monorail and pick off guys whenever you notice one of them trying to make the trek across it. Trust me, you’ll be getting a kill every five seconds or so. Great map for objective based games, SnD and Sabotage specifically. Expect a lot of long range vertical combat so bring in an assault rifle.
Call of the Dead
Now I get to talk about the cream of the crop, the thing that you all probably scrolled down straight to. The Call of the Dead zombies map is easily the best zombies experience you will find in any Call of Duty game so far. The map is huge and plays like a maze where even after playing through it a good 10 times or so, I still have trouble finding my way to the Pack-A-Punch. The design of the map is unique with Treyarch trying things that you probably wouldn’t have even fathomed someone could do to zombies, like slinging them across the entire map. This excellent map coupled with the huge names behind the guns like Danny Trejo and Michael Rooker just make it oh-so-sweet. I would say more about the map, but I really would rather you experience it yourself for I fear that me typing it out would spoil it.
The big question with these maps is if they are worth the $15 dollar price tag. That really depends on whether or not you still play Black Ops (which judging from the LIVE charts, you probably do). The multiplayer maps are nice but really nothing by themselves. If it weren’t for the zombies experience, I would say wait for this to become discounted as part of an Xbox LIVE deals of the week. Call of the Dead truly makes this map pack. If you want an awesome, new zombies experience with a great soundtrack featuring a brand new song from Avenged Sevenfold, get this map pack.
Excellent review care of theparanoidgamer.com