It’s been almost four months since Treyarch launched Call of Duty: Black Ops II and the team has been hard at work polishing up a fantastic DLC offering for fans ever since. The first piece of DLC, Revolution, is finally here, and it seems that the wait has been well worth it. Offering players a range of additional content that includes four map packs, a brand new weapon, a new game mode and a brand new map for the Zombie lover in all of us, makes this add-on a worthwhile purchase.
As you jump straight into the new DLC you will find that the Peacekeeper is available from the get-go. What immediately strikes me as peculiar, after spending quality time with the gun, is that it feels very similar to an assault rifle. It’s not until you unlock rapid fire that the weapon plays more like an SMG. It’s as if an SMG and assault rifle cross-bred, and one of the parents clearly won the battle for classifying it. Regardless of my inquiry into its classification, I quickly found myself keeping it in one my create-a-class slots. The weapon relies on low-recoil, but suffers from a lack of power which can make all the difference in a pinch. The Peacekeeper has a great range of potential for long-range shooting, and it should take experts little to no time at all feeling at home with the solid SMG.
After equipping your new weapon, the game makes it easy to jump straight into a Team Deathmatch playlist that cycles the Revolution content. With this type of access quickly becoming the norm, it’s nice to know that you can easily access the new maps you want to play instead of waiting a few map cycles to play the maps you just payed for. It even grants you the option to play TDM, Domination, or Mosh Pit. While it’s not a necessary feature to include, it certainly eases the pain of matching the maps with different game types. Each of these new maps greatly reflects the multiplayer team’s level skill design. Treyarch has delivered four incredibly fun maps to play on, and each offers its own unique personality that helps ease the discomfort which often accompanies lackluster maps.
Mirage takes players into the heart of the desert as they fight over sand swept architecture which provides easy access routes to higher points in the map. The choke point in the middle provides for intense firefights that push the limits of your will.
Four entrances surround the center building that offer great opportunities for flanking. If pushing through the middle isn’t your style, then fear not, because players can loop around the center of the map too. These two routes break off into a wide open space perfect for intense firefights, or a more confined space that will force you to check your corners.
Downhill takes players on a journey into the Rhone Alps, sporting long sight ranges for the sniper class. The rocky mountains, and snowy terrain, provide an aesthetically pleasing map in contrast to the earth colors of Mirage. Rushing alongside the ski-lift area of the map provides mid-range and close quarters combat that can be quickly turned around if you stand in front of the dynamic lifts mechanically floating through.
This provides interesting situations where a player will lose their sense of situational awareness, and get crushed under the weight of the massive death-trap. Of course, you can always take the alternate route and fight your way through the mountainside. This is where that sniper comes in handy as your line-of-sight is open, and your finger can gently squeeze the trigger as you rack up your killstreaks.
If you prefer to keep things extreme, Grind allows you to engage in firefights inside a Venice Beach skatepark. Surrounding the central, indoors fighting area, is a collection of curved terrain. Players find themselves running up the ramps and gaining momentum in order to climb on top of the ramp coping. Such a varied terrain allows for some awesome moments if you can manage to mount a ramp, sprint up the top, and dive over your enemies as you fill them with lead.
Grind is arguably the most fun I’ve had on a Call of Duty map for quite some time, and a refreshing setting that proves CoD multiplayer maps can break from the norm.
The last map, Hydro, provides players with three distinct levels of action that allows for a variety of gameplay to occur. Mid-range encounters happen frequently on the outside of the map where the drainage routes flow, and as you push into the tunnels CQC takes over.
Flanking the central points of the map allow for longer range of sights to come into play, but the tight environments limit the use of snipers. With few distinct vantage points for eagle eye players to pick off their prey, it’s probably best if you stick to that trusty assault rifle. The map also offers a dynamic flooding system that flushes out the spillway at random points.
After you’ve had your competitive frag-fest fill there’s really not much else to do but hop into the brand new zombies map, Die Tower. Players are dropped into the dangerous high rise infested with the undead. What’s automatically striking about Die Rise is the dangers that lurk deep within the crumbled building. Situational awareness is crucial for preventing yourself from taking one wrong step and falling to your death. Tight corridors, and dark interiors fill you with a sense of dread. It’s easy for your group to become surrounded and it makes for a great addition to the Zombies culture.
Treyarch managed to fulfill fans wishes with the new game mode, Turned. This final piece of content allows players to access the other side of the terror as players step into the role of the infected. Without a doubt, the mode is fun, but it feels like a one-shot experience. It just doesn’t feel that it will have a lasting appeal.
One player takes on the role of the sole surviving human, and the remaining players act as the savage zombie horde rushing to infect the human. If you succeed in ripping the player to shreds, then your role shifts as you become the survivor. It’s a fast paced mode that can offer some incredibly fun gameplay, but the infectious entertainment wears thin after a few matches.
All-in-all, the Call of Duty: Black Ops II Revolution DLC is a solid extension of the core multiplayer experience. It is currently available for XBL marketplace for 1500 Microsoft Points, and is scheduled to release sometime in the near future for PS3 and PC. If this is just a taste of what’s to come then picking up the Season Pass should be a no-brainer. Treyarch has not disappointed with their first offering and after spending significant amounts of time with it, I’m itching for more.
This review is based on an XBOX 360 version of the add-on that we were provided with.