After what seems like a rather long gap since our last zombie survival guide, I can finally present to you the definitive handbook for getting past the tiring round 15 on the DLC spawn-child ‘Ascension’.For those of you who are new to our ‘noob’ guides, I’d strongly advise you to read through the basic checklist before jumping into the strategies below, it will make things clearer and hopefully easier. Also, feel free to check out our Zombie weapon guide. Before going on, keep in mind that the ideas below are specifically focused on Ascensions nuances.
Ascension has been available for a healthy number of weeks now and most players seem to know their way around the map fairly confidently, but from our experiences and what we’ve heard, there are some common difficulties everyone is grumbling about. As I’ve stated before our tips are a mixture of information and little tricks for freshman and pros alike.
I would quickly like to thank all of you who posted your wisdom and revelations in the comments section in 1.0 and 2.0 – you guys have been offering up some really good stuff for everyone (me included). The success of our guides is due in part to the awesome feedback and interaction we get, it’s about you guys taking the time to share your thoughts so props to all of you. With any luck we can keep building up our no-nonsense knowledge bank for all of the maps.
So what’s the situation with Ascension?
Ascension is the biggest and arguably the most detailed zombie map that has ever been featured in a Call Of Duty game. It houses the longest and most complicated zombie easter egg to date and introduces two new perks and special grenades. Personally I find Ascension to be a good fusion between claustrophobic corridors and stairs, and large open junkyards. This variety allows players to apply a whole host of different tactics that would otherwise be exclusive to ‘5’ or Kino.
Camp vs Loop: The fundamental playstyle you wish to adopt will nearly always fall into one of two schools of thought; camping or looping. The first involves digging in somewhere and holding your ground in one particular spot, letting the zombies funnel into your team’s camp. The second involves running around certain parts of the map, leaving the majority of the zombies alive, and gathering them up behind you in a long and controlled line, then slowly picking them off as you continue looping round a makeshift circuit.
Ascension is such a large map that you can play with either mindset, however the most rewarding (and successful) philosophy seems to be looping. Knowing how to camp in key spots around the map is more than useful, but underlying this we’d urge you to learn a loop or two. When you play with random folks via matchmaking, you will find that you end up having to camp more often than not just because the team ethos isn’t quite there, or communication isn’t as strong as it ideally wants to be.
Less is more: This is a slightly sad and funny truth but the more players in your lobby (assuming they aren’t all people you play with regularly) the worse your chances are. Now we know some of you are going to protest and get all fired up at this seemingly cold and cynical statement, but it is all tied together with what I mentioned earlier: random teams tend to camp. And the crucial point is that players camp almost entirely by the PhD Flopper. One of the easiest loops to start up is by the flopper and it’s just large enough to allow you to stay up there all the time if you feel so inclined.
The trouble starts when you have more than two players up at the top by the flopper staircase because as soon as you get three or four dudes/dude-ettes up there, the zombies can’t be led around properly because each player will start pulling zombies in different directions, and as a consequence dissolving any carefully crafted crowd control. Then you all get cornered and overwhelmed, and you are staring angrily at the “you survived until round 9” screen. So a rule of two is important. Since the patch that allows scores in private games to count on the leaderboards, we’d recommend a private match with just one other person you can trust to stick with you. Obviously public games aren’t a dead end, but you may end up starting and prematurely stopping multiple lobbies before you find a sweet spot, and even then you still need to make sure your team splits up at least into two (we’ll outline the other key loop spot in a bit). Plus you will get more money and have twice as many shots at the box each.
Perfect Perk: Since we’ve now got two brand new perks to play with, the full potential for each one can take a while to realize. First up the Stamin Up is one of the most subtle useful perks on the map and one we’d advocate as an essential for anyone hoping to loop past round 20-27. Stamin Up gives you that snappy edge to weave around your shepherded crowd when they get a bit too large, and acts as a safety blanket for sudden and otherwise impossible escapes, as well as helping run to the rescue of perk machines being chewed away by those silly little mutant monkeys (take note).
The PhD flopper is misleading in just how useful it is because most players will discover that the promised ‘nuclear belly flop’ doesn’t always activate properly. Mainly because if you clip or bump into a zombie in mid-air before you hit the ground, the explosion gets cancelled…and you end up just lying there like you’ve given up…and die shortly afterwards.
The flop is most reliable when you give yourself more space and a bit of a more generous lead on your loop (minimizing chances of hitting zombie flesh to early). However the less obvious and fundamentally more intriguing use is coupled with infamous weapons ‘Mustang and Sally’…Pack a Punched M19 pistols for those who never saved their starting weapon before. Mustang and Sally turn the pretty much ineffective pistols (well you only start with one but shhhh) into fully automatic dual grenade launchers – lots of win and explode-y death. The secretly fantastic pistols were nearly perfect aside save one unfortunate but fair problem, splash damage. Now introduce the PhD Flopper and you suddenly don’t have to worry about firing the pistols too closely to yourself.
At this point I’ll assume everyone knows how to activate the rocket room and open up the PAP machine, but if anyone is in doubt just say so and I’ll outline.
Monkey Magic: Those pesky monkeys are Ascension’s equivalent to the Doctor or the Hellhounds from the other two maps, and by gosh they’re tricky little buggers. In fact it seems that based on other site forums, the monkeys are one of the biggest problems on the entire map for a lot of people, and it’s understandable. However, fear not because there are ways to deal with them (but bear in mind they do get stronger as you clock up into the higher rounds). First thing first, the popular myth that you can’t protect more than one perk machine by yourself is utter tosh. We say you can keep three from being destroyed by the little critters (any more things get harder, which is why you want to only get the most useful perks), and if you have someone with you there shouldn’t be a problem provided you are properly geared up. In their first appearance (round 10-11 ish) you want to be using either a shotgun (stakeout is ideal as a quick fix) or an LMG as they are fairly common in the box. The next important thing is the Stamin Up, it cuts off crucial seconds from your travel time, and if you start the round standing roughly equally distanced from each of your perks you can normally get there in time if you watch the icons closely.
Also worth mentioning: don’t worry about using up your ammo, you get fully maxed out when you finish the round (and a free perk if no perk machine is touched but after the first attack it’s pointless aiming for this), so use everything you’ve got if you have to. Sounds obvious but so many players seem to forget this.
In the later monkey attacks you want to have a PAP shotgun (works up until roughly 27-30) or better yet a Ray Gun. With a Ray Gun you can completely dominate the round without fear; it is by far the most effective weapon for the monkeys. Another thing worth highlighting is that you should cock or ‘cook’ (never liked this phrase lol) your grenades a little before throwing them in the path of the ever persistent monkeys, otherwise they will hurl them back at you. The monkeys are almost quicker than you if you don’t have the Stamin Up on so you can’t afford to get stuck on random bits of rubble if you are forced to flee from them, but when do you (in round 30-35 almost have to) you should try to lead them round and through a trap. It can become the only way to kill them quickly without the most powerful weapons. Bizarrely there are groups of people who feel it is more beneficial to avoid turning the power on at all to avoid the monkeys altogether…ignore them. They’re just too lazy to figure out how to cope with them, and they cut themselves out of perks, Landers, and traps. And bedsides who wants to play in black and white for hours on end?
The Loops: So the key piece of info, where to make your circuit. The first and most obvious place to do this is as mentioned before by the PhD Flopper. The benefits are as follows: very easy to get to lander (some of the other ones are in tight corners), wall supply of frag grenades (which you should be constantly throwing down the main stairs to keep numbers down, make crawlers, and most importantly give you a clear run round the top of the stairs…too many players get blocked up there when looping), you can see how many zombies you’ve still got in good time, and you have an escape route on your loop via the stairs on the right leading to the break on the banister (advise flopping off it when making a break as will clear a path temporarily). From there you can lead them into a trap if you need to then start over again.
Anyway the route itself is (at the start at least) confined to hugging the walls surrounding the lander and moving either clockwise or anticlockwise. In your mind plan to stick to the walls by default and then weave out then back in when appropriate/needed. A good tip is to walk slowly as you draw them in and allow them to get within shepherding distance, then suddenly start darting around them. After a couple of minutes of dodging and gathering (you will sometimes have to change the direction of your loop depending on what your buddy is doing) the zombie count will hit a peak and no more will spawn into the map until you kill a few, so be aware of some suddenly appearing at windows when you least expect it.
When we start the PhD loop we tend to either wait in the corner by the top left of the stairs (should be able to see the window in the room through the damaged bars), or by the lander in the far corner (the wall with the frags), shooting and keeping the brain dead dudes away for as long as you feel comfortable for. The longer the better because the focus point you provide makes getting the loop going a whole lot easier. Then start walking (don’t aim down sights too much as itslows you down) round and round at the top as outlined.
As I said at the beginning you really don’t want to do this with more than two players. The other most useful loop is round the front of the rocket room. This route is harder to work with because there is a lot less space, but on the other hand you do have easy access to two traps (machine turret and fire wall) which can thin out the round very quickly – just be aware you will have to get back on the other side of the trap ASAP because you don’t want to be wandering around by the very top where the box first spawns. So you loop around in front of the long stairs and jump down that gap in the wall, and back up round. This one does take getting used to but if you split your team up between the two loops the numbers are more manageable for longer. The rocket room loop is made easier if the rocket door is actually open but this isn’t always possible.
The Little Things: The main things that we feel most impact the success of your lobby have been outline above, but now here is a list of the smaller things that are worth touching upon.
-The Gersch device can double up as a teleporter if you really need to get out quickly, just jump into it.
-Use the thundergun like an amped up regular gun, too many players are too restrained with this weapon, trying to maximise the number of kills per shot. Although it can wipe out a quarter of the entire of zombies in the round in one go, you shouldn’t hold back when using it too much. Max ammo’s come regularly with monkeys.
-The landers can kill a crowd of zombies when it is landing at a station.
-Don’t get cocky when you have a death machine, it’s not an invincible pickup.
-Juggernog essential perk, everyone knows this by now but I’ll say it just in case.
– matryoshka doll’ are fantastic when you are looping; throw in the direction of you line and watch the mayhem.
-When you get enough money there is no excuse for not having exactly the guns you want, open all the doors up between you and keep hitting the box. In the later waves you will make so many points per round that it simply becomes a game of persistence rather than saving.
-This may sound obvious but don’t pick up a nuke during an insta kill if you can avoid it! Players seem oblivious to this self destructive mistake!
-Perks I personally would recommend for a loop in either spot: Juggernog, PhD Flopper, Stamin Up. The others are useful if you like them but I prefer this load out.
-If you end up playing solo, grab yourself a quick revive. It gives you an extra life effect (if you didn’t know).
-Reviving downed players on landers is helpful if they can crawl onto one.
For now that’s all we’ve got for you. I hope some of it will help your zombie slaying pursuits, but as always we’ll be keeping a keen eye on the comments section for your thoughts, and updating you with any new ideas as they emerge.