The second DLC Map Pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
I’ll be honest, I was not that impressed with the Revolution DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. I am not an obsessive player of the game, and there was just nothing there that really inspired me to play any more than I usually would. The maps were forgettable and the new Zombie game mode was uninteresting. The gun was nice though.
But there was something about the recently released Uprising DLC that really caught my imagination. I am not going to say that the new Mob of the Dead Zombie map, with the likenesses and voices of actors such as Ray Liotta and Michael Madsen, doesn’t go a long way towards making this Map Pack so appealing. But even the four included maps themselves seemed exciting and memorable.
Surely the best map in the pack is Studio. This map sets the conflict in a Hollywood movie lot and will have the players fighting their way through medieval, science fiction or western movie sets. The map is based on the Firing Range map from the original Black Ops, but that doesn’t stop it from being a hell of a lot of fun.
Magma, which is set in a small Japanese town with an erupting volcano problem, introduces the potential hazard of being fried by molten lava. It’s not a huge hazard as it is fairly easy to avoid, being bright red and such, but it’s a nice little addition. The map in general is pretty good too, with buildings to run through a nice variety in the elevations.
Encore brings the action to London, specifically an abandoned concert arena. You can almost hear the crowds screaming. With tunnels running under the arena, a centre stage to “perform” on and plenty of nice places for snipers to set up shop, it’s a pretty enjoyable map.
The final map in the pack is Vertigo. This fancy high-rise map features some nice, and often precarious, walkways and some big rooftop sections. It has a clean look and ordered feel about it and, as with all of the maps, is fun to play in.
Each of the maps have their memorable moments, such as feeling like Gulliver when crouching next to a miniature skyscraper in Studio, the collapsed train carriage in Magma, the tunnel under the stadium in Encore and potentially jumping to your doom to grab a ladder in Vertigo. It is these little moments that felt absent in the last DLC and go towards making Uprising such a brilliant map pack.
But then there is the highlight of the pack, Mob of the Dead. After the unimpressive new Zombie mode added in the Revolution pack, this time around Treyarch have opted for a new map with a Hollywood level of polish. Telling a story of four gangsters trying to escape from Alcatraz, with the gangsters being voiced and modeled on Ray Liotta, Michael Madsen, Chazz Palminteri and Joe Pantoliano, Mob of the Dead certainly manages to impress.
Seems our four “Made men” had already planned their escape and were in the process of putting that plan to action when everyone else in the prison were turned into Zombies. Don’t you hate it when that happens…
Anyhow, Mob of the Dead takes the somewhat more complicated Zombie mode and sets it in a rather huge and impressive Alcatraz map, with some new weapons, a new boss Zombie and the rather enjoyable “Afterlife” mode. If the player dies, rather than being gone for good, they become an ethereal being, capable of interacting with certain things, zapping Zombies and reviving themselves. They only have a certain amount of time in this state, but it certainly adds a new level to the game. Interestingly, there are some things that the player can only do in Afterlife mode, forcing the player to kill themselves, carry out their business, and then revive themselves before the time runs out.
Four brilliant maps and a highly entertaining, well polished map for Zombie mode. Is it worth the admittedly steep asking price of 1200 MSPoints? Well, that depends on how much you play the game. Personally, I have found that Uprising has given me a reason to return on a more regular basis. I say “pay the price of admission and enjoy the ride”.