When it comes to the Call of Duty franchise, the reality is that many pick up the game for its online play. The numbers are staggering as it has been estimated that nearly 80% of gamers who pick up a Call of Duty game do so for only its multiplayer component. So it is no surprise Activision remains committed to their online audience by cranking out downloadable content to keep those gamers satisfied until the next entry into the series arrives. The most recent batch of DLC for Black Ops II is aptly titled “Revolution”. This DLC pack is far from revolutionary but it does include four new multiplayer maps, a new Zombie map, a new Zombie mode and a new weapon. All this will cost you around 15 bucks, or if you have a Season Pass it is included with the $50 dollar price you paid for it. When you consider previous Treyarch DLC content consisted of 4 or 5 maps for the same price, on the surface “Revolution” seems like pretty good bang for the buck. But the new question of the day: Does the new Zombie mode and fancy new weapon make this DLC a “better deal” compared to previous Call of Duty DLC offerings? Well not really; however, there is no question the core Call of Duty online fan base will enjoy the majority of what “Revolution” has to offer.
Before, I get into the new weapon and new zombie additions I will briefly give you my impressions of the four multiplayer maps.
The first map I had a look at was “Hydro”. Hydro takes place around a dam. The cool aspect of the map is that every so often a male voice over a PA system and alarm bells start to sound off as a warning as water fills up the underground dam. If you are caught inside the dam when the water starts to rise you are immediately brought to your death. Some may call it gimmicky, and it certainly is, but it spices up a map that under any other circumstances is nothing special. The map itself is not too large and the action maintains a fast pace. All in all, it was not my favorite of the new maps but it’s also not the worst as I did have some fun.
The “least favourite” designation goes to “Mirage”, which acts as almost a ‘filler map’ out of the four new multiplayer maps. Mirage takes place in a hotel in Dubai that appears to have been hit by a massive sandstorm. It is a fairly tiny map featuring small corridors, a deserted pool area, a vault/safe area, an abandoned bus and other things you would typically find in a somewhat war torn CoD map. It is easily the most forgettable of the new maps and was typically outvoted when sitting in the lobby waiting for the next match to begin so I didn’t get too much playtime as no one wanted to play it.
“Grind” on the other hand is easily my favorite of the new maps. It takes place in a Skateboard park featuring ramps, bleachers, waving inflatable tube men, skate bowl areas and other unusual slopes. It is the most colourful of the new maps and even features an indoor section as well. Much like Hydro it is fast paced and you never know who will pop up around the corner. It is a medium sized map where there might be one or maybe two sniper spots for the more skilled. Otherwise it is a map where you will want to equip an SMG or an assault rifle with rapid fire.
Last but not least of the new multiplayer maps is “Downhill”. It is a snow map that takes place in the French Alps. The battles tend to occur at the bottom of the map where the apparent ski resort is located. The gimmicky aspect of this map is the cable car/enclosed sky lifts. The cable cars move slowly but remain a hazard as it is imperative you get out of the way if you are standing in one of those spots that overlook the battlefield. It would have been cool if you could get into the cars and pick people off down below but alas the cars do not open up and act as more of a distraction than anything else. Domination was really enjoyable on this map as it is a larger map and you do have a travel fair distance to get from point A to point C.
For those of you who enjoy Black Ops II’s Zombie mode, Revolution includes a new zombie level called “Die Rise”. This is not just any zombie level as it has a story and a snappy opening sequence before you start blasting away. To say that it is a difficult map is an understatement. I lasted until level 5 on my own but when teaming up with others we managed to make it to level 15. I really don’t think we could have done too much better than that. My only advice is to play this level with a friend as it is quite punishing given the tight confines and many places where you can fall to your death. The map takes place in a ruined skyscraper in a zombie infested apocalyptic setting, so as you would envision watch out for that elevator shaft. The level of detail is impressive and there is no doubt there are plenty of areas to explore as your try to make it as far as you can.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a new zombie mode as well. This time you can play as a zombie and you must play with others as you cannot take this ride solo. In this mode one person takes a turn being the human while others play the zombie. Your job as the zombie is to hunt down and kill the human while the human player racks up points by mowing down as many zombies as possible. The zombie who kills the human then takes on the roll of the human. The human with the most points at the end of the match wins. The game takes place on the Diner map and is pretty enjoyable in terms of mixing up the zombie experience. It is not a ‘game changer’ in terms of the way people play zombies but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Much to my surprise the new weapon, the Peacekeeper SMG, is a very efficient gun. It has the fire rate of a submachine gun but also has some long range capabilities. Many others seem to be using the gun with some success as well. I didn’t dominate the battlefield by any stretch but I managed to hold my own with this gun. Is the gun balanced? Well, I felt it was but only time will tell if the Peacekeeper ultimately tips the scales in your favor.
Overall Black Ops II “Revolution” was easily worth the price of admission for me as I continue to play Black Ops II online on a semi-regular basis. With the addition of 4 online maps, a new zombie map, a new gun and a new zombie mode, this DLC certainly adds some depth to already rich Call of Duty online experience. If you don’t play Black Ops 2 online all that much anymore or you have moved on to other games, then you may likely will want to pass as this batch of DLC does not break any new ground; yet for the price, I felt like I got my money’s worth and in the end that is what matters the most.