Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Game Review (Call of Duty: Black Ops II Revolution)

The Revolution pack has been out for Black Ops II for a couple weeks now, but I just decided to cave and get the Season Pass. I had gotten ELiTE Premium for Modern Warfare 3, a game that I don't think is as good as this one, so I figured I may as well try it out. Besides, the four new maps piqued my interest, and I had picked a dead dude's Peacekeeper off the ground several times and enjoyed using it. (Note: I will be excluding Zombies from my review due to the fact that I haven't played Die Rise or the new Zombie game mode, I'm not sure WHEN I'll play it, and I don't know if I ever even WILL play it.)

Downhill: Oh thank God, Treyarch has given us a snow map. In the original Black Ops, I believe a quarter of the 16 disc maps were snowy. My assumption is that a lot of people got bored of the mostly white maps, but I missed the fact that Treyarch negated the option of putting at least one on the Black Ops 2 disc. Fortunately, they brought one in as DLC, and it's a lot of fun. Downhill takes place at a ski resort. Knowing that bit of information, you could assume that there would be a good number of hills and buildings -- and there are both of those things. The map is approximately medium in size, and is ideal for an SMG or maybe even assault rifle, though there are a couple prime spots for snipers to house up in. There's something that Treyarch added to this map that will likely frustrate a lot of players -- the killer lifts (I forget the real name for them) that will splatter you at a lightning velocity of approximately 1.5mph! While these are somewhat annoying, they move so slowly that it would really be pathetic if you were to die from one of them, in my opinion. I think it would be cooler if they traveled a bit faster and people could ride them in a circle around the map (while of course having some blind spots). I enjoy this map a lot. 4.25/5

Grind: Here's an interesting map... Grind takes place at a skate park in California. In Treyarch's preview video for Revolution, they claimed that Grind removes corners... and that's just a lie. Sure, there are a good number of ramps and pipes that eliminate corners, but there's also the building in the middle that has plenty of  close quarters combat with corners galore. Regardless, I like it. The main problem I have with Grind though is that no matter where I go, I feel extremely vulnerable. The building in the middle has a lot of rooms and corners and it's hard to determine which is safe to go in -- it's really a guessing game. Grind looks great and plays pretty well, but I'll have to play it some more to really decide if I enjoy it or not. For now though, it gets a 4/5

Hydro: This one takes place at a foreign dam. This is a smaller, mostly symmetrical map with medium sight lines at best, and two levels of action. Of course, the most notable thing about Hydro is the bottom level that spews water out and kills anything in its path. Fortunately though, there's a bit of a warning to let you know that you'll get destroyed if you don't get out in a timely fashion. Some may complain that this is some sort of a stupid gimmick, but I like it more than the bullet train on Express. I could see this being a very popular map among competitive and casual gamers alike. Relatively simply designed, but quite a blast to play in spite of that. 4.25/5

Mirage: Here we have a map that takes place in a desert in China. This seems to be a map that people seem to love or hate. Even before playing these maps and having only seen the Treyarch preview video, I had forgotten about this map. After playing it, I know why. First of all, it feels and looks like it should be in World at War, not Black Ops 2. Second, the way that it's designed is just, overall, frustrating. It has potential, but this map seems to encourage camping much more than the others in the pack. It's a decent, medium sized map, but it just doesn't do a lot for me in terms of how it looks or feels. It remains better than some other Call of Duty maps I've played in the past. 3.5/5

Finally, the SMG that's included in the pack, the Peacekeeper. I was told by a number of people that the Peacekeeper was a very good gun... and it is. The best way to describe the Peacekeeper is that it's an SMG/AR hybrid. That is to say, the Peacekeeper has a fire rate similar to an SMG, but almost with the range of an assault rifle. Another added benefit of the Peacekeeper is that it feels like the stock attachment is on it even when it's not when you look down your sights due to the fact that it's an SMG. I haven't used it too much (I've maybe gotten 150 kills with it), but I've enjoyed it quite a lot so far. I find that it's an extremely useful gun for most of the maps in this game (ones that are medium in size) for several reasons: It's mobile, so it is easier to move around, the fire rate helps at close range, and enemies can be taken out at a distance with a reasonable number of rounds fired into their bellies and/or heads.

Knowing that there will be four map packs, I feel like it's safe to assume that there will likely be a single downloadable gun in each pack (and perhaps two in one of the packs). This time around we got an SMG, so next up will likely be an assault rifle, shotgun, LMG, or sniper. I'd like to get more guns than just five, but who am I to complain? I've been wanting DLC guns for a couple years now, and now I've finally gotten my wish.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops II Revolution DLC is an expansion that's hard to not recommend. From what I've heard, Die Rise is an excellent Zombies map (though it's a bit drab in my opinion... why can't there be a less depressing Zombies map?), and I haven't even touched it. If you buy Revolution just for the Zombies map, I'd guess that you'd be disappointed, as it's just one level for a price of $15. If you buy it for just the multiplayer maps, you four maps at a price of $3.50 a piece (I say that because I figure the Peacekeeper would be worth $1 to the average player). And, naturally, if you buy Revolution to play all of it, you get 1.86GB of good, Call of Duty fun. No matter what you decide to primarily play if/when you get Revolution, I don't think there's any doubt that this pack is of the best value of any Call of Duty pack, and I don't think that there's any arguing that you'll actually get quite a lot for your money if you decide to get the Season Pass for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. For those two reasons, it gets the rating that I'm giving it.


+ All four maps are above average -- especially Downhill and Hydro.
+ At last... a downloadable gun!
+ For once, $15 for a Call of Duty pack, and I can say it's a good deal.