Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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

And, here we are... the last of the Black Ops II DLC. As is usually the case with Treyarch's multiplayer maps, they've delivered some really nice ones for this game with a nice variety of locales with a huge array of different colors. As usual, I'm passing on reviewing the Zombie map (I know, it's a huge chunk of the DLC, yadayadayada), so this is for people who are interested in the multiplayer maps.

Going, as usual, in alphabetical order, Dig takes place at an archaeological site in Afghanistan... hence the map's name. Apparently this is essentially a remake of Courtyard from World at War, but I hardly played that game at all, so it's pretty new to me. As you'd probably expect, if you can imagine an archaeological dig in a country like Afghanistan, the map is shades of brown with a bunch of brick half-walls that give the player the ability to run for cover with relative ease. What's nice about dig is that it has a variety of close and far sight lines throughout the map, without any truly designated spots. What I mean by that is, on a lot of maps there tends to be a certain second story window that's oh-so popular for cool kids to camp in. Dig is a good, medium/small sized map that caters to players of all styles... and yes, that includes snipers. Like I said, the map is littered with areas of brick walls for cover, which makes it fun (and frustrating) for snipers to play, and lets people be effective with shotguns if they choose to use one. While I don't care much for the style of the map, it plays pretty well. 3.75/5

Second up is Frost... which reminds me quite a lot of the pretty unpopular map Berlin Wall from Black Ops 1's first DLC pack. I'm one of the few people that enjoyed that map, so the slight resemblance in Frost bodes well with me. It's not all that similar at all in layout, it just looks like Berlin Wall... probably because it's a European map with snow all over the place. The big difference between the two maps is that Frost is considerably smaller, and actually plays a lot like a Counter-Strike map would. My absolute favorite thing about Frost, besides the fact that the layout is great and there are a bunch of easy-to-call-out buildings, is that there are very few obvious head glitching spots for people to camp behind. Frost is just a map that pretty much forces people to have one-on-one firefights without too much cover. What cover there happens to be on Frost is mostly cars that can explode. This is one of the best maps Treyarch has ever made, in my opinion. 5/5

Pod's a map that I saw in the reveal trailer for Apocalypse and was basically "meh" on it. After playing it a few times, I know why. Pod is good in the sense that there are different elevations on the ground which make it easier for a player with good aim to be successful, but it's just pretty uninteresting. I don't like judging maps based on this, but I do it anyway -- Pod doesn't really do it for me because there are just a number of easy camping/head glitching spots to pick off enemy players who are just coming out of their spawn. It doesn't ruin the map, but it makes an already pretty mediocre map a little bit worse. I could see this being a really fun map on a game mode like Headquarters or something like that, but it's pretty forgettable overall. 3.25/5

The final map of Apocalypse is another remade map... this one is a remake of Stadium from Black Ops 1, and is called Takeoff. Stadium is another map from Black Ops 1 that I felt wasn't very popular with the community, but I'm guessing it was, considering it's been remade for Black Ops II. Stadium was (and so Takeoff is) a very fun map. While there are some pretty easy-to-camp at spots on the map, it's also really easy to flank them, or take them out from a distance if you know where the popular spots are at. I preferred the overall look and location of Stadium rather than Takeoff, but it's still the same map that I enjoyed playing in Black Ops... just with a different skin, and improved graphics. 4/5

And that's the end of the content for Black Ops II (at least as far as maps are concerned). The maps included in the pack aren't total mind-blowers (although Frost is an instant classic, for me), but they're fun and diverse enough to keep you entertained for the next few months until Ghosts is released. While I haven't played Origins (Zombies), it appears to be a great send off for the fans from Treyarch for this generation of games. I look forward to see what Treyarch can do with Black Ops III (or whatever game they make next in the series), and the content they bring afterwards.


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