Review - Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC - Revolution
I have a confession: I rarely partake in Call of Duty DLC. Modern Warfare 3 was an exception, simply because the levels offered could all be played in the Survival Mode as well. Most of the time, the standard maps are enough to keep my attention long enough for the next CoD release. However, I thought Black Ops 2, being my favorite CoD, could be another exception.
Enter Revolution, the first of four map packs for the most played game of 2012. Things seem great. We’ve got new multiplayer maps, a new weapon, a new zombie map, and an all-new zombie mode--all for the asking price of 15 bucks. Maybe.
Let’s start with the maps. First up is “Downhill,” which takes place at the base of some ski-slopes, with fire fights weaving in and out of lodges and a lift station. It has a nice blend of choke points, interiors for CQC, and a few good sight lines for snipers. The lifts, which are constantly moving up and down through the map, can act as mobile cover or even squash you if you are not paying attention.
“Grind” takes place in a skate park offering great, curvy locations that lend themselves very well to the old, “I-can-see-you-but-you-can’t-see-me-while-I-shoot-you-in-the-face” malarkey that campers are so fond of. I love not even seeing a man’s gun over the edge of cover, but on the kill cam the cover he is behind only goes to his knees.
"Mirage” is actually a pretty clever level, with a sandstorm that has decimated a hotel. It also has some great sight lines, an open courtyard, and opportunities for flanking the enemy.
“Hydro” takes place on a dam. This map is a bit long and narrow; people with LMG’s with target finders or Sniper’s should have fun with this map, but there are ways on both sides of its long stretch for the run-and-gunners to get around. On occasion, the middle-lower area fills with water, and will spill unsuspecting players off the dam’s edge.
“Die Rise” is undoubtedly the best part (and the biggest selling point) of “Revolution.” Like most maps it opens up based on currency, and has some new weapons to assemble like the “Liquifier” which shoots a purple liquid that, you guessed it, liquefies the zombies it hits. It also leaves a purple residue on the ground, which walking zombies will slip on. High rise is awesome because it has closed, claustrophobic hallways, as well as bigger rooms. It’s easy for players to be split up, so coordination is as important as ever. Elevators that go up and down the sets of skyscrapers can take you all the way to the roof, and a series of daring jumps in-between the leaning buildings makes for some hairy pursuits.
The new Zombies game mode, “Turned,” is a welcome addition to the CoD Zombies universe. This time, four players start as zombies. First to collect the cure (a collectable, randomly placed bottle) turns into a human in a hazmat suit, fighting for his life. The zombies here (human controlled) run much faster than the usual, and things can get chaotic pretty quick. However, for some unknown reason, you can’t be in a party to play “Turned” in a public match, so if you and a buddy want to play with some strangers, it’s not going to happen. Unbelievably, this game mode is only available on the “Diner” map, which is small and pretty plain so if you are expecting a full mode across all zombie environments, yeah, it’s not there. Matches basically boil down to hiding in a corner, shooting the first zombie that attacks you, then dying at the hands of the second, and it’s a mad scramble to start the simplicity over again.
Finally, the “Bonus” weapon--the Peacekeeper. Alas, the first DLC weapon in COD history, and there’s a reason why: Rather than nerf the overpowered SMG class, or buff the underpowered Assault Rifles, Treyarch thought it would be a great idea to just throw in an SMG with the power to decimate people at close range and across the map. Seriously, though. Across-the-map-automatic-accuracy. It feels as if the M27 and the MSMC had a child. Really. You can win sniper battles with this thing. It’s stupid.
The biggest letdown, for me, is that there are new maps, new modes, and a new, overpowered weapon, but no fix for the most common issues for Black Ops 2. Things like the spawning are still abysmal. Several times, even on the new maps, I was shot in the back by a group of tangos who had all appeared behind me. Often bullets I shoot don’t register at all, because I am apparently already dead because (though maybe not noticeable to casual players) there is still pathetic lag in which people come around the corner and kill me before I see them; or I’ll die after running well behind cover, only to see myself in the open on the kill cam.
So for 15 bucks you get 4 solid and passable maps that all suit different combat styles, which are all still plagued by the same problems from the original game; a new “Mode” that’s only available on one tiny map, and cannot be played with friends in a public match; an overpowered Assault/SMG that every player on earth will be using from now on; and finally, a very entertaining Zombies map that barely nudges “Revolution” up to, but not over the line of, “worth buying”. If you are starving, and I mean starving for more CoD, go ahead and take another bite. If you already have the season pass… enjoy.
Shaun Bolen is a freelance reviewer for ScrewAttack.com. After interning with the site for eight months, he left to continue his education. Shaun holds a degree in Foreign Language with an English BA on the way, and is now back with ScrewAttack to write reviews in his spare time. He can't wait for GTA V to come out, and enjoys taking emotive black-and-white self-portraits.
15 bucks sounds a bit too much for this, but it does look like a decent add on. Good review Shaun!
Curse you lag compensation. That's the real reason for your case of lag as it happens to me too. I've been noticing it since MW2, but it wasn't as apparent as they had a lower frame count than they do now. I believe that you should not have lag compensation, more or less like Halo 3, where the host may have an advantage, but you can slim that advantage down by actual going with a decent internet provider. I'm always the host in any game I play, and in newer and newer games, I'm starting to resent that as the host has the best connection to the game and is penalized for it. CoD needs to either get dedicated servers from their boatloads of money, or lower frame count for lag compensation. I can live with the spawn killing if I can spawn before the enemy sees me.
If you like Zombies a lot, I would say yes, but if you had patience, I would say wait until it went on a discount.
Would it be worth a purchase just for the new zombie map?
Its not bad lag, but a terrible netcode. Treyarch's netcode has always been bad, but not as say Gears of War 1 or 2.
I actually Really Like this DLC so far.