Call of Duty: Black Ops II‘s Uprising DLC Impressions
While Xbox 360 players are currently enjoying Vengeance, the latest map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Playstation 3 owners will have a to wait a bit longer and continue to enjoy Uprising, the second released for the game. Uprising includes a brand new zombies map called “Mob of the Dead”, and four new multiplayer maps. Unlike the previous map pack, Revolution, Uprising does not include a new multiplayer weapon.
The latest in Treyarch’s zombies mode is perhaps the best in the series for solo players; it features an “afterlife” element, where players become a controllable spirit upon death. The spirit can be used to revive the player- so long as they make it back to their body before time runs out. The spirit also provides a few other advantages. Shocking zombies will teleport them to another location, giving the player the ability to clear a path around their overrun body. As the spirit, players will also gain access to locations not accessible as a human, to the point where it may actually be advantageous to die at certain points to obtain crucial powerups.
Of course, “Mob of the Dead” is also a blast in multiplayer. Taking place in Alcatraz prison, each of the characters feature the likeness of actors that have portrayed criminals in the past; the Ray Liotta model is spot on. Their commentary throughout is well-executed, and running through the tight corridors of the prison is thrilling is all the more thrilling if you’re in the mindset of a convict. And, like the other objective-centric maps, there is a clear end goal to the map, made easier by allowing even a solo player to carry all objective items instead of just one. That said, this map is not easy by any means; it took a buddy and I several tries to break free of the first ten waves.
Moving onto multiplayer, the map that draws the most attention is Studio, which is a recreation of the fan-favorite Firing Range, which made its first appearance in the original Black Ops, and was later gutted and watered down for Black Ops Declassified on the Vita. Studio is identical to Firing Range in terms of layout, but that’s only apparent upon actually playing the map; visually, it’s unrecognizable. The range has been redecorated to look like the backlot at a movie studio, with set pieces from over a dozen different movie themes. The short-circuiting dinosaur looming over a narrow path was my personal favorite, as well as the tiny city model, presumably for a King Kong or Godzilla type movie. I actually played the map offline with bots just to take a close look at everything, and it’s really a great-looking map. Unique in Call of Duty.
Magma is is set in a Japanese city that has been destroyed by volcanic eruption. Careful- the lava can definitely kill you in the event of prolonged contact. There are some “leap of faith” moments when exiting windows near lava flows (that disappointingly don’t actually, you know, flow). The map is designed with long, wide corridors for long-distance firefights, and it works well in that regard; bring an assault rifle. It reminds me a bit of Overflow, with the three parallel streets separated by traversable buildings. Typically this map is always voted against, but I always seem to do well on it.
The next map in the set is a circular one by the name of Encore. Set in a concert venue at a London music festival, the amphitheater in the the center is completely boxed in by elevated hallways and small rooms that overlook the center arena. There are many ways to approach this map, which makes it interesting; I often find myself switch loadouts mid-match depending on how the other team’s approach. Running the perimeter is generally a good strategy, though watch out for campers and betties around corners.
Finally we have Vertigo, my personal favorite of the bunch. The map takes place at the top of an Indian skyscraper complete with helipad, and yes you can fall thousands of feet to your death. This map does not have as much verticality as one would expect; the slope separating the two different elevated areas outside of the central building is very grafual. The biggest firefights occur outside one of the exits to the main building, where the map is littered with crates between two small utility sheds. Snipers will have a few opportunities in this map, though they’re not protected on all sides by cover, making them easy to counter. This map is just plain fun to play in any mode, especially Domination and Capture the Flag.
Treyarch has, thus far, done a great job creating variety in their DLC packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. We’re looking forward to Vengeance, coming to PS3 sometime in the next month, but Uprising will surely keep us entertained until then.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Mob of the Dead Trailer