Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Uprising
If you’ve picked up the season pass for Black Ops 2 then you’re more than likely chomping at the bit for some top notch DLC action. Well, now we have the second DLC pack, Uprising, featuring four new multiplayer maps and a whole new Zombies section – is this the DLC season pass owners have been waiting for?
Starting with the maps, first we have Magma, a level set in modern Japan but with a slight difference, the whole place is covered in lava. The lava has torn through the map, carving out a series of paths and routes, there’s a decent amount of verticality around. You can drop down to surprise an enemy or pop out from around a ruined train carriage. It’s a decent enough map, although it is very tight without much wriggle room; it’s bright, there’s plenty of colour and interesting things to look at, if you manage to do so without being shot that is.
Next up is Encore, a map set in jolly old London town. Despite being set in London there’s no landmarks on show, you’re in a concert arena for a band called EmCee. In the middle you have the stage section, a big open space and an almost certain death. From here you can roam around the outside of the map in a large circle or tackle the inner corridors which lead under the stage and through the backstage. Round the edge of the map there’s little to get excited about, unless you fancy having a shoot-out in the toilet. Again, it’s a decent map, a little more enjoyable than Magma with wide open spaces, long alleyways and close knit corridors.
Vertigo is a map amongst the clouds, a compound placed on the top of a high rise structure, there’s more verticality than you can shake a stick at, unfortunately if you decide to jump off the structure you’ll simply fall to your death. As far as playable area goes, the level is fairly flat, there’s some open spaces and cramped interiors. The main thing about Vertigo is the high risk of falling to your death, if you’re not paying attention to where you’re running then you can quite simply run off the edge, which is never a good idea.
Lastly we have, Studio, this map is going to feel very similar to former Black Ops players as it’s a remake of the old map, Firing Range. The only difference here is the setting, gone is the boring ‘serious’ setting of Black Ops and it’s been replaced with, as the name suggests, a movie studio. The map is split up into a few different scenes, there’s a green screen section, a small model city, an animatronic T-Rex and even some moving dummies, something that can give nervous players a bit of a fright.
Outside of the maps we have the pièce de résistance, the Mob of the Dead zombie mode. Similar to the Call of the Dead mode in the previous title, Mob of the Dead recruits some famous actors to lend their voices towards the zombie cause. This time round we have Ray Liotta, Chazz Palminteri, Joe Pantoliano, and Michael Madsen who are trying to escape legendary prison Alcatraz.
Upon attempting their escape they realise they aren’t alone as they’re attacked by hordes of zombies, which is never ideal. The mob have to work their way through the cells to escape the prison’s clutches. Much like the standard zombie mode, there’s plenty of hidden items and weapons to locate for the hardcore. The main difference this time round is that if you die you enter an afterlife mode where you’re basically a ghost. It’s also worth noting that you can enter this afterlife mode voluntarily at junction boxes where you’ll basically electrocute yourself to death.
When you’re a ghost you can either traverse pieces of landscape that you couldn’t before, zap zombies or revive yourself. As the ghost can shoot lightning bolts you can also use this to power up doors and switches to save yourself paying the money to open doors. When you’re in afterlife killing zombies is a piece of cake, although there’s always a catch, you don’t get any money for killing zombies in this state, you have to revive yourself before you completely die and you can only enter afterlife three times, although when you complete a round you’ll get another afterlife life, if that makes sense.
The whole Uprising pack feels very light-hearted and that can only be a good thing, the COD series can feel all too serious at times so to get some maps with lots of colour and interesting themes, it feels like a breath of fresh air. The changes to the zombie mode are for the better and the afterlife is an interesting mechanic, as before, the zombies mode is still tough and disorganised teams are doomed to fail from the off.