It’s that time of year, when you feel the giddiness and anticipation for new DLC on your favorite game. Okay, maybe not FAVORITE, but played-til-you-made-your-console-hot-to-the-touch game, and I’m talking about CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS. Even though this game was shunned by many COD fans, the ones that actually enjoy this title are in for a real treat with these new upcoming maps. Bigger? YES. You might scream at your tv or yell at your teammates? OH, YES! Scary looking zombie space monkeys? OMG, I’M CLAPPING WITH EXCITEMENT. And yes, I actually did a happy dance when I saw the trailer for it, and I’m hyped to share it with you all!!! HERE WE GO!
Let’s begin with Kowloon, a map most of you Black Ops players will recognize from Campaign Mode, although it’s not the exact same layout. One giant pro for this map? THE ZIP LINES! One major con for this map? THE ZIP LINES! Think of the zip line as the person you THINK is your best friend, but is really your worst enemy in disguise. You can get to Point A to Point B in a jiffy, but you’re a moving target, and your guns are inaccessible. You’ll have no chance of defending yourself at all. Using the zip line will be like answering Jigsaw’s famous lines from SAW: ‘Live or die. Make your choice’. The map itself looks pretty big, but it could be because of all the tin rooftops jutting out everywhere. If it’s as big as it seems, then we’ll all be getting lost in our quest to ‘complete the objective’ in our game of choice, kind of like most people did when Trailer Park was released in the MW2 Resurgence Map Pack last year.
Next on the list is Discovery, a research station with a void smack in the center of the map. One of the ways to get to the opposite side of the map is a very small, very fragile snow bridge, which can crumble to smithereens if a grenade explodes on it. If you’re in the process of running, you will fall, die, and probably curse the day you bought the map pack. *evil grin* It also seems that this map is great for sniping, since it’s almost not worth it to use Sniper Rifles in the maps that are currently in rotation for multiplayer.
The biggest map so far would be Berlin Wall. Players will be fighting on either side, with a No Man’s Land in the center guarded by auto-turrets. This map will also be even better for sniping than Discovery being that there are tall buildings that give you a nice, clear view of the map layout. Now, I had to look up info on these turrets, because the First Strike Preview doesn’t specify whether or not the turrets can be controlled by players. Although I couldn’t find anything concrete on the issue, I did read some speculation by players. Some hoped for button controlled turrets similar to Radiation’s button controlled hatch. Others hoped they could be destroyed by certain means, such as an RPG, or if not, they would be fully protected from fire by using the Ghost Pro perk. I have to say, I like the Ghost Pro option better, but whichever the case may be, let’s just say people who play flag-based games will have lots of fun frustration trying to capture one if it’s set in No Man’s Land.
Now, for what seems like will be my *FAVORITE* map, Stadium! This is going to be for you shotgun using, SMG toting, kamikaze, run-and-gun type players, such as myself. *happy dance* It’s catered more towards people who like close-quarters combat, so I expect to see A LOT of melee kills, especially if you’re the type that auto-melees if someone just happens to run in front of you. I am hoping this is an expanded-type version of Nuketown, which is always fast-paced in any gameplay, which is exactly what this map is supposed to offer. It will be a great map for the Flak Jacket perk, so you all keep that in mind!
NOW, for the icing on the cupcake!
ASCENSION. *cue the Zombie music*
If you play Zombies as much as I have, then seeing a new, scarier map is going to make you squeal like a piggy! It looks darker, bigger, and more fast paced than Kino Der Toten or FIVE. Instead of seeing one teleporting device like on Kino, or several that are on FIVE, we see lunar landers. They look like a sort of hovercraft that will take you from one place on the map to another while still being able to shoot at the zombies, which you can’t do when using teleporters. At the start of the Ascension preview, there is a turret in use. It’s unclear as to any turrets being player controlled or auto, but it looks like it will definitely come in handy. Along with the usual drone-like zombies that somehow obtain Marathon Pro in later levels and the Crawler zombies with the killer gas, we are introduced to a new enemy: the zombie space monkey. They seem to also have unlimited sprinting abilities, and the swarms look much more menacing than usual. I don’t think it will make me sleep better at night knowing the space monkeys have red eyes, the zombies have yellow eyes, and the crawlers have NO eyes. *cue the nightmares*
There are special achievements for Ascension on XBL (which I’m sure will also become Trophies on PS3), which are:
The Eagle has Landers (35G) – In Ascension, escape on all three lunar landers.
They are going THROUGH! (35G) – In Ascension, kill at least 5 zombies with 1 Gersch device.
Space Race (45G) – In Ascension, Pack-a-Punch a weapon before round 8.
Chimp on the Barbie (35G) – In Ascension, kill a space monkey with a fire trap.
The First Strike map pack makes its debut on Xbox Live February 1, 2011. No release date has been set for PS3 or PC users as of yet, but since there is usually a month or so wait, my guess is it will be out in March or April. I’ll make sure to keep you all posted, since I will be awaiting my turn to play these new maps on PS3. ’Til then, ‘use of deadly force is authorized’.