The time has come. I don’t need to lead you on with a bloated intro. Let’s review Uprising.
I’ll start with the multiplayer maps. First off it…”Mag-ma”.
This map is so detailed that if you look into the sky, you’ll notice that black ash is floating around in the atmosphere. There is a reddish tinge that resonates throughout the map, yet it’s very subtle. The idea that a volcano left its diarrhea (magma) all over this city is believable. This map looks great. Though it is a gritty scene, it doesn’t feel depressing.
Many worried that the Magma would be distracting, but it is no more intrusive than the train on Express or the water on Hydro. Though the solidified magma can harm your character, it is made clear by its red tinge that it isn’t to be touched. (It can be seen to the right of the picture above). Lava doesn’t creep up on you or come out of nowhere. It’s simply a controlled element to the map that makes it more dynamic. Magma is a success, as there are many interesting and dynamic parts to navigate. It was hot.
Next up is Encore. Though it is in a concert setting, it is the most drab of the four maps. Or would that be the drabbest? Hey, no red squiggly line! Drabbest is a word. Okay, back on track. So Encore looks pretty bad. Not only is this map duller than the other three maps of the pack, but it is duller than most maps that came with the game on the date of release.
I feel like this map plays poorly. The sides of the map lead you to the center of the map, which is a suicide zone. The stage and area around the stage is a bad place to be. The sensible solution would be to avoid the center. Unfortunately, the remainder of the map is frankly uninteresting. The sides of the map are restrictive and lead to the center of the map, which is what you are attempting to avoid. Encore will be a map that I skip, as most of it is unused and open space. It was the red-headed step-child of the maps. In other words, I don’t want an encore.
Next up is Vertigo. This map is bright, white, and polished. The wind that blows in the background and tips of buildings in the untouchable distance sells the idea of being high-up. This is one of the few maps in Black Ops 2 that looks futuristic. To top it off, it is full of a lot of glass and clean white walls. Vertigo is gorgeous.
Vertigo has a lot of interesting ways in which one can go from point A to point B. Jumping over/across things and walking across thin beams diligently adds something fresh to the game. One ladder in particular is especially fun to use. The B flag area is full of action, especially in Domination. Vertigo contains what may be one of the most hectic B flag spots to date. Over all, this map flows like butter. Smoothly, that is.
Lastly is Studio, the remake of Black Ops 2’s gem Firing Range. The problem with Firing Range was its look. The construction scene and trailer was dull. Studio completely turns Firing Range into a haven for a plethora of visually-stimulating pieces. Each step leads to a new movie set, ranging from pirates to aliens to dinosaurs. Running around this map is extremely fun and satisfying, ESPECIALLY the small building area. Studio looks awesome.
I loved the way that Firing Range played, and so I love the way that Studio plays. If you liked Firing Range, you’ll love Studio, as it’s Firing Range re-skinned. Just as Nuketown became Nuketown 2025, with minimal to no changes, Firing Range has been brought to Black Ops 2 with small changes.
So there it is. Three great multiplayer maps and one that is not so great. But we’re not done yet. How was Mob of the Dead?
Zombies isn’t a game that I can pick up and understand after hours of playing. I need to roll with great players and observe every inch of the map to honestly generate an opinion of the map. Still, I could tell from the first second of Mob of the Dead that it was something special. It starts with an intense cutscene that sets the scene and helps establish the characters.
Featuring the new “Afterlife Mode,” players have a new way in which they can interact with their environment. This is a mysterious Zombie map, full of things to decode and objectives to complete. I haven’t gotten to a high enough round to generate a strategy, but I can tell that this map is a great one for Zombie buffs.
So here we have three great multiplayer maps and a mysterious, interesting Zombie map. This map pack is a T-Bone. Encore was unable to win me over, unfortunately. Contemplating the purchase of this map pack? I say go ahead if you’re in it for Zombies, whereas if you’re getting it for the multiplayer, be sure to get Revolution first, as the four maps amount to more than the four maps of Uprising. Now onto playing Injustice.