Call of Duty Black Ops 2: Apocalypse DLC Review

Call of Duty Black Ops 2: Apocalypse DLC

4 Multiplayer Maps, Zombie Map

Price: $15 (1200 Microsoft Points)

The COD DLC season has come to an end. Did Treyarch use leftovers for the final map pack or did they save the best for last? Let’s review the Apocalypse DLC pack. I’ll begin with the maps. First up is Pod.

To be bluntly straightforward, this map looks like a garbage dump. Overgrown mosses are slung over things carelessly. The roads are a boring gray, and there is nothing on this map that is aesthetically pleasing. Every DLC map has been individual, each with a unique backstory and appearance. Pod, however, lacks character. Visually, it is far below underwhelming: It’s boring.

Pod is the worst DLC map that Black Ops 2 has given us thus far. This map has nothing going for it. Nothing. There is no verticality to Pod. The pods that are elevated above the roads are nothing more than backdrops, and ugly ones at that. You cannot dive from one to another. You cannot use the ground-leveled pods tactfully. They were essentially little huts with windows, and that’s all. Pod played poorly as well. This is a map that lacks a redeeming quality. Next up is Frost. The snow that blankets the map surprisingly isn’t a curse as it is to most COD maps.

Even better than the look of the map is the atmosphere of it. The wind that quietly blows across the terrain creates a serene scene. The map looks and feels cold, but it doesn’t have a gray overlay that makes it dull. Treyarch nailed a dreary mood without making the map look depressing.

Frost plays in a very individual way. It feels like a classic map, perhaps one from Call of Duty 4. The tight corners and the slight verticality that the bridge creates makes the map feel more dynamic. One can choose to utilize the bridge or to hole up in a window. Moving around the map and flanking is great fun, as the little bridge really does add another layer to the map. I enjoyed Frost. Following Frost is Takeoff, the re-skin of Stadium.

If I were in the developer’s position, Stadium wouldn’t be a choice of mine for a makeover. It was already aesthetically pleasing, despite not being very vibrant. Regardless, Stadium is back, even brighter and more futuristic. It looks fine, on par with the other DLC maps visually, but the futuristic theme isn’t as original as Treyarch thinks it is. Many would argue that this visual change is a regression from Stadium’s original sports venue look.

The original version of Takeoff, Stadium.

Takeoff is a map of power positions. The high positions that overlook the lower ground of the map are the keys to victory. When you have these positions, the map is enjoyable. When you don’t, Stadium is a difficult power struggle. If you enjoyed Stadium of Black Ops, Takeoff will please you. It is undoubtedly a more difficult map of the pack.

The final multiplayer map of this pack is Dig, a remake of the World at War map Courtyard.

Despite being a dig site, this map isn’t depressing to look at. It achieves a dirty, outdoors look that many Call of Duty maps strive to emulate yet miss the mark (Modern Warfare 3). It isn’t the aesthetics of Dig that make it stand out, however. It’s the gameplay.

Dig is close range done correctly. It’s not as chaotic as Nuketown, but it still has a ridiculously fast pace. Any gun can be used on this map, as long lines of sight are offered along with tight spaces. Dig is a map where you get in the face of the enemy. Little skirmishes are ongoing. For success, stick to the edges of the map and be conscious of the enemy spawn. I love this map.

In terms of the multiplayer maps, we have 2 great playgrounds that I will look forward to in rotation. Takeoff, however, was average, and Pod is a failed map altogether, a waste of potential.

And now onto the Zombie map. Origins takes us back to the beginning of the Zombie story. There are a bunch of new things to do and easter eggs, as can be expected from a Zombie map.

This is a unique map in its look. The rain and gloominess amount to an appropriate Zombie atmosphere. This is a map for elite Zombie players. It’s difficult. Surviving becomes a challenge quickly, and trying to build the staffs and activate generators are for the best of the best. If you’re a more-than-competent player with friends who can do Zombies as easily as they breathe, you will enjoy Origins. If you are more of a casual player…stay away, as Origins will frustrate you. It’s a map for the elite.

Over all, Apocalypse is a Porkchop. Origins is not a map I return to often, as it’s a frustrating challenge. There are only 2 maps I look forward to in rotation offered by the Apocalypse pack. Invest in the first 3 packs and skip this one. It’s not worth the cash.

~Ddog

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