Escalation feels like a map pack. It’s nothing that stands out and yells “Hey you, yeah you with the face. Come play me.” Fans of the franchise will enjoy the maps, but if you’re not a hardcore Call of Duty player you might want to think twice when it comes to buying it.
+ Graphically the map pack is beautiful.
+ Call of the Dead is a welcome addition to the zombie scene.
+ Voice acting in the game was spot on with the addition of Hollywood talent.
+ The audio score provides great detail to the surrounding environment.
- The maps are pretty generic and are underutilized.
- Overall it felt as if it was rushed out to make bank.
- Gaming depth isn’t there for non-hardcore players.
We are now into Treyarch’s second map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops. The DLC was made available yesterday exclusively for the Xbox 360 thanks Activision being run by Satan... Can I even say that? I don’t want to upset the Dark Lord.
Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, First Strike, Escalation contains four multiplayer maps and one zombie map. When it comes to DLC, my outlook on it is much like how it was when I use to buy new packs of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. You get the rush and excitement of something new, but then you open it and more often than not you get uncommon, common and rare cards.
(I wish Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon was in Escalation.)
Much like those trading card packs, Escalation has some pros and cons.
StockPile: On this close courters map, everything is centred on one building in the middle. This choke point basically equals a campers paradise. Seriously, pull up your tent because it’s going to be a long trip. Players have the ability to close the garage doors by interacting with a panel.
Hotel: Like StockPile, I found Hotel to be another campy map. Much like playing on Nuketown, the map is layered in a straight-narrow north to south pattern. This is one of the maps where user interaction is inserted. Hold on to your hats because you can control... elevators.
Convoy: Convoy takes place on a slice of Americana highway between Los Vegas and Los Angeles. What really doesn’t make sense to me is why you’re fighting on American soil. Is this Homefront now? In regards to the map, the focal point in mainly the highway. Everything off to the sides really doesn’t seem to get utilized.
Zoo: Lastly, we have Zoo. I have to say this one stuck out the most when it came to appeal. It’s seems to be the largest of the maps and really is the only one to offer something different. Much like Array, Zoo provides sniping avenues and close courter situations. Every area of this map can be utilized, which for me made this most fun to play. However, you can’t get the killstreak where the giraffe eats your enemy.
For the hardcore gamer, these maps are a nice addition. Personally, FPSs lose their appeal after a while because it becomes so familiar. These maps do provide a level of difficulty, but I found them to be to much alike. The biggest down fall of these maps is they’re under utilized. Treyarch really put key emphasis on certain parts of the maps, which back fires by leaving everywhere else empty.
Graphically the maps are beautiful. The textures provide depth and even add some humour to certain areas. The audio in the game really stands out. Whether it’s listening to elevator music on your trip upstairs or hearing the noise of an abandoned zoo, Treyarch really made the score something to listen too.
Call of the Dead: This is the rare card in this pack and baby does it shine. Now normally I haven’t been a fan of zombie modes in the past, but this was a fresh idea. Call of the Dead has an interesting story that drags you under and turns you into a member of the undead army. Bringing in actors Danny Trejo, Michael Rooker, Robert Englund and Sara Michelle Gellar really paid off. Based on the work of George Romero, CotD provides a new experience while sticking to its roots. The game plays much like past zombie experiences, where you unlock weapons as you progress, however zombies right from the start come crawling out from the ice. Word of advice, stay the hell away from zombie Romero, because he will whoop your ass left and right. Also, don’t shoot him, it will only make zombie Romero angry.
Overall Escalation stays pretty close the chest. You can tell Treyarch went with the if it ain’t broke don’t fix mentality. Call of the Dead on its own is worth buying the pack, but just don’t keep high hopes for something new and exciting to come from the multiplayer maps.
No release date has been set for PlayStation 3 or PC, but it will probably be safe to say it will hit those platforms around this time next month. That is if the PlayStation Network is operational...Zing!
May the fourth be with you!