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Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Black Ops II's final DLC is 'Apocalypse'


The new Zombies map sounds pretty good
Aug 08
// Jordan Devore
It's been a decent run for Call of Duty: Black Ops II's DLC, but all things must come to and end and the end is nigh. It's only fitting that Treyarch's fourth and final pack for the game is called Apocalypse. Releasing first ...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Black Ops II 'Origins' trailer shows off giant robot


Sure, why not?
Aug 07
// Jordan Devore
We know this trailer is for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but that's about it. Featuring the phrase "Every story has a beginning...and an end," the video seems to hint at a new Zombies map with a giant killer robot for reasons...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Treyarch is porting Call of Duty: Ghosts to Wii U


For real this time
Jul 25
// Jordan Devore
One of the silliest stories of late comes to a satisfying conclusion today. After Call of Duty: Ghosts was confirmed for Wii U (though the details were "mysterious"), the game's producer said that, actually, he couldn't be ce...
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Vengeance comes to Black Ops II on PS3 and PC next month


Four multiplayer maps plus another zombies level
Jul 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Call of Duty: Black Ops II owners on the Xbox 360 have had access to the Vengeance expansion for a couple of weeks now. So what about PlayStation 3 and PC players? Your vengeance will be had starting on August 1. The expansio...

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Vengeance

Jul 03 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Vengeance DLC (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Treyarch StudiosPublisher: ActivisionReleased: July 2, 2013 (Xbox 360) / TBA (PC, PlayStation 3)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) As the most prominent of the four multiplayer offerings, Cove is a deceptive map. At first, it looks like a sprawling, snaking area with plenty of indoor portions, but in reality, it's a circular island. Initially, I recalled memories from the beach area in the Black Ops' Crisis, but the similarities end there. It's quite small, but it's well themed, aesthetically pleasing, and the layout is very well done. There's lots of open areas, as well as plenty of cover, chokepoints, and ambush spots, and despite the fact that it's entirely outdoors, it does a great job of accommodating all sorts of playstyles. Honestly, this ended up being my favorite map in Vengeance as I found myself voting for it consistently. Cove is perfect for objective matches, especially Domination, and is the clear-cut best piece of the pack. Treyarch loves occasionally goofy maps, and Rush is no exception. It takes place at a paintball joint, complete with an indoor and outdoor arena, as well as a small shop with various paintball gear littered about. But while it's interesting in theory, the studio really could have gone a lot further with it, because once you get past the aesthetic gimmick there's not much substance to it. Rush simply exists, and won't really wow anyone out there. The indoor arena had the potential to be extremely cool, if for example Treyarch added in castles, or forts to take in various gametypes. Instead, they played it too safe, and the barricades look very poorly designed and comes off as thrown together. While there are no inherent problems with Rush, it just feels like wasted potential at every turn. Detour takes place in a giant suspension bridge, with room to navigate both above and below. In addition to having to keep tabs on multiple levels, there's also a few ledges with snaking pipes on outside, which always keep you guessing. In an interesting change of pace, it'll probably take you a while to learn the layout, which is a great thing for a Call of Duty game. It feels somewhat like one of my favorite maps from World at War -- Battery -- but it's a lot less interesting. At this point, Treyarch would do well to remember World at War in general, as I thought it was some of their best work from a design standpoint. Like Rush, Detour simply would have been better as a bigger map with more nuances and alleyways. In a move that will no doubt polarize much of the Call of Duty fanbase, Treyarch has opted to rehash (or remake, depending on how you feel about it) an old map with Uplink -- the fourth map in the Vengeance pack. Specifically, the source is Summit, a classic snow-themed arena in the original Black Ops. Uplink is basically the same as you remember it, with a perfect mix of outdoor and indoor combat as well as a setting that feels remote, and unique. It's no secret that one of my favorite maps in the entire Call of Duty series is Kowloon (mostly due to the low visibility and rain effects), so the new rain helps add character to the map -- albeit not enough to really break free from Summit. A remake isn't exactly a new thing for Black Ops II, as the Uprising pack also tackled the concept with Studio, but that was done so well that it felt like an entirely new experience. Here, you're basically getting Summit with rain and slightly improved visuals. Summit is a great classic map for sure, but it could have used more sprucing up if you're going to include it in a $15 map pack. Buried helps pick up the slack from a few of the missed opportunities in the core maps, as it offers a solid old-school zombie experience that feels closer to World at War and the original Black Ops. After an enthralling romp through Alcatraz with Hollywood actors, it's back to basics with another map that continues the story of the new survivors. Buried has a western theme to it, and embraces it fully. To put it plainly, there's enough mineshafts throughout Buried to make Gus Chiggins green with envy. The map is huge, and you pretty much get access to the central hub right away, which is a nice change of pace from the typically segmented first few rounds. There's a candy store, saloon, a bank, a jail, and pretty much everything you'd expect out of an old west town, so it embraces the theme quite well. From a design standpoint it mixes things up with vertical access to the mineshaft system, which helps add a new dimension to the already sprawling town. While there isn't anything nearly as interesting as the "ghost" mechanic from Mob of the Dead, Buried does have a few tricks up its sleeve, in addition to a classic Easter Egg quest. There's a few new weapons and items like the Ray Gun Mark II (which is now basically a laser beam, and retroactively applies to all zombie maps), as well as its major gimmick -- a giant friendly NPC named Leroy. Similar to the meandering Romero from the original Black Ops map Call of the Dead, once you free Leroy from jail, he'll wander around with you, allowing you to feed him candy to fight zombies, or alcohol to bust up barricades to enter new areas. You can also pick up "chalk" to place weapon spawns at various points of the map as well as use the cross-map fridges and deposit boxes which is neat. I'm not in love with Buried, but it's a very solid zombie map, and core fans won't be disappointed in the slightest. In terms of the whole zombie experience, I really just wish Treyarch would dump this new Black Ops II cast, as they aren't nearly as enjoyable as the World at War/Black Ops crew. Hopefully, whatever game Treyarch works on next brings back the original cast or goes back to the drawing board, since I'm not feeling it. In light of the announcement for Call of Duty: Ghosts' dynamic maps, Vengeance really doesn't feel like enough to justify a purchase on its own, even if core fans will find themselves satisfied, and it's not a bad way to supplement the Season Pass. There's only one pack left, and after its release, I'll be able to decided whether or not to recommend picking up the rather expensive Season Pass. But for now, it's probably best to hold off or just buy the Uprising pack, because Treyarch really isn't making them like they used to.
Black Ops II: Vengeance photo
More like lukewarm revenge
If you're keeping score, Call of Duty: Black Ops II has offered up one so-so and one stellar map pack so far -- and now, we're on part three of the four-piece Season Pass, Vengeance. In typical Treyarch fashion, four maps are...

Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Black Ops II kicks off another Double XP weekend


Treyarch is celebrating the impending release of the Vengeance DLC pack
Jun 26
// Chris Carter
For those of you who still play Call of Duty: Black Ops II, you'll want to boot up your system of choice this weekend for a Double XP event, starting Friday June 28th at 10AM Pacific, all the way through the morning of Monday...
Black Ops II DLC photo
Black Ops II DLC

Black Ops II nails down July release for Vengeance DLC


Third DLC pack out first on Xbox 360 next month
Jun 18
// Jordan Devore
Following Revolution and Uprising, Call of Duty: Black Ops II will get its third downloadable content pack starting July 2, 2013 on Xbox 360. Priced at $15 (1200 Microsoft Points) without a Season Pass, this add-on has anoth...
Black Ops 2 photo
Black Ops 2

Black Ops 2's Revolution DLC has a free trial weekend


Currently only confirmed for Xbox 360
May 23
// Keith Swiader
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's Revolution map pack will be free to play on Xbox 360 this weekend, Activision's Dan Amrich announced, who only confirmed the promotion for Microsoft's console. The promotion has the content playabl...
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Black Ops II's multiplayer is free on Steam this weekend


Plus double XP on all platforms
May 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
There's a little special on Call of Duty: Black Ops II over on Steam where you can play the multiplayer component for free all weekend long. Yup, you have full access and not only that, the game is 33% off on Steam right now....
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Black Ops II's Uprising DLC out May 16 on PS3, PC


Oh yeah those other platforms will get all the new stuff too
Apr 26
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
PlayStation 3 and PC owners of Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be getting the Uprising downloadable content starting on May 16. The DLC will run $14.99, includes four new maps, and the new Mob of the Dead addition to the zom...
Call of Duty Weapon XP photo
Call of Duty Weapon XP

Call of Duty to host a Double Weapon XP weekend


Not Double XP proper, which is confusing
Apr 19
// Chris Carter
Fresh off the Call of Duty: Uprising DLC release, Treyarch has announced a Double Weapon XP weekend for Black Ops II, which starts at 10AM PDT today (right around the time of this writing). Since we already had a real Double ...

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Uprising

Apr 17 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Uprising DLC (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Treyarch StudiosPublisher: ActivisionReleased: April 16, 2013 (Xbox 360) / TBA, 2013 (PC, PlayStation 3)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) The most prominent map in the pack is probably Studio, which is basically a shot-for-shot remake of Firing Range -- a fan-favorite from the original Black Ops. The "remake" part is important though, because while the layout is technically the same, the actual design is vastly different. Now, instead of generic structures and props, you're on an actual movie set, complete with animatronic T-Rexes, pirate skeletons, killer UFOs, and more. It just feels...fun. Roaming around, I was excited to find random references, like a tiny city that was set up for Godzilla to trample, or a giant robot spider shooting faux lasers. Tiny details like the names of the actual films on the sets helped add to the allure, and the most important thing: the actual map itself has a strong foundation, working off of Firing Range. I wish every map had as much heart as this, and Infinity Ward was able to take itself less seriously with its Modern Warfare series. This map basically embodies Treyarch's style of design, and is part of the reason why I still enjoy the Call of Duty games. Magma partially reminds me of Black Op's Stadium -- a map with a heavy emphasis on mid-level buildings and open areas. The "magma" itself isn't all that impressive due in part to Call of Duty's aging graphics engine and the fact that it doesn't actually spread, but even still, the map itself is one of the strongest yet on offer with any map pack to date. At first, I was a bit underwhelmed. But, after a few rounds of play, I started to open up to Magma and really looked forward to playing it during every match-up. You'll start to notice some of the more well-designed interior areas, as well as objective placements, and some of the funny Japan-centric Easter Eggs; before you know it, it'll grow on you. With James Stewart nowhere to be found, Vertigo is, as you can imagine, a map with an emphasis on vertical structures and height-based advantages. It has plenty of hallways as well, offering up a decent change of pace for those of you who like maps that accommodate a larger player base (myself included). Aesthetically, the Mumbai skyscraper setting reminds me of the helicopter scene in Spec Ops: The Line (you know which one), and it's probably the least wacky of the bunch in Uprising -- but that doesn't mean it isn't a ton of fun to play. Featuring a number of well-thought-out open areas and a few hidden jumps, Vertigo is one of my favorite arenas in Black Ops II mostly due in part to the diversity of the layout. One minute, it's completely open; the next, it's vertical, and full of corridors and knee-high walls to hide behind. It accommodates a number of different styles and gametypes, and for that, it should be commended. Encore is set during a London musical festival. It's a circular map that features a giant open middle, with some tunnel-based combat to boot. Outside of the strong center area that makes objective-based games extremely entertaining, there isn't really a whole lot to get excited for over this map. Pretty much what you see is what you get. Fundamentally it feels very similar to Grind, but with a bit more invisible walls and less accessible areas. It's not a bad map by any stretch of the imagination though, as I never once sighed or was disappointed when it came up in matchmaking. It just simply exists and is partially billed into your $15 purchase. Mob of the Dead is where this package really shines. Set in Alcatraz, you'll fight off hordes of the undead as criminals modeled after actors Chazz Palminteri, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Madsen, and Ray Liotta. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on how much you enjoy mobster films or the personalities on offer. Personally, as a gangster film enthusiast, I had fun during my sessions, and the campy, angry performances fit a bit more than the Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Danny Trejo, and Michael Rooker fueled Call of the Dead map in the original Black Ops. But it wasn't just the thematic elements that I enjoyed -- mechanically, a few major additions made this the most accessible, and fun zombies map yet. For starters, death is handled in an entirely different manner here. Instead of dying outright or resorting to Quick Revive power-ups to continue on in solo games, you'll trigger an "afterlife" mechanic upon death. Essentially, you'll become a glowing spirit, capable of viewing the world in an entirely new way, with the ability to power-up certain generators and kill zombies with your shock pulse. [embed]250789:48185:0[/embed] [embed]250789:48186:0[/embed] What's the catch? Well, you have a certain amount of time to re-posses your body (essentially, revive yourself) or it's game over. Plus, any zombies you kill while you're a ghost won't earn you money. Certain items and areas must be found or unlocked through the afterlife, and there are electric sockets to shock yourself in to initiate the transformation should there be no zombies on-hand. After every round, you'll earn an extra "life" so to speak to utilize spirit mode again. It sounds gimmicky, but it just works. Not only does it make multiplayer more engaging -- you're not just sitting there bored after death -- but it also adds a new way to solve puzzles, making solo play that much more fun. To add to the fun factor, quests and objectives are easily identifiable, with a full RPG-style "equipment" screen that's visible when hitting the back/select button. Like any Treyarch zombie map, there's a "main quest" to be had, and it's a little more overt this time around, with a clear "final" objective. Buyable traps make a return, as do new Wonder Weapons like the Blundergat (a shotgun gatling weapon), and a new boss zombie that occasionally shows up in random waves. As I've touched on a bit, this is easily the most fun solo zombies map in existence. In fact, it's actually built in part for solo play, as the afterlife, an easy mode, and the ability to carry every quest item by yourself make for a much more streamlined experience that shouldn't alienate players like the mode may have in the past. Having played zombies since the original World at War, I dare say this is the best zombies yet. One arena withstanding, Treyarch had a lot of fun with this map pack, and it really shows. From the joke-ridden Studio and Magma, to the surprisingly refreshing Mob of the Dead, there's a lot of solid content on offer here in Uprising. In terms of raw layouts, pretty much every map on offer here delivers solid FPS action, and there wasn't one arena in particular that I outright disliked. I feel like at this point in Call of Duty's history, the design needs to be a little bit more out there to really sway new users, but for fans and enthusiasts alike, you really can't go wrong with these maps.
Black Ops II DLC photo
Monsters, magma, and mobsters, oh my!
So far in Call of Duty: Black Ops II's lifecycle, we've had one map pack, which wasn't quite the revolution that was promised to augment that expensive $50 Season Pass. But of course, in true Activision fashion, we have three...

Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Black Ops II's 'Mob of the Dead' looks suitably silly


'They used to call it ... Evil Island'
Apr 11
// Jordan Devore
Arriving later next week, Call of Duty: Black Ops II's Uprising add-on pack comes with Mob of the Dead, a zombie mode set on Alcatraz that, well, you'll see in this latest video. As a follow-up to the recent behind...
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Behind the scenes with Black Ops II's 'Mob of the Dead'


Treyarch gives us a look at how they gave Alcatraz a makeover
Apr 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The new Uprising downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops II is out next week and it's going to include a new zombie mode called "Mob of the Dead." The team at Treyarch went to Alcatraz to capture the feel of the pri...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Team Fariko wins the first Call of Duty Championship


Fariko Impact wins $400,000 for playing games good
Apr 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Team Fariko Impact won big after three days of intense Call of Duty: Black Ops II multiplayer action in the first ever Call of Duty Championship. 32 teams from around the world came together to battle it out, with the ultimat...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Million dollar Call of Duty tournament begins today


Watch a bunch of dudes win money by playing a freaking game
Apr 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Call of Duty Championship kicks off today and sees teams from all around the world competing for up to $1 million dollars in prizes. The tournament begins with a ceremony starting at 12PM Pacific, and then the 32 teams go...
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Black Ops II new 'Uprising' DLC maps arrive April 16


Four new maps, plus a zombie setting featuring Hollywood actors
Apr 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Following the Revolution DLC comes the next set of downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, arriving April 16 on the Xbox 360 first. Uprising, as it's called, will include four new multiplayer maps, plus a new zo...
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Bling out your guns with the Black Ops II Personal Pack


Optional microtransactions invade Call of Duty
Apr 03
// Chris Carter
A new absurd trailer is out for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and it showcases some of the crazier microtransaction based content, like graffiti riot shields, bacon guns, and benjamin bling pistols. It's set to hit the PS3 and...

Did Call of Duty ruin a generation of gamers?

Mar 14 // Jim Sterling
Tripwire's focus group disliked the acceleration required to sprint, as well as the relative weakness of weapons and the way they handled. Weirdly, people who were very used to playing little else but Call of Duty struggled to play a game that was different to Call of Duty. Who knew!? "Almost every element boiled down to 'it doesn't feel like Call of Duty.' And really, watching some of these guys play ... one of the things that Call of Duty does, and it’s smart business, to a degree, is they compress the skill gap. And the way you compress the skill gap as a designer is you add a whole bunch of randomness. A whole bunch of weaponry that doesn't require any skill to get kills. "Random spawns, massive cone fire on your weapons. Lots of devices that can get kills with zero skill at all, and you know, it’s kind of smart to compress your skill gap to a degree. You don’t want the elite players to destroy the new players so bad that new players can never get into the game and enjoy it." Gibson clearly isn't a fan of the way Call of Duty does things, and that's fine -- there are many FPS fans that dislike it, and prefer other games. But to blame Call of Duty for "ruining" gamers, as if it doesn't have a right to exist and be popular, strikes me as silly. Tripwire will likely earn a lot of fans for dissing what is, essentially, the Twilight Saga of videogames, but Gibson is basically wrong in several ways.  First of all, claiming CoD "ruined" anything implies its popularity scrambled our minds, rather than appealed to minds that already existed and finally found an FPS they could enjoy. The fact CoD appeals to more gamers than most other games would suggest it reached people who were not already playing a great deal of shooters. Now, if everybody who was playing Quake suddenly stopped playing Quake and started enjoying only Call of Duty, Gibson might have a point, but I don't think that happened. To argue Call of Duty ruined the minds of gamers strikes me as no different from suggesting violent games turn kids into mass shooters -- it's an assumption that a videogame has the power to alter our brains for the worst.  It also ignores the fact that distinctly non-CoD games are also quite popular. Halo may have brought a few new ideas to the market, but its multiplayer and weapon handling are rooted a lot more in the old than the new, and it's still a massively popular franchise. I dare say, if Tripwire had focused tested a group of hardcore Halo players and asked them what they wanted, they'd argue in favor a game that felt like Halo. It strikes me as incredibly silly to specifically ask CoD fans what they like, and express dissatisfaction that they answer with "CoD." Call of Duty may have become wildly popular, and it may have influenced a lot of other games this generation, but that's not really Call of Duty's fault. It's just a game, and its only crime in this instance is appealing to a lot of customers -- a "crime" it didn't commit by tricking anybody or changing anybody's mind. It didn't succeed by sneaking into the rooms of children and whispering forbidden secrets in their ears while they slept. It was marketed well, was designed to appeal to more than just older FPS players, and it resonated. That's all it really did.   Red Orchestra 2 also resonates with an audience. Not Call of Duty's audience, but an audience that looks for something else. And that's great. I'm glad both games exist. There's room for everything in this industry, and some things will be more popular than others. That's ... life.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and be mad at some dogs for always wanting to eat dog food designed for dogs to eat with their dog mouths. 
CoD ruined gamers? photo
Red Orchestra dev blames game series for daring to exist
Tripwire Interactive president John Gibson is disappointed in this generation of gamers, and the Red Orchestra developer lays the blame at the feet of Call of Duty. According to Gibson, who focus tested some hardcore CoD...

Microtransactions coming to Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Mar 12 // Jim Sterling
As our own Chris Carter pointed out, the extra loadout slots could have a minor effect on gameplay, since players would be able to tailor any number of characters for any given situation and switch them out on the fly, giving them a more nuanced advantage. A small point maybe, but one the hardest of the core may consider. On the whole, this isn't terribly bad, and I'll give Activision its props for being one of the few big publishers to remain evil in good old fashioned ways rather than bite fully into some of the newer, more insidious ideas of the past few years. Nevertheless, this is a glimpse of an upcoming generation filled with more online requirements and microtransaction leanings than ever before, and I can't say it fills me with glee.  The suspense is terrible ... I hope it'll last.
Microtransactions photo
Fee-to-pay extra coming tomorrow
If you were worried fee-to-pay microtransactions were going to become the norm ... prepare to be justified. Activision has announced it'll be jumping aboard the bandwagon tomorrow, introducing incremental buy-me-ups for Call ...

Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

This Black Ops II ad is a little too sexy to handle


Hubba hubba
Mar 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Yeah, girl! SHAKE IT! Here's our review for Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Revolution if you're curious.
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

Black Ops II 'Revolution' DLC drops for PS3 and PC


Same fight, new locations
Mar 01
// Brett Makedonski
The first add-on for Black Ops II has finally made its way to PlayStation 3 and PC. The DLC, titled Revolution, was a timed-exclusive for Xbox 360 and released in January 2013. Available for $15, Revolution features...
Black Ops II photo
Black Ops II

It's time for another Black Ops II Double XP weekend


Friday to Monday starting at 10AM PST
Feb 22
// Chris Carter
Treyarch recently let the world know that there will be another Call of Duty: Black Ops II Double XP weekend happening, starting today. The event is confirmed for all platforms, including the 360, PS3, PC, and Wii U. As usual...
Black Ops II DLC photo
Black Ops II DLC

Black Ops II 'Revolution' DLC dated for PS3 and PC


Set for the end of February
Feb 12
// Chris Carter
The first DLC pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops II is ready to hit the PlayStation 3 and PC platforms on February 28, 2013. Sadly, there was no mention of the Wii U version at all in the announcement, but I've reached out to A...

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Revolution DLC

Feb 01 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Revolution DLC (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Treyarch StudiosPublisher: ActivisionReleased: January 29, 2013 (Xbox 360) / February, 2013 (PC, PlayStation 3)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) First things first, the Peacekeeper SMG is now part of the game's meta. According to Treyarch, it's a deadly combination of long and short range firepower. Of course, based on that description, it has the potential for extremely broken gameplay, but thankfully, I don't think that's the case. Although I've only Prestiged a scant few times, I have a decent handle on the game's balance, and I think the Peacekeeper isn't game-breaking in any way. The best way to describe it is the "perfect intro gun" for rookie players who haven't acclimated themselves to the game just yet, since you have it unlocked immediately. On the flipside, it's not going to wow you in any way if you're a series veteran. As a side note, you can pick this gun up in the wild even if you don't own the DLC. Naturally, there has to be at least one gimmick-heavy map, and that coveted spot is taken by Hydro. The main hook is that water will occasionally fill up in the core of the game, drowning any players caught in the mix, and washing their corpses off the face of the Earth. While this hazard only takes place on a small portion of the map (roughly a sixth of it), it's relatively harmless, and doesn't really ruin the experience in any way. Hydro is also deceptively large. Although it may seem to only consist of a few corridors at ground level, there's actually a few upper and lower areas that make themselves known after multiple playthroughs. Hydro is a really fun map that should keep people busy for quite a while, as they're learning the ins and outs of the various levels of elevation it features. I'm kind of torn on another map, titled Downhill. On one hand, it's a more compact version of Discovery, one of my favorite arctic stages from Black Ops' First Strike pack. On the other, it's a less inspired, sometimes hokey, contrived snow map. Tactically, Downhill is incredibly sound, and has a great mix of outdoor corridors and interesting, indoor ski lodges to keep you interested. The hokey aspect of the stage comes in with the introduction of automatic cable cars moving to and fro throughout the center of the level.While it would have been cool if you could actually ride them, the reality is not nearly as fun -- they just go back and forth, and if they touch you, you die -- frequently in a comical fashion. This is a real missed opportunity, as this gimmick could have been taken out entirely and made the map much stronger for it. Still, that's really my only complaint, as this is one of the stronger entries in the series, and possibly the most balanced map overall. Grind is probably my favorite offering of the bunch, even if it's not really one of the franchise's strongest offerings. For starters, it's a skatepark that features "Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men" (YES!), which really adds to the character of the stage, and makes it stand out in its own unique way. There's also a ton of climbable skate park ramps that impair vision, including an indoor section with lots of places to hide and a large amount of windows to surprise people in -- forcing you to always be on your toes. The colors in Grind also pop, which is a nice contrast to most of the other drab maps in the game. Although the competitive crowd may not enjoy the map nearly as much, Grind is a really fun stage that's frequently voted for in the first week of Revolution's launch. Mirage is basically the textbook definition of a "standard Call of Duty map." It's neither impressive or offensive, it just kind of exists. When it's cycled into a normal playlist, you might go "oh, this map, OK" and that's the biggest emotional reaction you'll have to it. The map itself is set in a portion of the Gobi desert that looks a tad war torn, but only occasionally so, due to the uneven design of the map. Sometimes it feels like the stage is incomplete, and sand was thrown over certain areas to hide that fact (among a few glitchy details, like floating stacks of bills). There are a few neat areas (like the drained swimming pool in the picture), but it's basically just one big square with another square in the middle.Whatever the case may be in terms of the layout though, it doesn't feel organic, like some of my favorite DLC maps in the past -- specifically the rainy Kowloon, from the first Black Ops. To be blunt, Mirage's lack of "oomph" kind of sums up the DLC in general. Of course, what would a Treyarch map pack be without zombies content? In Revolution, it's a two-pronged operation: a new map, and a new mode called "Turned." The hook for Turned Mode is pretty simple: for the first time ever, you can play as a zombie. Sounds cool, right? Well, except it doesn't really pan out as well as Treyarch probably hoped. Right off the bat, the mode allows for a paltry maximum of four players on one map only (Diner), which is an outright shame, and makes it feels like the content was published unfinished. The point of Turned is to kill zombies as the one solitary human to wrack up points. As the human, it's your job not to get eaten, and to shoot the undead. So basically, think "Infected" from the Halo series, but you constantly take turns playing a human. It sounds neat on paper, but one of the big problems with Turned is that the zombies are just so fast that it looks goofy. I'm not even accounting for the fact that after you die as a human, you constantly respawn to the point of absurdity, only to rush like an idiot to the next kill. Oh, and whenever the game arbitrarily ends, you get a huge "last man standing" bonus that can tip you over the edge at the last second. Horrible. Since you can only play it on the one aforementioned map that it severely hurts the replay value of the mode. If you're thinking of checking out Revolution just for Turned, don't. The new zombie story map, Die Rise, is a much nobler effort than Turned. Since the game only really has one story-centric map built-in (Nuketown Zombies doesn't count), Die Rise is a welcome addition to keep the community going. As you can probably tell, the map takes place on a ruined skyscraper, that can be incredibly hard to navigate. Unlike some of the other maps across the three Treyarch games, this one actually feels more like an apocalyptic setting than an idyllic hunting ground, which is neat. There are a few hangups though that prevent it from being one of the better zombie maps across the three Treyarch games (like one instance where I respawned, bugged, outside of a door with no cash), but overall, I came away impressed, wanting to explore all the level's secrets. To be clear, Die Rise is not a locale to locale giant epic quest like TranZit -- it's more inline with the original Black Ops' self contained stories. All in all, Revolution is not the best way to start off one of the best selling games of all time's $50 Season Pass. Although I don't feel like I would have wasted my cash outright, I do feel a little disappointed that there wasn't more bang for your buck here. When Activision first made the decision to sell $15 map packs, despite the initial fan outcry, business was good because people just wanted more Call of Duty. The original Black Ops killed it in terms of quality map packs, including the well designed initial offering, First Strike.But now, a little more effort is needed to satisfy the masses. Here's hoping the rest of the season delivers.
Black Ops II: Revolution  photo
Not quite revolutionary
Treyarch has taken a unique approach to Call of Duty games that I've always admired. Essentially developing three games in one, their idea to meld campaigns, zombies, and multiplayer into one giant package in Black Ops II is ...

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Black Ops II's Revolution maps look pretty awesome


Join the Revolution
Jan 29
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Call of Duty: Black Ops II? Yeah, it was pretty great. Treyarch really brought it with their latest shooter, implementing a ton of new elements to make a Call of Duty title fresh again. And it looks like they're continuing t...
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Play all the Black Ops II you can thanks to The Replacer


Let someone else take over your life!
Jan 22
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Okay, bravo Activision. This was actually funny. The new Black Ops II Revolution downloadable content is coming soon. It's going to feature four new maps, a new weapon, and a new zombie mode where you can actually play as the freaking zombies. You know what that means? You won't have time for real life anymore! So what can you do about it? Hire someone to take over your life with The Replacer.
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'Revolution' pack hits Black Ops II first on Xbox 360


Five maps, a weapon, and a new Zombies mode
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
A leak late last month gave us the heads up on the Revolution map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but now we have a video to go on alongside Treyarch's announcement of the first of four "DLC events" planned for the game...
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First of four Call of Duty: Black Ops II map packs leaked


Revolution is the initial offering
Dec 31
// Chris Carter
If you've been itching for news on more Call of Duty: Black Ops II maps, this news is your huckleberry. Season Pass holders already have access to the Nuketown Zombie map, but it appears as if your first bit of real content w...
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Nuketown zombies available for Black Ops II season pass


Download one new zombies map
Dec 12
// Chris Carter
If you dropped the extra cash on the hardened or care package editions of Black Ops II, you received an extra zombie map for your troubles. Now, Activision has made said map, called "Nuketown Zombies," available for everyone...






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