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Black Ops 2: Vengeance DLC Review

Andrew Schultz |
July 20, 2013 | 10:20 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

The Vengeance map pack was released on July 2 on Xbox 360, and will be released on August 1 on PS3 and PC. (ultimatemodz.com/Creative Commons)
The Vengeance map pack was released on July 2 on Xbox 360, and will be released on August 1 on PS3 and PC. (ultimatemodz.com/Creative Commons)
Love it or hate it, the Call of Duty series has cemented itself as the premier first-person shooter franchise of this generation of consoles. It consistently breaks its own sales records, and has carved itself a niche in the competitive gaming and YouTube scenes.

Numerous next-generation games, such as Destiny and Titanfall, are hoping to become the next “CoD killer,” removing the series from the throne it’s held for years. Until then, the franchise will continue to control the FPS market. Activision and Treyarch hope to keep their online servers full with Vengeance, the third DLC offering for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Treyarch’s latest release comes packed with four new multiplayer maps (Cove, Detour, Rush, and Uplink) as well as a new zombies experience called Buried, set in an underground Western city. While there are some highlights to this latest DLC offering, it inevitably falls short compared to prior map packs.

Cove is set on an island, littered with boxes and debris that serve as cover. The map isn’t particularly enjoyable to play, despite encouraging more run-and-gun gameplay. It seems more like something they threw in to fulfill the usual four multiplayer maps in each Call of Duty DLC.

Detour is a little more enjoyable, offering a more diverse variety of gameplay. It features an upper stretch of land emphasizing medium- to long-range combat, along with a lower section focusing on close-range gunfights.  The variety is appreciated, but it still isn’t as much fun to play as older maps.

Rush is the best map available in this DLC, combining the fast-paced gameplay and various opportunities for flanking that make Call of Duty fun. Themed around a paintball arena, the map provides plenty of cover, close-quarter engagements, and an elevated position to fight for control over. It serves as one of the better maps in the entire game, capturing what makes Call of Duty so popular in the first place.

Uplink is an urban remake of Black Ops favorite Summit. The map plays similarly to its inspiration, and is almost as fun as the original version. However, after all the effort Treyarch put into re-designing Firing Range for the previous DLC, the new Summit seems bland and lifeless compared to the snow-covered map it was.

Buried, the new Zombies level, provides a fun, but complicated new experience. The level adds numerous new mechanics, such as the ability to place weapons on certain walls and a giant that can help clear obstacles. The mode also introduces some new weapons, including a new Ray Gun and the Paralyzer. The new map is an enjoyable addition to the Zombies game mode, but the game makes little to no effort to explain the new additions. It requires trial-and-error to figure out how the new features work, and it leads to frustrations for the first few hours of playing the mode.

Black Ops 2’s Vengeance DLC is an acceptable new release that further increases the life of the game. For hardcore players, the four new multiplayer maps and new Zombies level provide a refreshing change of pace from the maps they’ve spent hours and hours playing. For the more casual gamers, the DLC provides one great multiplayer map, one good remake, and two disappointing levels, along with a confusing, but enjoyable Zombies map. With no new weapon or perk packaged with the five maps (like the Peacekeeper SMG with the Revolution pack), there isn’t enough strong content to satisfy casual Call of Duty players.

The value of the Vengeance map pack depends on the amount of time you’ve spent playing Black Ops 2. If days of your life have been spent in the multiplayer or Zombies modes, then it’s a worthwhile purchase that adds some variety to the game. If you play only on occasion, then the maps packaged with the game and any other previous DLCs you’ve purchased are plenty to tide you over.


Reach staff writer Andrew Schultz here or follow him on Twitter.



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