Three months on from the initial release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, it's still hard to discern a general consensus of the game. Indeed, Black Ops 2 is an odd game - a lackluster campaign sits alongside great multiplayer and Zombies offerings - but even then, there's plenty to hate about multiplayer (very few truly excellent maps, one-shot-kill shotguns, roll-of-the-dice gunfights, and a lot of lag), and TranZit can be a bit of a pain at times. So, now we have our first of four map packs for Black Ops 2 that'll be stripped across the year, from now until September, Revolution, how does it stack up to the oddly inconsistent main game? This review will go in-depth into all four multiplayer maps, the new multiplayer weapon, the new Zombies map and the new Zombies mode:
4. The Multiplayer Maps
Revolution comes with four brand-new maps: Grind, Downhill, Mirage and Hydro. First things first: they're all very good - I'd happily rank two of the four maps high on my list of favorite Black Ops 2 maps... see if you can guess what they are from this review. Starting off with the best of the bunch (in this writer's humble opinion), is Grind. It's a refreshing change from the conventional flat terrain and cover of your average map, being set in a skate park and mostly compromised of curved surfaces. The curved surfaces of Grind's skate park are a breath of fresh air, and help set it aside from most of the maps in Black Ops 2. It's also very easy on the eye - the best looking of any Black Ops 2 map... and if not, it's at least the most colourful of the lot. It's primarily a close-quarters map, so bring an SMG or assault rifle. Next up, it's Downhill, the only snow-based map in Black Ops 2 so far. Downhill's a little more trad-Call-of-Duty than Grind, with your usual sniping spots, close-quarters choke-points, and long lines of sight for quick-scopers and LMG users. However, it has one trick that sets it aside - the cable cars that run through the middle of the main choke-point on the map. They kill you on impact (five SMG bullets to the stomach won't kill you... but watch out for the cable cars that travel at walking speed!), and as dumb as it looked to be killed by one in the trailer, it's easy to get distracted in gun-fights, only for your life to be claimed by the cable car. Yes, Call of Duty, mistakes were made. Mirage is a popular map with the majority of critics, but while it's still a great map, it's not really my favorite. It does look great, thanks to the sand dunes filling the map, but the main choke-point hands a huge advantage to those on the balcony, it's a little too sniper-heavy and is the most camp-heavy of the four. It's still a thumbs up for Mirage, which does look great and provide some great gun-fights, but it's a weaker map in my opinion than the others. Now for Hydro... the only one I would rank fairly low. It's not terrible - the lethal water that floods a main choke-point every now and then provides a real sense of spontaneity to the map, and holding down the main area is a lot of fun. Sadly, Hydro also looks a bit bland, and is the most formulaic map you'll see in the DLC. Aside from the water (and Express provided a similar idea, anyway), there's nothing new here, and as a result, it feels much more a main-game map than a ground-breaking premium (we're paying twelve quid, Treyarch!) map. Click 'Next' for a review of the new Zombies map, Die Rise.