Play Call of Duty, with a Vengeance.
Vengeance is the third map pack for Call of Duty Black Ops 2, and it was released yesterday for the Xbox 360, while PS3 and PC owners are left waiting, yet again. The Vengeance Map Pack, like all Black Ops map packs before it, will cost you $15, so let’s take a look at whether or not it’s worth your hard-earned money.
What You Get
The Vengeance Map Pack includes four new multiplayer maps, one new Zombies map and one new weapon, the Ray Gun Mark II, for use in all Zombies maps. Starting with the new Zombies map, Resolution 1295, and the new mode, Buried, you and three other survivors make your way to an abandoned mining town that’s buried deep beneath the surface. It has everything from a Bank and a Saloon, to a Candy shop and a Gunsmith, which are all full of zombies to kill, weapons to purchase and parts to collect. One of the new features that Buried brings with it is the local resident giant, Max, who can be unlocked from his prison cell to help you survive the zombie hordes. If you give him beer, he’ll go on a rampage and smash through a locked door, and if you give him candy, he’ll follow you around and protect you from nearby zombies. The effects from those items don’t last forever though, so you’ll have to continue to find and give them to him as you go. It’s a neat little feature that can come in handy when the rounds start to get really intense.
Another thing that I liked about Buried is that it brings back the Bank feature and allows you to store your points in one game and come back for them in a completely different game later on. Zombies is always easier with a few friends by your side and having a fat stack of points to go along with them doesn’t hurt either. On top of Buried, Vengeance also includes Grief and Turned variants on the new Zombies map as well, if those modes are more your thing. It’s not quite as good as Mob of the Dead from the Uprising Map Pack, but hardcore Zombies fans should still enjoy Buried.
The four new multiplayer maps are: Cove, Detour, Rush and Uplink. First up is Rush, which is a medium-sized map set at a Paintball field, with both indoor and outdoor fields full of obstacles to use as cover. There are only a few spots for Snipers to set up camp, but they are fairly open, so between that and the many obstacles in the way, you shouldn’t have to worry about them too much on Rush. It features a pretty typical Call of Duty layout, with a heavy focus on close-quarters combat, but I really liked Rush’s Paintball atmosphere. Next is Detour, which is a larger map set on a bridge in the futuristic version of New York City. It features both upper and lower levels of the bridge, with plenty of cars scattered throughout to provide a bit of cover and even a few holes that you can fall through to your death. I’ve always liked longer map layouts and Detour’s long, narrow design quickly stood out as one of my favorites.
The next map, Uplink, is actually a re-imagining of the original Black Ops’ Summit map. The map’s layout seems to be pretty much exactly as before, but instead of it being high atop a snow-covered mountain, Uplink is set on a mountain in the jungle, during a rainstorm. This change will obviously not please everyone, but it doesn’t bother me as Summit was never one of my favorite maps to begin with. I don’t have anything specific against it, but it never stood out as one of the great Call of Duty maps that I wanted to see make a comeback. The last map in the Vengeance Map Pack is Cove, which is set on a small tropical island that seems more like the setting for a Far Cry 3 map than a Call of Duty map. It could also be straight out of Lost, as there’s a plane wreck in the middle, a makeshift raft on the beach and lots of luggage and other parts of the plane scattered throughout the map. I’ve always had a thing for being stranded on an island, so Cove definitely has the best theme, but its standard Call of Duty layout left me wanting more. They may not be the greatest Call of Duty maps I’ve ever played on, but overall I had a decent time with them, especially Detour and Cove.
As always, if you bought the Black Ops 2 Season Pass, then the Vengeance Map Pack is included for you and there’s no reason not to download it. For everyone else, it really depends on how much you like playing Black Ops 2 at this point. For the casual fan, Vengeance probably won’t blow you away and you could find better games to spend your $15 on, but if you’re still going strong with Black Ops 2, then you’ll probably enjoy this decent addition to your collection. It would be a lot easier to recommend the Vengeance Map Pack to everyone if they would lower the price tag a little bit, but as long as we keep buying them for $15, they’ll keep selling them for $15. Maybe we’ll see better DLC prices with the next-gen systems. Maybe, but probably not.
Price: $14.99 or free with the Season Pass
Release Date: July 2nd, 2013 (Xbox 360, Coming Soon to PS3 and PC
Available On: Xbox 360, PS3 and PC via Steam