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The wild bunch: dissecting Black Ops 2′s Revolution

Friday, 1 February 2013 17:00 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has received its first batch of map DLC, but is the Revolution pack worth shelling out for? Dave Cook investigates and announces the winner of our Black Ops 2 VG247 community smackdown.

When it comes to map design, I’m firmly of the belief that Treyarch has been doing it better than Infinity Ward for some time now. There’s more variety in the studio’s locales, map geometry and dynamic elements – such as the bullet train in Express, or something simpler like the hatch doors in Radiation. It’s the little touches that count.

Plus, Infinity Ward has been peddling rusting abandoned facilities and basic urban environments for too long. There’s only so many times you can sell the same wares before people get tired, so it’s refreshing to see Treyarch holding the line of good map design. The Revolution pack is no exception, and it sits up there with the best of their DLC offerings to date.

One thing that always stuck out in previous Call of Duty games – this goes for the original Black Ops as well – was that on-disc assets were reused in DLC maps constantly. It was almost like a punch in the face, given that you’d just bought what was supposed to be ‘new’ add-on content. You’ll be hard-pushed to find recycled assets in Revolution’s four multiplayer maps however.

Grind is the DLC’s marquee map, which is hardly surprising as it’s set in a bloody skatepark. But it’s colourful and full of slopes, ramps, verts and pipes that make for some interesting use of cover. It’s a small map from a top-down perspective, but it’s also dense with hidden routes and vantage points that will take a few plays to discover and map out mentally.

The skateparks around the outside are wrapped around an indoor half-pipe and skate shop, which are ideal for short to mid-range combat, while snipers can dominate the outdoor areas. It’s a map full of tight cover where all classes can shine, although I did get spawn killed once, so I’m not sure if that will become a regular feature. I sincerely hope not.

Next up is Downhill, a ski-resort map that is also a paradise for snipers and fans of long-range exchanges. It’s a killer thanks to wide cover-less expanses on either side, making each dash across open ground potentially fatal in the heat of battle. Again, the assets are new, which is nice to see, and there are even motorised ski-lifts that can kill you when moving.

The lift station is found in the middle of the map, and it’s a real choke point worth avoiding if you can help it. You’re better off sneaking through the mountain crags on the opposite side and fighting in the chalet at the top of the slop instead. Just make sure you hug the cover like it’s warm and fuzzy or you’ll be sniper fodder in seconds. It’s a highly tense, and well designed map.

Hydro appears to be the blandest map of the bunch, but it’s a pretty tight environment like Grind. It’s set on a hydro-electric dam and its layout is similar to Convoy from the first Black Ops in that you have two walkways at either end that are ripe for sniper battles. Below however, you can wade through the gushing water and fight at close quarters in the sewer.

This is the smallest map of the bunch, and depending on the skill of everyone involved you may find the front lines swinging back and forth throughout any given match. You’re never too far from an enemy, so shotguns and SMGs will work just fine, but you can get by at range if you hang back near your spawn zone. On the surface this is just another facility map, but it’s ideal for fast-paced play.

Finally, Mirage is my pick of Revolution’s locales by far. It’s a Chinese hotel complex that has been ravaged by a violent sandstorm. It actually looks like all assets have been created for scratch on this one, as sand piles around structures to create uneven slopes and cover around the hotel’s grounds. The pagoda in the middle is your shortest, but most deadliest route across the map, as everyone uses it.

Take the sides however, and you can use many pieces of sand-clogged cover, such as a dried up pool and battered guest suites to dart around to your opponent’s spawn. Any class goes here, as snipers can get up on the pagoda by climbing up various parts of the terrain to spot enemies from up high, while short to mid-range players will have a blast blasting each other to bits everywhere else.

What’s interesting about Revolution’s multiplayer maps is that they don’t lean towards one class, or stick to an overly familiar theme. I keep harping on about Treyarch’s creation of new assets, but it really is important when you’re expected to pay 1200 MS Points for the privilege of using these maps. It’s something that Infinity Ward got off with too lightly in retrospect.

Fans of Zombies mode haven’t been left out either, thanks to new survival map Die Rise and an all new Infected game type. I’m honestly one of the worst people you’ll ever meet at Zombies mode – truly awful – so I won’t insult you and pretend like I know my Speed Cola from my Double Tap Root Beer, but just know that you haven’t been forgotten.

Plus, you can be a Zombie now in Turned mode, which is always fun. In this mode all players start as zombies and must dash to find the cure. The player who racks up the most time spent as a human wins the round. So naturally when you’re human you have to fend up everyone else with firearms. It’s mad and a bit shouty.

Finally, the all-new Peackeeper SMG is a weird sort. It belies its own class by being slightly weaker at short range – than say the MP7 or MSMC – yet stronger over distance than its peers like an assault rifle. There’s also some slight recoil to content with, as is a given for SMG weapons.

It may take some getting used to – and there’s the fact that weapon choice is a matter of personal taste and play-style – but I didn’t get on with it at all at first. After a few days play however, it’s starting to make more sense.

So is Revolution worth getting? Yeah I’d say it is, although I appreciate and understand why some are choosing not to give Activision more money for maps. But if you were bored by how uninspired the Modern Warfare 3 DLC maps had become – bar a few expectations of course – then Treyarch’s pack will give you the much-needed dose of imagination and playful design you’ve been clamouring for. Check them out on YouTube then make a judgement call.

Disclosure: To assist in writing this feature, Activision sent Dave a download code for the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Revolution DLC. No other advertising or merchandise was offered or accepted.

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the results of VG247′s inaugural Black Ops 2 community smackdown. We played three games of Free-For-All and tallied up everyone’s total score at the end of each round. Here is where each of our 17 combatants placed:

1. LSC MRSandman – 3000 / 2500 / 2925 – Total: 8425 (WINNER)
2. Exotic Cr4sh – 2650 / 3000 / 2000 – Total: 7650
3. Zombiee Peanut – 2800 / 1700 / 1600 – Total: 6100
4. G1GAHURTZ – 1800 / 2100 / 1800 – Total: 5700
5. MrBiggz01 – 2200 / 1400 / 1900 – Total: 5500
6. xTactical Turtle – 2150 / 1500 / 1600 – Total: 5250
7. fastrez – 1800 / 1500 / 1550 – Total: 4850
8. Extremeritch – 1960 / 1700 / 1000 – Total: 4660
9. Tron714 – 2100 / 1680 / 500 – Total: 4280
10. ElCo0kie – 1525 / 1500 / 900 – Total: 3925
11. Scrumpy MC – 1800 / 1400 / 700 – Total: 3900
12. GenerousBat8675 – 1250 / 1600 / 1000 – Total: 3850
13. Peacefish – DNF / 1700 / 1700 – Total: 3400
14. IBrahManDude – 2150 / DNF / 1200 – Total: 3350
15. ManuOtaku – 1000 / 1200 / 1000 – Total: 3200
17. DrDamn – 1000 / 500 / 850 – Total: 2350

Congratulations to LSC MRSandman. You win a Black Ops 2 DLC season pass. Let us know what format you’d like below and we’ll get it to you when we can.

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9 Comments

  1. G1GAHURTZ

    LOOOOOOOOOOL!

    Sweet!

    I flopped on the night, despite being the “odds on favourite”, but at least I was consistently average…

    I’d blame the unplayable lag, but excuses are for losers!

    Loads of fun VG247. Thanks.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. GwynbleiddiuM

    I demand something on PC now, jealous. :<

    #2 2 years ago
  3. theevilaires

    G1GA 4th ?!!!! wow I’m so disappointed, but hey at least you’re not at the bottom like Dr.Damn :D

    #3 2 years ago
  4. ManuOtaku

    I barely escape last place ;_;, but the thing is that i have fun and it was the first time a spent multiplayer FPS time with the VG247 community with so many vg247 regular commenters, and for that iam happier than winning the contest :), thanks guys, doc we will have our revenge next time ;)

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    Nice guys, must have been fun.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Muetsch

    Had a ton of fun too. And Sam Clays coverage was awesome

    And I’d like the season pass for the 360 of course. Need any different info?

    Thanks again for doing this!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. M. K.

    10th? NICE! I didn’t expect that, cause my performance was way too bad. In the end I was just happy, that I was able to kill Dave a few times :D

    Anyway, good times. I hope we’ll do it another time again, but maybe with another host? :P

    /e: kudos to Sam, you’re the most crazy codcaster who ever existed :D

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    In my defence I am only rank 15, lowest there, it was a lag fest too, and I really never play free-for-all (for good reasons ;))… plus apparently I am a bit shit :D

    On the plus side it was lots of fun, I got to kill Dave and G1GA :), and if you look at the scores I actually came last, last and 2 from last. So last round I beat Scrumpy MC and Tron714 how rubbish were they ;P.

    Oh and Dave I know I was bad but I appear to have been beaten to 16th by Mr Nobody. Can I have that extra spot?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Marion_Moore

    my buddy’s step-sister makes $73/hr on the laptop. She has been unemployed for 7 months but last month her payment was $16486 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more…. Ace60.cℴm

    #9 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]