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Black Ops 2 Uprising DLC: is it worth buying?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 08:59 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Uprising is the second DLC pack from Treyarch. VG247′s Dave Cook dolphin dives head first into battle, and discusses whether or not it’s worth a purchase.

Black Ops 2: Uprising

This is the second DLC pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, developed internally at Treyarch. It launched on Xbox Live on April 16. It will hit PS3 and PC soon.

The studio released an Uprising walkthrough trailer which sees David Vonderhaar discussing each of the maps and new Zombies campaign Mob of the Dead. Watch it here.

Speaking of Zombies, here’s a separate Mob of the Dead trailer, which goes behind the scenes.

The pack follows Treyarch’s first DLC ‘Revolution’. You can read my full appraisal of the pack here.

I’ve always said that Treyarch’s Call of Duty DLC is both more substantial and offers better value per pound than any add-on content produced by Infinity Ward.

Modern Warfare’s DLC has largely given us bland urban environments with re-used assets from either the core campaign or on-disc maps. This doesn’t apply across the board – as Modern Warfare 3′s DLC run did eventually produce some stellar locales – but it often felt like you were paying good money for minimal effort.

Black Ops 2: Uprising is a another fine example of how to not copy and paste assets, as every map on offer feels fresh, with bright, colourful environments and plenty of new things to see as you mow each other down.

New Zombies campaign Mob of the Dead also tries a lot of new things and – amazingly – made me actually care about the undead side of Treyarch’s shooter. I’ve never really got on with the studio’s love affair with the horde, but I’ll explain why I’ve been swayed in a moment.

First, let’s talk about the multiplayer maps themselves. At the moment you can only play Magma, Vertigo, Studio and Encore in their own playlist across Team Deathmatch, Domination and Mosh Pit modes, and as is tradition they will eventually become integrated into the standard playlists,

Magma is by far the best map on offer. Set in Japan next to a volcano that’s just erupted, the streets are a maze of wrecked cars and subway trains that make for precarious bridges over flowing lava. There are plenty of indoor karaoke clubs, fish markets and restaurants to battle your way through, as smiling anime characters adorn billboards on the walls.

It’s quite different to look at, and the lava river in the middle is similar to the mini-gun killzone from original Black Ops DLC map Berlin Wall. Just stay the hell away from it. There are also clumps of molten hot rocks dotted around the map. Walk over them for too long and you erupt in a ball of flames and feel like a bit of a dick. Not that I ever did that of course *cough*.

Its fast paced and favours play of all ranges. Snipers will love scoping down the side paths and across the lava river, while everyone else seems to sprint around the shops and interiors as usual. It’s a great mix of techniques all set to a colourful and vibrant location.

Next up is London map Encore, which takes place in an abandoned open-air gig venue by the River Thames. Almost all of the assets here are new again, and I think this is the map I disliked the most, not because it’s guff, but because it favours long-range play, and I’m an dual pistol kind of guy. I know, what a dick eh?

The standing room in the middle is a hotbed of death. Just avoid cutting across there at all costs. Instead you can have a lot of fun sprinting around the concession stands and roadie areas around the sides, while snipers can hole up in the sound engineer booth and fire down on to the stage. If you manage to secure the stage however, you are in a very advantageous position.

That said, I don’t think the stage provides enough cover as Treyarch’s Uprising trailer led me to believe. Unless the snipers up there have a trophy system and plenty of claymores or bouncing betties around the perimeter, you can flush them out with a well-lobbed C4 pack or cooked grenade. Still, the stage makes for a fun territorial exchange.

Skyscraper battle Vertigo is next. This was originally a Modern Warfare 2 map that got scrapped but I can’t see why. It probably has the least personality out of all the Uprising maps, but it’s still a fun, small, but deceptively dense map.

You can battle around the sides of the building to engage in mid-range battle, using crates and ventilation units as cover, but I wouldn’t say that snipers are in too pretty a spot out there, thanks to how much defence is given to the mid-range guys. There are even some precarious shortcuts that you can fall off. Not that I ever did that *cough*.

Do you see a trend of my silliness and fails forming here? Anyway, if you cut through the middle you can engage in severely close-quarter exchanges on the skyscraper’s staircases. If you take this route you’re never too far from an enemy so shotgun fans will be in their element here. It’s a small map that can reach Nuketown levels of pace and insanity at times.

Finally, Studio is a remake of the superb Firing Range from the original Black Ops. Now, this is where I applaud Treyarch even more, because instead of just re-releasing an old map from the previous game – and charging us again for it like Infinity Ward – the studio has remodelled the whole thing.

Yeah I know, it’s still the same map underneath but it honestly looks brilliant. It’s set in a Hollywood studio lot this time, and each corner is based on a different theme. The big tower in the middle is now a Medieval castle, the tire maze at Domination flag A is now a miniature city from a disaster movie, and the huts by the jeeps are now Wild West saloons.

There’s even a section based on Jurassic Park, with an animatronic T-Rex gnashing and roaring through a broken electric fence. Actual, real, literal effort. It still plays well too, and I’m sure fans will appreciate that Treyarch has brought it back at any rate. Now then, to the thorn in my side – Zombies.

Mob of the Dead is a very interesting Zombies scenario. It stars Ray Liotta, Michael Madsen, Joe Pantoliano and Chazz Palminteri as a bunch of wise-guy mobsters who stage a break out of Alcatraz prison. The thing is, they all get killed by zombies just moments into their breakout.

You start the round as a ghost and this threw me off a little. You have to find the body of one of the dead gangsters and enter it, effectively reviving them. From there you engage in the usual spate of zombie blasting, unlocking guns and barricading entry points.

But now you can find an electric maintenance panel and shock yourself to death any time you want, reverting yourself back to ghost form. You can do this three times in each round, but you will die if you fail to return to your body within the time limit. In this state you can hurl lightning at zombies and use it to power up switches.

These switches can be used to turn on perk dispensers, doorways and gondolas that let you traverse quickly from the island’s docks or the top floors of the prison. You can also levitate, pass through small gaps in walls and pull off a range of neat short-cuts if you know where to find them.

It’s a simple system, but one that gives the Black Ops Zombies format a shot in the arm. There’s also a creepy as hell warden that rushes you every few rounds and takes many hits to kill. It’s terrifying the first time he stomps towards you.

So is Black Ops 2: Uprising worth getting? I’d say so, but the multiplayer maps aren’t as interactive as previous maps have been. Consider Hydro’s flooding mechanic, the sliding doors on Drone and the turret in Turbine. These things may seem simple but they often add urgency and an element of strategy into the mix.

I didn’t get that feeling in Uprising, so if you’re cash -poor until the end of the month, maybe wait until then to make your purchase or try the maps out at a friend’s first. If you’re a Zombies fan you should buy this for Mob of the Dead no questions asked. It’s brilliant and tries several new things.

Let us know if you pick it up, plan to pick it up, or simply won’t below.

Disclosure: To write this piece, Activision sent Dave a code for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Uprising. No other merchandise or advertising were offered or accepted. Yes, Dave has fallen off Veritgo’s rooftops and has been combusted by Magma’s lava many times like an idiot.

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6 Comments

  1. junguler

    as a gamer i never got the point of pre-order bonus and dlcs

    and i never bought anything other than actual game itself
    with execption of 2 R* dlcs (gta liberty and red dead undead) ofcource

    so i’m against milking the shit out of a game that doesn’t feel inventive and fresh looking to me

    that’s why i still enjoy playing cod wow zombie (even with random people) because that game had somthing new to say and give

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ps3fanboy

    no i don’t think its worth buying. i think they should include all this from the get go, that is my honest opinion. these games of treyarch are not much cared about and will be hacked a 3 years after release, and end up unplayable in the end. with so little care with their games why should you as a customer want to buy any dlc that in the end will be unplayable with hackers all over the place until the servers get taken down. it is a waste of money, with that said it is also known now after all these cod games, that the best maps comes with the game on disc.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. noamlol2

    only dumbasses buy activision DLC

    how people keep buying the same “updates” every year and pay 60$ more for “Updates”

    it’s such a scam

    paying 120 for a half assed game with crappy content

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @3 how is it a scam if people willingly pay for it? You either want to buy it or you don’t. It’s that simple.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Djoenz

    @2
    You are talking nonsense. Last time I checked MW2 servers are still active. Black Ops still has servers etc. They are not dedicated servers but host based at least and older COD titles are still active.

    Hell I still play original zombies till this day. The only reason I bought DlC packs were specifically for Zombies.

    Zombies are awesome. Dont like them then dont buy them and you may even bitch about it, but talking nonsense is another thing.

    Thx Dave for this article cause I stopped playing COD Blops2, but this new zombie map make my balls tingle.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Flare0080

    Zombies need to be their own game. I don’t play zombies, I don’t like zombies, and I’d rather not pay for that bullsh-t. I buy DLC for the extra multi-player map variety. For my money, give me a 5th multi-player map instead of more zombies…

    Way to split your focus, Activision…

    Hell, I don’t even play the campaign mode. Can we eliminate this as well?

    #6 2 years ago

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  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]