Platform: Xbox LIVE (Xbox 360)
Review Copy Provided By: Activision
Release Date: July 2, 2013
After the revolution and uprising comes vengeance. Vengeance is the third downloadable content pack out of four for Call of Duty: Black Ops II featuring 4 more multiplayer maps (Cove, Rush, Uplink, & Detour), 1 Zombies map (Buried), and a return of the Ray Gun as Ray Gun Mark II available for all the Zombies maps in Black Ops 2. Vengeance is available at 1200 magic points or free with the purchase of the Season Pass on Xbox LIVE and will be coming out at a later date for $15 on PSN and PC.
Cove is located on a small island somewhere in the international waters of the Indian Ocean. The island theme seems to borrow heavily from games like Far Cry 3 but is still extremely well done and looks gorgeous. The map is full of references to the movie Cast Away starring Tom Hanks such as tally marks on a rock, makeshift raft, and a help sign on the northern coast. The layout of the map is deceptively circular in nature featuring a lot of open areas with cover and tighter paths with chokepoints creating the perfect ambush spots. The map is a bit overloaded with routes leaving it to favor mid-range battles with no real lines of sight for sniping. Playing it in team deathmatch will leave players playing the wonderful game of Who Shot Me In The Back while objective based modes like Domination bring out Cove’s full potential as an enjoyable map.
Every map pack seems to have a gimmick map so far for Black Ops 2. Rush is the gimmick for the Vengeance map pack. Rush takes place in a deep south paintball facility in good ol’ Georgia, USA. The facility as an indoor and outdoor arena mixed in with the offices and storefronts of the course. The indoor arena portion features the famous blue inflatable cover covered in paint splatters while the outdoor portion goes the route of paint covered debilitated buses. Once past the gimmick, the map feels very meh, lacking focus and substance. Rush suffers from a similar issue as Cove with too many routes leave players more vulnerable than normal Call Of Duty maps. Almost every game of team deathmatch on Rush turned into a shotgun/bouncing betty battle leaving Rush as the most disappointing map of Vengeance.
Detour takes place on a random suspension bridge in the USA that looks as if it hasn’t seen it’s best days in quite a while. The bridge is suffering from collateral damage from a prolonged battle with traffic and destruction blocking areas of the bridge creating the routes down the sides and middle in a very ovalish shape. The bridge has multiple levels as tunnels give players access to the underside of the wrecked bridge. Detour is clearly the most complex map in Vengeance in terms of layout and will take players a bit of time to learn their routes. Long sight lines promote more serious gunplay than the run and gun of Cove and Rush leaving us with a map that is enjoyable in all modes and not just objective.
Uplink is a remake of the fan favorite Black Ops map Summit. The map is re-imagined as a mountain top satellite uplink facility in the jungles of Myanmar. The changes to Uplink are not nearly as drastic as the other remake map Studio was from it’s source but it is still a great map to play on with a time tested layout. It is also the first multiplayer map in Black Ops 2 to feature rain which gives it a nice doom and gloom feel. Routes run down both sides and the middle of the map with the outside paths being on the edge of the facilities mountain top location creating a huge danger of falling mid combat. Uplink is the most balanced in terms of mixing indoor and outdoor combat with choke points that take just the right amount of skill to control. All game modes play great on Uplink and is probably the top map out of the Vengeance map pack.
The Zombies mode map of Vengeance is called Buried and sees the return of the Green Run Group featured in the earlier Pre-”Mob Of The Dead” Black Ops 2 Zombies Maps. The map takes place in an underground western town filled with gobs of mineshafts. The map is actually pretty large with the expected buildings you would see any episode of Gunsmoke like a saloon, bank, and jail. The experience in Buried tends to fall closer to that of Zombies mode prior to Black Ops 2 getting away from the massive undertaking that Tranzit needed. It seems every DLC Zombies map has it’s own gimmick and that gimmick in Buried is named Leroy; a friendly NPC of giant proportions. Once Leroy is freed from jail, he will wander around assisting players by fighting zombies for candy and busting barricades for booze. Buried is another excellent DLC Zombies map that follows the tradition of previous maps that filled out some aspect of the popular game mode.
Ray Gun Mark II
Buried is not the only Zombies related piece of Vengeance as the Ray Gun makes a return with a little evolution to the Ray Gun Mark II. The wonder weapon is featured on all Zombies maps in Black Ops 2 now. The biggest difference from the original Ray Gun is that the Mark II fires 3 round bursts. It can also be pack-a-punched into Porter’s Mark II Ray Gun doubling the magazine size and increasing the ammunition total while firing red rays rather than green. There is no splash damage but the shots now pierce zombies allowing a shot to hit multiple zombies. Unfortunately for ingenious players, the Ray Gun Mark II can not be carried with the Ray Gun to give them double the zapping power.
With only one map pack left to go, Vengeance is a strong offering that isn’t quite on par with the previous two map packs. Highlights include another excellent Zombies map, new weapon, and a superb remake. Detour stands on top of the other 2 original maps found in Vengeance by featuring a layout that makes it perfect for all game modes rather than chaos found in Cove and Rush for non objective based gameplay.