Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike Review

What we liked:

+ Great zombie map
+ Two great MP maps

What we didn't like:

- Two standard MP maps

DEVELOPER: Treyarch   |   PUBLISHER: Activision   |   RELEASE: 02/01/2011

By now, those of you who want to play CoD: Black Ops have probably bought it. And, by now, you will have played a crap ton of the multiplayer and are looking to find out if the newly released map pack, First Strike, is worth the 1200msp asking price. Hopefully, I will be able to help.

The map pack contains four new multiplayer maps: Discovery, Berlin Wall, Kowloon and Stadium; and one new zombie map: Ascension.

First, let’s tackle the zombie map. Set in a Russian Cosmodrome, Ascension is the stand out map of First Strike. The rules are the same, but the map is laid out over many levels and is a real challenge. Of course, the first thing you must do is beef up your arsenal, as the pistol is all but useless. After that, there are a series of tasks you are given in order to unlock the Death Machine! All you will really care about, though, is surviving as long as possible. There are also two new perks, PhD Flopper, a perk that detonates a ’Mini Nuke’ when you dive in to prone and destroys nearby zombies and Stamin-Up which increases the player’s movement.

The other four maps are a mixed bag. Discovery and Kowloon are both fine maps, but feel similar to maps already on the disc (Discovery feels like Summit and Kowloon like Jungle). The other two maps are a little more interesting. Berlin Wall is a fantastic map, with the East and West sides separated by a thin walkway (Based on Checkpoint Charlie).This is great for ambushes and fire fights.

There is also a large open area which cannot be entered due to landmines, but the whole area can be covered by a sniper or two, which makes for some great sitting duck situations. Stadium is my favourite of the four. I can’t really explain why! Set in, as the name suggests, a stadium (Ice Hockey), it is a large map that doesn’t feel too different from some of the original maps. For some reason, it is an absolute blast to play - a great mix of open areas and enclosed spaces, it is great for all types of players.

Now, is it all worth 1200msp? It’s hard to say. If you are a Black Ops nut, then I’m sure you will get your money’s worth. If you are the sort of person who just dips in and out of Black Ops, you might be better served by waiting for the pack to go on sale in a few months time. What I can say is that it is definitely better than the first MW2 map pack, as all 5 maps are new instead of having some of them recycled! Treyarch seems to have worked hard on these, and I look forward to the next pack.

Review copy provided by publisher.

John Whitehouse

News Editor/Reviewer, he also lends his distinct British tones to the N4G Radio Podcast. When not at his PC, he can be found either playing something with the word LEGO in it, or TROPICO!!!

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