With only two months left to go before Call of Duty: Ghosts drops into our laps, this is the last chance for Black Ops 2 to make its mark on the FPS genre. Unfortunately, while all of the previous DLC has been stellar, Apocalypse failed to ignite a spark in my heart.
If there is one problem this DLC suffers from, it is originality. Now, how could the most generic of first person shooters be anything but unoriginal, I hear you say? But Treyarch have always managed to make their map packs varied and enjoyable, giving each one a nice mixture of map types to suit all play styles. This time round however, two of the maps are re-imaginings of previous ones. Dig and Take Off, while still great maps, are not much more than re-skins. Although that being said, I think Dig may be the best of this bunch. Based on the World at War map, Courtyard, I had as much fun with this as I did back in the day. A large open map with raised areas, Dig is the type of match that encourages fast and frantic gunplay. It’s great for Deathmatch games.
The other ‘re-imagined’ map is Take-Off, which is based upon the Stadium map from the original Black Ops. Take-Off offers more of a tactical style of play and is therefore better suited to team based games such as Demolition or Hardpoint. With an equal amount of indoor areas and outdoor exposure, taking it steady is the name of the game.
So, with fifty percent of the multiplayer content on show having a new lick of paint, what about the rest? Well, pretty standard fare really. Both Frost and Pod are medium sized maps that require players to move about a good amount. Stay in one place, and players will soon see the business end of a bullet. I found Frost to be the most enjoyable, simply because all of the snow looks pretty compared to the large amount of grey in Pod. Both maps however, are competently put together and offer some extra variety for those that may be getting bored of the current line-up.
I guess that is how I feel about the maps on offer here in general. While the formula may be getting a little tired, fans of the game will just lap it up, simply because it adds a bit more content for them to level-up with. Casual players may not find a lot to entice them to pay the $15, but those with a vested interest will either be happy to pay up, or already have the season pass. Either way, you won’t struggle to find other people to play the DLC with.
As usual, being a Treyarch game, Apocalypse has a new Zombie map included, Origins. As the name suggests, Origins takes players back to where it all started, but adds a few new twists. Back are the four characters from the first ever Zombies map, this time thrown in to an alternative version of World War 1. This version of the world includes strange powers, cool weapons and a mech. With its tongue firmly placed in cheek, Origins does certainly have its moments, but I just couldn’t shake that feeling that I have done this all before; several times over. It’s time for something new Treyarch.
Although I didn’t have as much fun as I have had with previous map packs, Apocalypse is still a good offering for Call of Duty fans. Treyarch still know how to make fine maps, and Dig shows that they can get mileage out of recycled content. However, after 16 DLC maps, I think it’s time to move on and look towards the next installment of this relentless franchise.
Review copy of DLC provided by publisher.