OXCGN’s Black Ops II: Apocalypse DLC Review
Where it all began
by Arthur Kotsopoulos
©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos
With Call of Duty: Ghosts set to hit shelves in November, it’s only fitting that Treyarch send Black Ops II off with a bang with Apocalypse, the final Map Pack which can be downloaded individually or included with the season pass.
Apocalypse includes 2 brand new maps, 2 re-skinned maps and a brand new Zombies map. It’s definitely a great way to extend the life span of a shooter especially when it’s main focus is its multiplayer component, with a less than stellar single player.
I wasn’t overly impressed with Modern Warfare 3, having not even completed single player to this day. The series is in dire need of a huge refresh and whilst Ghosts is looking as if it is trying to do that, Apocalypse will give fans of the current generation something to tide them over.
If you remember Courtyard from World at War then you’ll feel right at home with Dig. Dig is every campers nightmare with a plethora of paths laid all around the map.
One cannot stay in the same position for more than a few seconds without the constant fear dredging in their mind of someone sneaking up behind them.
It’s frantic and perfect for any player with a close combat loadout.
Due to its extremely low walls allowing players to easily go for the headshot, players can easily rack up their points for killstreaks and unless you’re on a team with the best players in the game the match can go either way.
With the lack of shelter as well, no one is immune to airstrikes and snipers don’t have any particular vantage point where they can sit and stalk an enemy. This map is really about movement and quick reactions.
Always being on alert will net you kills and help you stay alive. If you’re too slow to react and aren’t comfortable with close range weapons and being smart with your ammunition, then you won’t get very far.
It’s quite easy to excel at Dig but at the same time even easier to have an absolute shocker of a match if you’re not careful.
Set in a small town in Amsterdam, Frost sees player traverse through knee high snow and take shelter in the surrounding shops and houses from enemy fire.
This map offers a balance between extremely close combat scenarios and opportunities for snipers to camp within rooms, peaking through open windows. Opponents can fall victims to multiple traps set by skilled players and every corner could result in death.
You’ll need to tread carefully as every pathway has multiple pathways in which enemies can spawn from and eliminate you. Down the center of the map runs a frozen river bed, which players can run across to get to either side of the map. Stand in a single area too long and it’ll crumble at your feet.
Over time Frost does become dull and extremely predictable. You’ll know exactly where enemies are hiding and where others will try to sneak up on you.
Takeoff is a complete port of Stadium from Black Ops with the only difference this time being that it takes place atop a hovering ship in the middle of the ocean.
For those who are familiar with Standoff, it’s a love or hate relationship especially since there are multiple vantage points for snipers to barricade themselves in.
The smarter player will know to tread carefully when running into any building due to a high chance of planted claymores or any other type of explosive, which will disrupt your vision.
Not much has changed with this map and all weapon types work well from snipers to shotguns.
There are multiple enclosed areas where close combat weapons are preferred but any player caught out in the open will suffer the consequences of a headshot from a sniper rifle.
It’s all about knowing where you are and where your enemy could be. Being on alert is a must as an enemy can pop up out of anywhere.
It’s basically a small run down post-apocalyptic setting with a hell of a lot of green weeds and abandoned trucks everywhere.
Certain pod houses are run down and accessible whilst the open areas are full of crates to hie behind and a large truck to pick your opponents off in each direction with ease.
The action in Pod is frantic, there’s never a dull moment and it definitely feels smaller than Dig due to this.
The target finder is most like the best attachment for this map as enemies can easily blend in with the environment and camp most of the match.
One of the best tactics you’ll find that works in Pod is lobbing grenades over the small walls to other areas. Opponents will not be expecting it in the slightest and those waiting for someone to turn a corner could fall victim to an unfortunate grenade.
Bringing the whole zombie experience full circle is, Origins. Set in the 1950s during an alternate World War 1, Origins is described as by Treyarch to be diesel steam punk action and it tells the story of how the original zombies character met.
Zombies was my favourite game type when I uncovered it after finishing World at War. The setting and team based action was amazing and I saw myself spending countless hours always trying to better my individual and team based score.
Over time this game type has evolved. What started as a pure team based horde style game and a fully fledged story-line with Easter eggs and deep dark secrets hidden in every map.
Origins changes the same formula known in other zombie maps but this time replacing a few of the key components we’ve come to get used to.
Generators this time around are scattered through out the map and once turned on grant you power to the surrounding area only. Once all 6 are turned on they give you access to the Mystery Box as well as the Pack-a-Punch machines.
The map is essentially made up of a few different open and enclosed areas.
Out in the open players must look out for the giant robots that traverse the surrounding battlefield and can down a player if one finds themselves under the robots foot.
Buildables return in Origins and the player can collect parts to build any four elemental staffs, a zombie shield and a Maxis Drone.
Alongside this there are a few powerups in Origins.
Zombie Blood enhances a players field of view with the benefit of zombies not attacking the player as they’ll be covered in zombie blood.
Blood Money is obtainable when the player picks up the shovel and digs at specific points in the map. They’re granted random amounts of points and gives you a 5th perk slot.
The player can also use this shovel when prompted to receive a special treat which will aid them in surviving.
Origins, really does bring the zombies experience full circle being a culmination of everything before it.
It’s still amazingly fun with a group of friends always trying to best a previous score. The zombies are just as brutal and the amount of game play elements from buildables, turning on generators and digging up random piles in the ground for more gear will keep players spending countless hours on Origins.
Apocalypse is a fitting conclusion to Black Ops II‘s season pass and it ends an interesting run of content.
Whether or not the zombies game type will return in the next installment of Call of Duty by Treyarch, just know that Origins is the culmination of everything that has been released prior. Unless you really loved Standoff and Courtyard from previous Call of Duty games, know that you’re only paying for 2 brand new maps and a zombie map.
Players can easily grow tired of these two maps the same way I did. It tends to get a little boring when you know all the vantage points and places for an enemy to hide from the get go.
The challenge is gone and that moment of realization when you fully comprehend where the snipers camp and opponents may run is no where to be seen. I love playing on brand new maps and getting my ass handed to me because it helps me learn and change my strategy, Playing on re-skinned maps you don’t have the same privilege.
You already know everything there is and it’s just another run and gun, hide and shoot scenario.