|CoD:BO Annihilation & Escalation Pack|
January 15, 2013 | Jon Carr
Mac OS X: 10.7.5 | CPU: 2 GHz Intel | RAM: 4 GB | HD Space: 15 GB | Graphics: 512 MB, (ATI): Radeon HD 4670; (NVidia): GeForce 650M; Intel HD Graphics 3000
Reviewer's Rig:27" iMac, Core i5 Quad 2.8Ghz, 8GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD5750 1GB. Lion 10.8.2, Apple Wired Keyboard, Logitech Wireless Trackball M570
Aspyr Media released Black Ops for Mac all the way back in September of 2012, and in late November brought us the Dual Threat expansion map packs. This contained the Annihilation and Escalation DLC packs in one bundle for a total of 8 new Multiplayer maps and 2 new zombie maps.
On the Multiplayer front, each pack adds 4 new maps for a total of eight new playable maps. Each of them are varied and colorful, a welcome change from the often drab or dull color set of the rest of the multiplayer maps. It's not something you really notice until you play these maps, then you realize how much more eye popping they are compared to the old ones. Hazard is an extremely green golf course with lots of fighting around the edges, as wandering into the middle is a quick way to earn a sniper's bullet. Hotel is a fancy resort with multiple tiers and paths to combat. Drive-In is a smaller map, full of busy fun and clutter. Convoy is huge, offering great verticality and lots of openings to ambush and flank your foes. Easily the most commendable is Zoo, which is absolutely gorgeous and just bursting with color and variety. It's fun to just walk around and look at the map without doing anything else at all.
All the existing game modes are available for the new maps. If you know the current maps like the back of your hand (which I do) learning a new set of maps was a fun and fresh challenge and will definitely extend your game value and enjoyment of multiplayer if you can find matches on them.
On the Zombie front, Call of the Dead features a rather entertaining introduction sequence in which George Romero is directing a zombie movie until a real zombie wanders in and bites him. Then he constantly stalks you in the map from round 1 as a menacing boss like character. He can be killed but it takes a lot of teamwork and powerful weapons. Even a stray bullet can piss him off and send him rampaging after you, so beware. He can be calmed down by going into freezing water in various parts of the map. Most of the map is a frozen location and a half sunken ship.
Shangri La is set in the legendary location and features monkeys..lots and lots of monkeys. Also, fantastic architecture, beautiful views and lots of cunning traps to use on the zombies. There also seems to be several different zombie types, such as 28 Days Later style runner zombies.
Overall, there seems to be a lot more effort put into these two zombie maps from the graphics, zombie types and setting. Any fan of the zombies mode will be happy with these additions for solo or multiplayer play.
Is this map pack worth it? It's hard to say. The new maps are fantastic and add a lot more variety and color to the Black Ops Multiplayer experience. And the two new zombie maps are among the best there is. The problem is so few players have the map packs and the way the servers are setup right now it's very difficult to find matches at all for the new maps. I've asked Aspyr to setup a DLC map only server to make it easier, but that hasn't happened yet. If you have $25 to spare it's a worthy purchase. Otherwise, I would wait until the DLC only server is setup to guarantee play on the new maps.
New Multiplayer Maps add great variety and color
The two new Zombie maps are some of the best there is
Few players, hard to find servers for new maps (not existing/old maps)
Jon Carr is an IMG writer who also hosts the MacGameCast and enjoys conducting interviews, previews and writing all the features he can think of. When not reviewing games or scheming world domination, he's probably playing a new game in Bootcamp or keeping up on all the latest game and tech news. He builds websites for a living but spends all the time he can furthering the Mac game community.