Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Uprising

The second downloadable content (DLC) pack for the phenomenally successful Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Uprising, is available now for Xbox 360 and will make its way to PC and PlayStation 3 in due course. As many have come to expect from the post-launch […]
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The second downloadable content (DLC) pack for the phenomenally successful Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Uprising, is available now for Xbox 360 and will make its way to PC and PlayStation 3 in due course. As many have come to expect from the post-launch additions to Call of Duty videogames, Uprising doesn’t add enough new to the core campaign but instead chooses to flesh out the additional gameplay modes. Both the multiplayer and zombies components get fresh new content, so whether you’re a solo player or love working with/against your friends, there’s something included for you.

Whether or not it’s worth the price however (1,200 Microsoft Points and presumably £9.99 GBP on PlayStation 3 and PC), will depend on just what you expect a new DLC pack to deliver. The biggest addition Uprising brings is that of a brand new zombies gameplay mode, Mob of the Dead. Here a group of up to four players will journey through a short campaign as a member of a team of prohibition-era gangsters attempting to fight their way out of Alcatraz and back to San Francisco. A collection of instantly recognisable Hollywood talent is a showcase of the budget thrust upon Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Uprising, and given the size of the videogame’s audience it’s not surprise that actors such as Ray Liotta and Michael Madson would welcome the opportunity to become a part of such a franchise.

Mob of the Dead varies the typical zombies ruleset with a simple possession mechanic. At the beginning of the match and upon each death the player will become a disembodied spirit, able to revive a nearby human corpse and get back into the game. It’s not a hugely complicated endeavour, far from the depth of Giest’s mental dexterity challenges, but it does provide a good foundation for teamwork as even a downed player can be of use: zapping zombies out of existence in the short window of time available before they must find a new host. It’s an interesting mechanic without a doubt, but one that is made specifically for team play, leaving the solo player with a decidedly shallow experience by comparison.

The campaign is of a reasonable length and the inclusion of guard towers and new weapons make Mob of the Dead interesting enough to hold its own, even if Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s zombies mode retains the feeling of a poor man’s Left 4 Dead throughout. Elsewhere Uprising offers less innovation with the Call of Duty template and more building upon its solid foundations. Four new multiplayer maps are included, Magma, Encore, Vertigo and Studio, and regardless of your opinion of the run-and-gun gameplay you’d be hard-pressed to suggest these new additions aren’t designed go the highest standard such an immediate style of interaction demands.

Magma is a large city area filled with bland textures and the occasional environment hazard that favours heavy hitters, shotguns and assault rifles will do well while snipers will find that many of the vantage points have a wide open rear. Vertigo, on the other hand, is so called thanks to its elevation; a mostly interior map that calls for awareness over accuracy. The final two maps, Encore and Studio, follow the traditional design rules of first-person shooter deathmatching so strictly that neither would feel out of place in Duke Nukem 3D.

Rounding off the package is the return of Call of Duty: Black Ops fan-favourite map Firing Range, reimagined and better designed to suit Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s arsenal. With this, Uprising presents an inelegant DLC pack that strikes a welcome chord between quality and experimentation, freshness and reliability. As an addition to one of the biggest selling videogames of all time Uprising was never going to rock the boat, but that it at least attempts to try something new should be commended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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