Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is back with its third map pack, called Vengeance, and it offers 4 new diverse multiplayer maps, a brand new zombies experience, and the new zombies wonder weapon: The Ray Gun Mark II.
This is the map that almost everyone was excited for. It was the center of attention since it provided the close quarters aspect everyone loves. However, compared to the buzz it got, it didn't prove to be a really amazing map. The layout is nice, and the best zone is the indoors paintball area, but with many fan favorite close quarters maps in the past such as Shipment, Rust, Nuketown, and Dome, this map isn't regarded as a beloved small fast-paced map with a completely balanced and unique experience.
Despite all this, it is still really fun to play in, but with the many shotgun abusers on the run, it gets quite annoying after a while. Rage quitters are frequent, and you often see the less serious portion of the players trying to quickscope, or get "cool tomahawk kills". It doesn't provide the necessary factors that make it a playground for the experienced players only, although Treyarch promised the opposite.
This map consists of a bridge with multiple levels where the action takes place. It is an extremely competitive map, and it requires more teamwork than all the other 3 maps offered in the downloadable pack. I was surprised of how balanced the upper level is. It's basically the first place you're in, and it's almost symmetrical from both sides. No advantage is provided to any of the teams depending on which side they spawn at.
The lower level offers more fast paced action, as it is tight and rather small. People who spend more time on the upper level are better off with assault rifles or long ranged weapons (excluding snipers as the lines of sight are short and almost always blocked by objects). However, people who prefer the lower level should use shotguns or SMGs to be able to get the advantage in the tight areas. All in all this map is amazing for competitive games, and with enough teamwork, every game could be won easily.
This map is simply my favorite multiplayer map from the whole map pack. It focuses more on individual skills and ways of approaching the enemy rather than teamwork. Each player has to watch his own back, know his routes, and think in a strategic way. It has many flanking routes, and offers a really large diversity of approaches you can use to kill enemies. Moreover, it offers a perfect layout for almost every type of weapon in the game, from sniper rifles, to submachine guns, to even the ballistic knife.
It also gives players a break from all the maps which take place in cities that have been almost fully annihilated, and places them on a rather beautiful island. Cove takes a while to get used to, as strategic thinking is key. If you're the type that only runs forward and kills everyone on his way, you probably won't have a really good time. Approach the enemies slowly, choose the correct routes, and emerge victorious in a gunfight. This is a map that would not disappoint the skilled players.
Most of you probably know it as the fan favorite map "Summit" from Call of Duty: Black Ops. However, this isn't just Summit. This map is Summit with a twist. It's completely re-imagined to look the same yet different. It has the exact same layout, so if you know Summit you'll easily find yourself knowing every single spot on this map. Yet everything is different. The snow is replaced by rain, the objects are different, etc...
Uplink is still as fun as Summit was. It also brings back all the little details, such as the suspended cable car which you can jump on, and the tower with the accessible top (if you know the secret paths). The central control room is still the main choke point. Almost all battles take place there, and it's pretty much never empty. Uplink is a really enjoyable map, however the main problem with "re-imagined" maps is that they can never bring the same old feeling you got when you played the original ones. So, basically, Summit is still a better version of Uplink.
Buried: (Caution: Contains some mild spoilers)
Now this is what I call perfection. I'll talk a lot about this map since it's huge. Buried is the new zombies experience offered in the Vengeance DLC. It is set in an underground western town invaded by the flesh eating undead. As a die-hard Call of Duty Zombies fan, I can simply say that by now, I know each and every thing about the map. This map is not disappointing in any way.
You would be extremely surprised once you figure out the hidden features of Buried, and I assure you, there are much much more than you can imagine. Once you think you figured out everything about it, you realize there's more. And some of the really cool features of the map are hidden and require lots of investigation to find. For example, one involves getting ballistic knives, shooting them on a dartboard found in a bar, hitting the center, then going to a haunted mansion and dodging ghosts until you find a ghost lady playing the piano and you tip her. I'll keep the result as a surprise for you.
Gameplay-wise it's amazing. Not too hard to play, yet not too easy. It has one of my favorite things, and that is a HUGE diversity of wonder weapons. Weapons such as The Paralyzer, The Ray Gun, The Ray Gun Mark II, The Time Bomb, and The Cymbal Monkey are available. The map also has a huge creature whom you can free from his prison cell. He can be used to do many things and help the player. The first 2 things players will notice are the fact that giving him booze (a drink you find) lets him open up new parts of the map, and that giving him candy lets him kill zombies. Now this is what's obvious, however I would advise players to experiment on him, as those 2 actions previously mentioned are just a really small fraction of what he can do. There are much cooler things he's capable of, and it's really fun finding them out.
Another thing I liked about the map is the fact that it has a dynamic maze. And not one of those short mazes which can be memorized. It is a huge maze, and it changes in every single game. You can never memorize it, as it has so many different confusing layouts. Once you reach a dead end with a horde behind you, things get really interesting. Moreover, the elements found in previous maps, such as buildables, pack-a-punch, perks, and other features are back.
Now story-wise, I was stunned. For all the zombies players who care about the story, this map lets you know so much more about the fate of the world in the game, and what's going to happen. Just like all maps it has a long easter egg which consists of objectives. You can do one of two sides, Richtofen's side or Dr. Maxis' side. Once the easter egg was over I was disappointed, as the story doesn't even progress further. However, a little tip I can give you is the following: Check the world map for zombies, and try to spot what's different. Then, play the old maps again. If you figure everything out, you will get one of two end games in Buried, and they are amazing. They decide the fate of the world, the zombies, the crew, and pretty much everything else, progressing the story much further.
You learn a lot, and the end games have one of the best storyline plot twists I've ever witnessed. Something cool about Buried is that it is also available for the zombies modes "turned" and "grief", adding some mini games to the map.
These are my overall thoughts on the new Vengeance DLC, which is now available on Xbox Live, PC, and PS3 for 15$.