Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Uprising (DLC) Review
- Updated: 4th May, 2013
Black Ops II has gotten itself a new map pack. If you’re a ‘Season Pass’ holder then Uprising is already likely in your download queue or on your harddrive, but is the Uprising DLC worth 1,200 Microsoft moon-dollars (or your platform equivalent) and your time?
The immediate comparison to make is Uprising versus ‘Revolution’, Black Ops II’s previous DLC pack, is Uprising better? The answer is: yes and no. It really depends how you like your Black Ops II. If you like zombie flavour: then you will definitely have a bigger blast with Uprising, but if you like your multiplayer frenzy fresh and exciting: Revolution would likely be a better choice. However, in an ideal world, why not have both?
MOB OF THE DEAD. You’re in Alcatraz prison in the 1930’s, planning an escape right as the outbreak occurs, leaving you to fight your way passed the zombie hordes of the remaining Alcatraz guards and inmates. The four playable characters are all inspirated by fictional mobsters: Michael Madsen as Finn O’Leary, Joe Pantoliano as Albert Arlington, Chazz Palminteri as Salvatore DeLuca, and Ray Liotta as Billy Handsome. If you’re a fan of mobster movies and television then you’ll be grinning like a goon at some of those names.
The close-quarters action of Alcatraz leads to many tense, exciting hordes. There’s a wide array of pathways and areas to unlock and open throughout the prison, and though the ultimate goal is to escape Alcatraz, with many different paths combined with the large prison island creates the best, most heart-pounding zombie map on Black Ops II yet. If you love zombies, or gangsters with a wicked sense of humour, then you owe it to yourself to join the mob.
ENCORE. Taking in place in an open-air arena in London, Encore is the weakest of the four multiplayer maps on offer in Uprising. The central stage area leads to intense ‘King of the Hill’ style gameplay in almost every mode, but the outskirts of the map, mostly consisting of bland seating walkways, are long and often cause nothing but frustratingly long runs between spawning and action.
The aesthetics of Encore overall feel rather bland, and uninteresting. Though the map is based in London, and the background outside the map reflects this, the map interior could be a cookie-cutter version of any arena anywhere in the world. Spawn-killing is rare, due to the long distance between opposing spawn points, but there’s little else to Encore. It’s not the worst Black Ops II map, but outside of Capture the Flag it’s rather dull.
VERTIGO. Hands down, with very little doubt, this is the best map in Uprising’s arsenal. Vertigo takes place on the roof of a high-rise skyscraper style building in India, though again it could very well be any skyscraper visually, and is excellent across all modes. The spawn points are well balanced, the gameplay remains fast-paced but doesn’t require non-stop rushing, and the central room has many entry and exist points meaning both siege and defence of map control is challenging yet rewarding.
The basis of the map is that there is always a way out, whether through one of the many pathways or doors, even sometimes by taking shortcuts out of windows and via ladders. If you’re not paying close enough attention you can even wander off the multitude of edges during a firefight. My personal favourite mode on Vertigo was Domination, with all three capture points being strategically placed for near perfect balance and nigh-exhaustive action. Vertigo wins King of the Uprising DLC (at least for multiplayer maps).
MAGMA. This map is hot hot HOT (sorry). Magma is the map for all play styles. If you’re a run-and-gun SMG kind of person or a sneaky crouched sniper hiding behind a box, then you will find a thing to love about Magma.
The environmental effects are awesome, because there’s LAVA everywhere – as it is only officially magma when it is below the Earth’s core, and sadly this map does not take place there. The more you know. However, lava does not come into play as much as you would think, but on the rare occasion it does it’s quite thrilling. It is also based in Japan; that adds an extra layer of coolness to this now steamy-hot map (I’m so sorry).
STUDIO. It’s the map ‘Firing Range’ from Black Ops I. That’s about it. I confess to not normally being a massive fan of paying for maps I’ve already paid for, and Studio is no exception to that rule. It was added due to popular demand of the players, and the map itself is really good, but I would much rather there be a separate remake map pack rather than having occasional re-skins tacked on to other map packs.
If that factor doesn’t bother you though then Studio is enjoyable. Of course it would be, it was brought back by popular demand. It’s a smaller map, with plenty of cover and vantage points, and again almost any play-style (outside of sniping) thrives here. The re-skin design, that is essentially a Hollywood studio lot in California, is very pretty. I did get a particular kick out of the flying saucer and War of the Worlds giant robot scenery. Solid map, but an extra original would have been far more welcome in my eyes.
There are no extra modes or weapons in Uprising, like there were in Revolution, and the maps make a solid and worthwhile you are pack. If forced to choose onl:y one DLC I would, by a slim margin, recommend Revolution. Uprising still deserves a look and will definitely keep you Black Ops II multiplayer addiction going for a good number of months to come. If you’ve never tried the zombie mode I would wholeheartedly recommend buying Uprising and solely for Mob of the Dead, and it is still definitely worth the money for the hours you’ll likely put in, so for that reason it gets two thumbs up from me.