Even as excitement started to build for the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts as a launch title for the forthcoming Xbox One (And also on the Playstation 4), many CoD fanatics were wondering when the next 2 map packs would be released for Black Ops 2. Happily the third pack, including in the Black Ops 2 Season Pass, has now been confirmed for release on July 2, 2013.
Despite the fact most lobbies are now packed with Prestige Masters, the pack will offer the same prospect of 4 new maps, plus an additional zombie mode – and will cost the usual 1200 MS Points if you didn’t buy the season pass.
The Multiplayer Maps are:
- Cove: Island-based map with numerous pathways.
- Rush: Paintball-inspired close combat map.
- Detour: Twin-level bridge-based map
- Uplink: Remake of Black Ops map Summit
The map pack should be interesting. Cove immediately reminded us of the beach area of the Crisis map in Black Ops, which was a fairly popular map, and should ramp up the potential for using the terrain. Rush looks like it’ll play somewhat similar to Grind’s skatepark action, and Detour will make an interesting addition.
We’re torn on the inclusion of a Summit-remake. Although Summit was one of our favourite Black Ops maps, as flanking could compensate for crappy connections – we’ve already had remakes of Nuketown and Firing Range, and Summit certainly wasn’t always a popular map in terms of lobby voting.
Call of Duty: Ghosts provided the climactic ending to the Xbox One reveal event, with Eric Hirschberg (Activision CEO) introducing a video featuring interview clips with the Infinity Ward development team and a trailer.
Despite the lack of promised gameplay in the video, there were some details revealed about the game:
- Call of Duty: Ghosts DLC will be a time-limited Xbox One exclusive.
- Ghosts features a new game engine, and new characters.
- Ghosts is a collaboration with Stephen Gagham, who wrote the film Traffic, and wrote/directed Syriana
- The story features the aftermath of a massive, world-changing event. The destruction of America means that you are part of a team of underdogs, fighting against superior forces. Your allies will be the remnants of the various elite fighting forces, including an actual canine member of the squad.
- There’s a new mantle system for getting over low walls without losing momentum.
- You can now lean out around corners.
- There’s a new slide move.
- The game engine includes more impressive graphics, but also fluid dynamics, interactive smoke, and AI elements such as fish moving away from you if you enter a river.
- Multiplayer changes so far include dynamic maps, which will include floods, explosions and player-operated dynamics such as doors.
Much of the comparison during the video was made with the graphics of Modern Warfare 3, which may explain why they didn’t reference the player-operated doors in Stockpile of Call of Duty Black Ops, or the flooding in Hydro, recently released for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Both developed by Treyarch).
But that was better than the scant Halo news, which was solely concerned with a new live action television series to involved Steven Spielberg as Executive Producer. Spielberg was obviously too busy to attend the event, but was beamed in to give a quick reference to how he played Pong back in the 1970s.
Non-FPS specific news was really limited to the Xbox One architecture, and the fact that currently the Xbox 360 Live service is supported by around 15,000 servers, but the plans for Xbox One are for 300,000 servers. How many of those will remain for games rather than TV apps is open to debate.
Level up your Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 weaponry this weekend with the first Double Weapons XP event. It starts Friday, February 1st at 10am PST, and lasts until the same time on Monday, February 4th, 2013.
This will allow you to rank up guns and unlock attachments at twice the usual rate, which is great news if you’re struggling with particularly firearms. The Chicom CQB submachine gun appears to be one of the trickier weapons to level up with burst fire and a slow reload time. But we also bet you’ll see a lot of the new Peacekeeper SMG.
The event is to celebrate the release of Revolution, the first DLC Map Pack for Call of Duty Black Ops, which included 4 new maps (Grind, Hydro, Downhill and Mirage, along with the Die Reise zombie map and Peacekeeper gun. It’s only available for the Xbox at the moment, with the PC and PS3 release date not announced. It costs 1200 Microsoft Points, and is included in the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 season pass which is 4000 MS Points.
The weekend prior to the release saw a Double XP weekend – one reason for the focus on weapons this time is the new Peacekeeper, which attempts to combine some of the benefits of both the SMG and Assault Rifle classes. Another reason may be the large number of players who have already reached the top Prestige Master level or other high rankings – ranking each weapon takes a fair while longer!
This leaked image reveals some details of the first downloadable content for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, with the Revolution DLC apparently set to contain 4 new multiplayer maps, a new Zombie map, and a new SMG named the Peacemaker.
The almost traditional pre-release leak of Call of Duty DLC hasn’t been officially confirmed or denied, but the Treyarch twitter account did say this on December 31, 2012:
No matter what you’ve got planned for New Year’s Eve, make sure to stay safe. We’ll see you in the new year with some news about DLC.
So assuming that the leaked image is accurate we have:
- Hydro – Based around a Hydro Dam
- Grind – Based in an urban skate park
- Downhill – Snowy resort and finally bringing the required snow level to Black Ops 2 multiplayer
- Mirage – Chinese Pagoda level
- Die Rise – Zombie-filled skyrise.
We’re pretty excited about the prospect of new maps, as the level design in Black Ops 2 is probably one of the weakest in the Call of Duty series, and it would be good to get some larger maps into the rotation. There’s only so much Hijack anyone can play after all.
A new gun will be interesting, although the SMG class is already pretty effectively represented. But we’ll wait and see if it can topple the Scorpion Evo as our SMG of choice.
Prices are obviously unannounced, but if you haven’t got the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Season Pass, we’d guess it’ll be around the 1200 MS Points mark (Although obviously we hope it’ll be less). And it’ll probably arrive on PS3 a little later in the year. Either way, it’ll be more fun than running around another version of Nuketown.