Unless you’ve been billeted under a rock or chillin’ at a remote COP using piss-tubes and burn-shi#$ers, you already know Call of Duty: Black Ops Rezurrection is Treyarch’s latest downloadable map pack. We had high hopes for it from the first time we saw the trailer and knew we might be going to the moon. What’s not to like about zombie astronauts?
Unlike previous DLC packs, this one is exclusively zombie maps. Sadly only one of them (Moon) is new. The others (Nacht der Untoten, Der Riese, Verruckt and Shi No Numa) are ‘remastered’ World at War maps. The transition to zombie map means little more than loading the mystery boxes with weapons found in Black Ops and making your opponents dead, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There seem to be a few changes to the soundtrack, but we’re not so finely tuned to musical subtleties we could swear to it. (Honestly, we could’ve Googled it and told you what we found, but frankly that was too much effort and we just didn’t care. We play games to shoot stuff and stack bodies, not to muse on the vagaries of musical composition.)
Let’s skip straight to it: this map pack is worth getting if you like fighting zombies. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise. If you were never really into the zombie thing, don’t feel an overwhelming compulsion to fight hordes of undead and have never heard of Robert Kirkman or JL Bourne then skip it—you’ll be disappointed. Otherwise, just know going into it that you’ve already seen four of the maps, and the one you haven’t seen before is probably the hardest map yet. Opinions on it are pretty much split down the middle. Some people love it and think the discordant chaos make it the best map ever. Others hate it, saying it’s too difficult or some of the content is too disjointed. We loved it, which of course means the ones who hate it are just stupid.
In any case, Moon takes a slightly different approach to zombie fighting. Players begin the map in an infested launch area. The immediate goal is to hold on as long as you can, then get the @#$* out of there and onto a teleport. This is a lot harder than it sounds, and a lot of players get killed before round one even officially starts. Our philosophy: go straight for the teleport, why be proud? Sometimes it’s good to be the coward who shrieks and runs for it. Plus it saves on controller attrition because we wind up throwing fewer of them.
The teleport delivers the player instantly to a station on the moon which presents a lot of unique challenges. (Not least of which is the zero gravity and lack of oxygen.) The lack of gravity has the most impact, as it substantially affects jumping and moving (yours and the zombies) You have to really pay attention, because although you can throw a hand grenade much further, you can also effectively ‘push’ zombies into or behind your teammates with grenades or weapon fire if you don’t kill them outright. The lack of oxygen isn’t too big an issue if you’re paying attention and move with a purpose because of the spacesuits immediately available. We know some players who add to the challenge of Moon by trying to play without spacesuits. Those players are better than us, which is why they are also stupid.
Moon’s premise is the same as previous maps; barriers need repaired, each wave of zombies is successively more difficult to purge, you fight for points to get better weapons and open doors. The Wave gun is new and basically works like a microwave, cooking zombies from the inside out, though we don’t personally use it. It’s far more fun to kill zombies from the outside with bullets than from the inside with magic. There are astronaut zombies too, named from your friends list to throw you off guard. (This probably won’t be a huge issue for those of you playing sober.)
Gameplay is also more of the same. Teamwork is a must if one hopes to survive multiple waves, which is why matchmaking is such a hit or miss situation. Partying up with serious players is required if one hopes to achieve anything more than about four waves, and good comms are a must. Everyone needs to cover their angles and avenues of approach at all times. This isn’t a map where being quick on the controller and having the appalling reflexes of assclowns like BlustryChees810 will be enough to prevail (if it is, they need to get a life or they’re never going to touch a baseball or a real boob). Any further navigation of the levels i.e. the opening of additional doors should be methodical and coordinated in advance with everyone. This is not a map where it pays to Alamo up.
As usual, your real life doorkickery skills won’t avail you, though cross-covering threat areas and stacked movement is of some use in parts of Moon. Also as usual, while shooting zombies while they’re still outside would be the obvious thing to do in real life, in the zombie maps that cuts way back on your point accumulation and your ability to garner instant double points, instakill, etc. Of course, with Moon you don’t really have that option anyway.
Final tally: we like it, particularly Moon. We feel a trifle cheated about the four remastered maps, but hey at least they did an all-zombie pack. This game and that map in particular are a stressfully addictive way to pass the time, particularly if the house is empty and the surround sound is on. Moon s the best zombie map to date, though personally we’re keeping our fingers crossed that changes when the Occupy Wall Street: Death and Taxes comes out. That’s going to be fun. Occupy Wall Street zombies are stupid.
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