Dedicated fans that have bought all the previous map packs will no doubt be purchasing the new map pack “Annihilation”. There are four new multiplayer maps that are there to excite even those who haven’t bought previous add on packs. These maps are; Hazard, Drive-In, Silo, Hangar 18. As well as these four maps, new Zombie maps have also been released.
Hazard is a map built around a crumbling resort and golf course, which however odd, is a setting for an intense war. This map is particularly popular with snipers, providing several balcony zones for teams to control as part of the wider battle. The balconies which perch over the still green golf course, which provides obligatory open area for those warriors who prefer not to snipe. The rolling, luscious green hills which provide the bases of the map also provide target practice for the snipers upon the balconies. In fact all of the new maps are friendlier than ever before to snipers, I should know with the number of times my death cam seemed to involve a scope. Perhaps a negative is that the map is a little large, with the outskirts of the map being particularly quiet as most just run towards the main battle area after spawning.
Hazard: 8/10, perhaps higher if you’re a lover of scopes.
Drive-In is the least friendly of the four new multiplayer maps to snipers, due to its more closed off setting: the main ingredient for close-quarter combat. The map is ideal for staging those little ambushes by providing those corners you can duck into and alleyways for those who love to take their chances on the run. For me this map is the most exciting, as I prefer not to snipe as it provides the tension that those who love the assault rifle crave, never knowing who you may face as you turn the corner. This map is clearly based around Nuketown but provides more cover and a slightly larger area of play; I guarantee it to be popular. The only slight negative, I feel, is that yet again the designers have tried to overdo the dilapidated state of the setting. I would much prefer the map to be a tad cleaner around the edges, but would this actually happen in war?
Silo is another very open map, providing ample time forsnipers to line up their shots. The buildings in Silo are a little further away from each other compared to existing maps, which along with the high perch points and windows which you can just peek a shot through allow one shot players to thrive on the environment which is before them. Little features like tubing which twists across the map allows you to sneak up on your opponent and catch opposing snipes off guard should you be stealth enough. The map is good, but clearly not as much as Drive-In and Hazard. It’s not as though the map isn’t good, it’s just not as good.
Hangar 18 is the last of the four multiplayer maps. This to me is the weakest of them all, based on artistry and not what would provide a better gaming experience. It is a basic map with lots of fairly cool additions such as; a giant satellite dish, a Blackbird – possibly the coolest plane on the planet right now – and a silo, with dead bodies scattered everywhere. It does however provide a good variety of open and close spaces.
Hangar 18: 7/10
Overall I think at $15 it is a good addition to the Black Ops brand. It provides something very new to the game, which isn’t getting any younger. However does that really matter? Gamers are likely to be playing Black Ops for a long time to come, is the storyline it provides always the most crucial factor in the FPS genre.
Annihilation package as a whole: 8/10
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