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Black Ops Annihilation DLC Review

Five all new Call of Duty Black Ops maps have exclusively hit the Xbox Live first as of June 28, 2011. This means that all of you Black Ops fans can now go and purchase the highly anticipated Annihilation map pack from the marketplace. Following the previous two packs, First Strike and Escalation, Annihilation does not have much competition at becoming a fan favorite. The folks of Activision put their talents and wits together nicely for this pack, which could make it popular very fast.

First thing to discuss is the most popular game mode, online multiplayer. Each map is made unique in its own way and gives gamers a chance to show their skills at using a variety of different weapons. On the previous map packs, including the original, players were able to sprint around with a light machine gun with rapid fire, or a shotgun and effectively kill opponents quickly. With the release of these map packs those gamers who prefer this style of play will have to switch up their game plan, or be incredibly tactical and patient. Each map gives a clear cut advantage to the snipers and long range shooters of the Black Ops world. Activision finally got a map pack right with this one.

Now these map packs do not completely throw those point blank shooters under the bus. Unlike the previous DLC packs and the original, the folks at Activision have designed the Annihilation pack in a way where what we call “campers” cannot control one room by making various openings on each map. So even though sharpshooters have an advantage close range gamers can still find ways to end their streaks.

Now on to some specifics. The first multiplayer map is known as Drive-In. This map contains a large open middle area with some cars here and there - it is essentially an abandoned cinema. On both ends of the cinema are areas where you can climb upwards to get a better view of what may be below or across from you (ideal for snipers.) There are also some small trailers in the back on either side of the field for those who want to make a quick escape or just simply use a flanking technique. Drive-in is the smallest of the five maps and is listed as a medium size map. Next there is Hazard, a map where snipers and flankers have complete dominance. This map also contains a field but a much larger one than Drive-In. On this map the battles take place on a Cliffside golf course. You have to fight your way up and down the fairway, but beware because this is the best map for snipers. It is listed as the largest of the four multiplayer maps. Then there is Hangar 18, another medium sized map, where those who use assault rifles have more of an advantage. It displays a variety of obstacles and even contains a large parked blackbird that you can use for cover or leverage to defeat your foes. The last multiplayer map is Silo, a missile launch facility. In this one there will be several short range battles and there are many flank routes as well, so watch your back on this one.

The fifth map that comes with purchasing the Annihilation map pack is called Shangri- La, a new addition to the zombies map section. This has to be by far the best and most exciting zombie map they have made. The setting is in the ruins of an Aztec or Mayan like temple. Within this temple there are many booby traps and secret passage ways that players may take or use to survive the endless waves of zombies. Now there are a variety of different zombies that you have to best and some you just have to run away from. There are also little zombie monkeys. Besides being annoying little pests that like to get in your way, these monkeys will also try their best to steal any special items you may get from killing zombies (such as double points, insta-kill, etc.) Not only do these monkeys steal them, they change into other specials while on the backs of the running monkeys. This can be helpful in tight spots where you need a nuke instead of double points for example. The zombies have also evolved. There are fast zombies that can emit a sound wave that alters your vision and movement, zombies that can jump really high, and fire zombies that are not affected by bullets of any sort. The fire zombies act as kamikazes that just get as close as possible to you and explode, sending fire everywhere. To deal with these new zombies, you also have the opportunity to use new weapons, such as the shrinking gun (which as it sounds shrinks whoever is shot with it.)

Annihilation map pack is now available in the Xbox Live Marketplace for 1200 Microsoft points. Previous packs may have let you down before, but this one is sure to make up for the other disappointments.



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