Call of Duty: Black Ops ‘Rezurrection’ DLC Review
The Zombies mode of Treyarch’s Call of Duty titles is arguably one of its coolest, most original features. Becoming something of a cult hit among players, it scratches the itch for teamwork while simultaneously setting the bar for survival modes that has been emulated by most every action shooter of the last few years. And in Call of Duty: Black Ops, the Zombies mode has really come into its own, with huge, involved maps that have really pushed the envelope as far as production values and overall fun. One even included George A. Romero.
Up until now, Zombies maps have been sort of the nice addition to Black Ops DLC packs. Each has been better than the last (with the exception of Call of the Dead, the map that featured such celebrities as George Romero, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Danny Trejo and Michael Rooker), but each has only been one new map, while the real emphasis has been put on adding additional options to the standard multiplayer rotation. Zombies players have gotten some cool bonuses, but really, if you’re a big fan of the Zombies mode and not much else in Black Ops, you’ve been getting ripped off.
The latest DLC package, Rezurrection, corrects that imbalance, if slightly. This pack contains the standard five maps, but rather than a mix of four standard multiplayer maps and one Zombies map, Treyarch has pitched us all five cooperative-only Zombies maps. This is kind of a big deal, because it instantly doubles the number of Zombies maps available to play on, at the rate of a mere $15 or 1,200 Microsoft Points.
There are some caveats (as always), however — the big one being that 80 percent of this map pack, four in five Zombies maps, are old. These are recycled maps from the original Zombies mode in Call of Duty: World at War, and if you were a fan of Zombies in that game, you’re paying a lot for something you already own. However, if those four maps are new to you, then they actually aren’t a bad offer for this DLC pack because they offer a bit of variety (plus Nazi zombies rather than … whatever the ones are in Black Ops. Russian?) in a Zombies roster that might be growing a bit tired.
The old maps are nice, but not really worth a lot of discussion. They lack to utter cool uniqueness of the crown jewel of the pack, and the final Zombies map in what Treyarch has called this “season” — Moon.
See, at least a few of the Zombies maps — namely, Ascension, Shangri La and Moon — contain all the same characters, and those characters seem to have (some kind of) overreaching story arc that leads them to the Moon. The four co-op characters available in Ascension also appear in the four World of War holdover maps and make cameos in Call of the Dead, but for the most part, those three maps are the ones that seem to matter. Space is a running theme with all these maps in some form or another, as is teleportation and other goofy scientific abilities. The final map ends with the players starting in a desert facility that’s quickly overrun with zombies, stepping through a teleporter, and ending up in an airless lunar facility. The first thing you’ll have to do is snag a rebreather mask to keep from suffocating within seconds of your arrival.
After that, players are free to traverse the moon base, which isn’t extremely different from other Zombies maps but definitely feels different. Sound is muffled or non-existent in the airless environment, which is immediately creepy. The lower gravity means that the way players and zombies move is completely different, with jumping sometimes allowing players to float over vast distances and even avoid attacks. Meanwhile, zombies bob and weave in weird ways as they combat the lowered gravity; sometimes the effect slows them, other times (like when they step off stairs), it seems to make them floating missiles of brain-munching evil.
The result is a Zombies map that actually reworks the way the mode feels and plays, while maintaining familiarity of Zombies mode standards. It takes a little time to get used to navigating on the lunar surface, and that’s a nice refreshment of the mode, especially now that there are nine other maps that operate basically the same way. Moon stands apart by being a new challenge.
It also includes a new kind of enemy — explosive, hard-to-kill astronauts that show up periodically and add an (even larger) sense of dread to the proceedings. Couple that with the fact that you can’t hear things sneaking up on you and another involved, long-term achievement to earn that requires multiple steps, and there’s a lot to do on Moon. it stands among the other maps as a well-made, interesting edition to the overall Zombies experience, and continues to push the weirdness envelope for Zombies as well as add new challenges to the mode overall.
Zombies is an addition to the Call of Duty series that helps its games stand apart in an overcrowded genre of generic first-person shooters. It’s a great, difficult mode with a lot to offer, and this DLC pack — while mostly recycled — really fleshes it out for the first time. That’s commendable.
The Zombies maps have also been the site of some of the major creativity available in Black Ops, and Moon takes a rightful place among the other great Zombies experiences Treyarch has turned out. It’s not Call of the Dead (I know I keep saying that, but seriously: Call of the Dead), but Moon is a lot of fun, and adding more variety to Zombies mode makes Rezurrection a worthy purchase.
There are caveats, but Zombies fans get quite a bit of content for their $15 here.
- Five Zombies maps, which doubles the number of available maps
- Moon reworks the Zombies dynamic in some cool ways with lower gravity and other challenges
- Moon finishes up the Zombies “season” and is as cool as its predecessors
- World at War maps are a nice addition for players who didn’t get them in that game
- Four of five maps are recycled from a previous game
- Nothing to offer if you’re not really into Zombies
- Did I mention that this pack is 80 percent recycled content?
Final Score: 75/100