The first Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 DLC, Revolution, has arrived, and in lieu of a traditional review, we thought we’d try something a little different and provide video walkthroughs of each of the new multiplayer maps. We’ve still included our thoughts on the maps, and how they function as part of the Black Ops 2 multiplayer, but at the same time this is also an opportunity to check out the make-up of each map and see if Revolution’s $15 price tag is worth it.

So check out the first video walkthrough below:

Downhill is the first snow map created for Black Ops 2, but unlike previous maps it’s filled with plenty of buildings and interesting structures to break up the monotony of the milky white. Of particular note are the gondola lines that run horizontally through the middle of the map, which provide mobile cover but are also deadly to those who don’t pay careful attention.

Matches played on Downhill can sometimes be frustrating because of its long sight lines, but there’s typically an alternate route to get behind the enemy and stop campers. It’s not Call of Duty without a snow map, and Downhill should be counted among the better versions.

Mirage looks more like a multiplayer map for Uncharted 3 with its intricate detail and sand-swept terrain. Set on a Chinese resort that has been ravaged by a sandstorm, Mirage offers plenty of uneven terrain for players to feel protected, but not hindered by too many obstacles.

The map also offers a few areas for close combat encounters, specifically the lobby in the center, which provides a straight line between spawns, but is also vulnerable from above and below. Most of Black Ops 2‘s multiplayer maps focus on rundown urban environments, whereas Mirage takes that idea and flips it totally on its head.

Hydro is another one of those dynamic scenario maps like Express in the main game. Rather than avoiding a speeding train however, players must be mindful of the rising stream, which can kill anyone caught in its path.

Of the four maps, Hydro is the most symmetrical, and offers an even playing field for both teams. It’s also a rather small map, meaning firefights will come early and often. It might be the most plain of the set, but that dynamic “flood” still keeps things interesting.

Grind is perhaps the most unique multiplayer map Call of Duty has seen in quite some time, and is actually my personal favorite from the collection. Set on an abandoned skate park, Grind offers loads of curved obstacles and walls, with plenty of structures to use as unconventional cover.

The general make-up of the map is somewhat familiar, but what it lacks in originality in terms of design it more than makes up for in terms of its aesthetics. Fans of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater will feel right at home in Grind, and will love the many different vert ramps, half-pipes, and grind rails that are scattered throughout.

Black Ops 2 Revolution DLC - Turned

As well as these four new multiplayer maps, the Revolution DLC also offers a new weapon, a new Zombies map, and a new Zombies mode, to essentially cover all the requisite bases. The new Zombies map, Die Rise, is a unique offering with an emphasis on verticality, and will serve Zombies fans well as a new battleground against the undead.

The new Zombies mode, ‘Turned’, offers players their first opportunity to play as the undead in a mode that resembles Halo‘s Infected mode, but its utility is largely dependent on gamers’ willingness to play as a lumbering zombie for potentially long stretches at a time. It breaks up the monotony of the main Zombies modes, and is new and exciting the first few matches, but part of the appeal of Zombies is trying to survive for as long as possible, which is lost in Turned.

The new ‘Peacekeeper’ weapon provides players with a more accurate SMG, but one that doesn’t pack as much of a punch as some of the higher tier options. It’s range is farther than most SMGs, but there are several attachments that can remedy that issue and still retain the damage profile.

Black Ops 2 Revolution DLC - Peacekeeper

Treyarch claimed the Peacekeeper was a cross between a SMG and an assault rifle, and that’s an appropriate label in terms of what it offers. Unfortunately, there are more powerful options available in both the assault rifle and submachine gun categories, so most won’t end up using the gun beyond that initial trial period.

All in all Revolution is a suitable first offering for Black Ops 2, one that doesn’t shy away from being innovative and bountiful, but is still bound to the usual strictures of Call of Duty DLC — meaning it’s only for hardcore fans. The $15 price tag is still there, and nothing about the pack fundamentally alters the make-up of the multiplayer, so don’t expect to spend the money and get anything “better.” The major appeal of the DLC is the promise of “more,” but only for those that are hungry for it.

Have you had a chance to check out the Black Ops 2 Revolution DLC? Which map is your favorite? What do you think of the new Zombies map and mode?

Black Ops 2 – Revolution is out now for the Xbox 360. A PC, PS3, and Wii U date have not been announced.

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