Musings of an infosec nerd

Black Ops - First Strike first impressions

  •   Thu 03 February 2011
  •   Gaming

I spent some time in Combat Training last night with my brothers-in-law to orient myself on the 4 new maps that are part of the 1200MS point First Strike pack. Here are my first impressions


The first map we tried was Kowloon, and as a team death match map we all found it very confusing and hard to navigate. It has a lot of "verticality", too much in my opinion and it makes navigating your way around the map very difficult. On the other hand all of these windows you can climb through and ledges you can drop off to a lower level will probably make it quite interesting to play on something like CTF or domination.

My other gripe is that the map is very, well, it's very same-y. There are very, very few landmarks that you can use to communicate to your team where you are. We often found ourselves saying "Uh, yeah, I'm by the gray tin hut thing". Time to fall back on the main map co-ordinate system.


My second favourite of the pack is a close quarters map, although with the outdoor area you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Some nice places for snipers but with plenty of indoor cover to move around if people are camping. Quite fun to play, but I have to wonder why they spent all that time making a map called Stadium but don't actually let you properly do down into the, you know, stadium? Trying to defend a HQ on the ice would have been *really* fun.


An abandoned Arctic research station and very flat, but I don't suppose that there was much need for high rises when they threw it up. Split in two by a ravine with ice bridges between the two sides. We didn't get to see the destruction of the bridges when we were playing so I'm not sure how that would alter the dynamic of the map. Another one that I think would play better in a mode like CTF or Domination. One point I did note was it is very open with little cover, and a chopper gunner was deadly.

Berlin Wall

My favourite map so far. Not too large but not small enough to make you claustrophobic like Nuke Town. East Vs. West Germany split evenly down the middle by the infamous cold war wall, I was quite surprised how easy it was to move between the two sides. With two auto turret enforced no mans lands between the walls and only three safe paths I expected them to become choke points, but the top and bottom paths are so wide it never became an issue. Some nice large open spaces and some indoor spots with multiple floors it has something for everybody, and I can imagine the domination point on the middle path to become a blood bath when playing that game mode.

All told it's a very solid offering, but I'm not happy with the 1200MS point price point. This was set off the back of MW2's huge success and millions of people will pay it, including me I suppose, but for 4 maps and a Zombie mode that I'm not sure anyone really plays I would be happier with the old 800MS Point price point we saw for the World At War map packs. Time to hit the maps hard this weekend for the double XP event and see how they stand up to repeated play on different game modes. Hit me up on live if you fancy a game with some teamwork involved ;-).

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