Retailer GAME Australia leaked this announcement, but now the information within the leak is official: a new Call of Duty: Black Ops map pack called “Escalation” is coming, and its hitting this May 3 on Xbox Live Marketplace. Escalation will usher in a total of four new competitive maps and a fresh zombie
(wait, is "fresh zombie" an oxymoron?) mode map that will come loaded with a nice perk for fans: a cast of “all-new playable characters” according to Xbox Live guru and mouthpiece Major Nelson.
So, where will this pack thrust you and your fellow BLOPers? “Zoo” will take you to the grounds of an abandoned Russian zoo, “Hotel” will keep the killin’ classy on the rooftop of a Cuban luxury hotel, while “Convoy” will test your close-quarters mettle on the grounds of an ambushed US convoy, and “Stockpile” will have you WMD facility-hopping in a secret Russian farm town.
What I’m leaving out is the fifth map, the zombie mode map. Activision isn’t talking about it in any level of meaningful detail, but the publisher is floating the claim that it’ll feature a “unique zombies experience." Let's see, in games, we've shot zombies, stabbed zombies, exploded zombies, bludgeoned zombies, chainsawed zombies, axed zombies, run over zombies with a variety of vehicles, farmed special zombie-killing plants to defend against zombies, placed vision-obscuring masks on zombies for the expressed purpose of our own perverse amusement, played as zombies, controlled entire armies of zombies, and even used zombies as an edutainional way to improve our typing skills. So, what's left? Zombie puzzle fighter mode? Zombie political strategy simulation? Kill zombie Castro? What, too soon?
No word on price just yet or the release date of a possible PS3 or PC version. Trends indicate these two other platforms will see a release of Escalation in the coming months after the release on Xbox Live. If you remember, Microsoft sealed another exclusive with Activision over the release of BLOPs content, so that's what's up with the delayed releases of DLC.