natetodamax's Call of Duty: Black Ops Annihilation (Xbox 360) review

A nice Zombie map isn't enough to justify $15

Chances are, you already know if you want the Annihilation map pack for Black Ops or not. If, for some reason, you find yourself on the fence, you need to think any longer. Unless you're a huge fan of the exceptionally dull colors of brown and grey, you're going to want to avoid this.

The Annihilation pack introduces four new multiplayer maps and one new Zombie map, the latter of which being the best part of the package. Shangri-La lacks the exciting punch that the unique Call Of The Dead map offered in the last pack, but regardless it can still be fun to play. It takes place in a dense jungle and temple area and introduces some new enemies and weapons. But just like most if not all of the other Zombie maps, you probably won't feel compelled to return to it unless you really like the Zombie mode.

Hazard isn't bad, but it's definitely not worth $15

For mulitplayer fans, the Annihilation pack offers up some supremely disappointing maps that don't take advantage of anything except for Treyarch's apparent obsession with the murky and boring colors of brown and grey and their apparent love for warehouses and other seemingly abandoned facilities. You know, just like the warehouses and seemingly abandoned facilities that shipped with the game back in November. Drive-In is a completely brown map that's set in a drive-in that looks like it was built in the 1950s. Hangar 18 is a completely grey map that's set in a large hangar and includes several other grey buildings around it. Silo somehow manages to combine brown and grey to create a truly ugly looking map that is probably the most boring one in the pack. During the game, large missiles fire off in the background. That's cool, I guess. There is one map, called Hazard, that's actually quite pretty; it's a golf course, so expect lots of bright greens that thankfully are more prevalent than brown and grey. But again, that's one map out of three.

It's hard to imagine the kind of person who would be proud of this map pack. There is almost nothing here that stands out in any way. None of these maps offer up any interesting gameplay features or unique opportunities for players to do something that's not dying and respawning over and over again. If you're done with Black Ops, you won't want this pack. If you're still playing Black Ops, I still can't recommend it. And if you are in love with brown and grey, well... you'll likely get more satisfaction by going to a scrapyard and staring at rusty, broken down cars.

Posted by Yanngc33

In my opinion, a zombie map isn't enough to justify paying actual money. Those things are stupidly hard and just not fun overall.

Posted by DocHaus

Well, it's a good thing this game has such a vibrant modding community that's willing to help design and distribute creative levels for free, right?

Posted by natetodamax
@DocHaus Does this game have a vibrant modding community...?
Posted by DocHaus
@natetodamax: Mod tools were reportedly released in May 2011. I'm sure you can figure it out.
Posted by Halberdierv2

if you looked at the trailer for the map pack, the colors for maps (eg Hazard) were very bright, and seemed to have bloom in it (a la battlefield 3). although this was off the computer and not the gameplay engine, though, so the vibrancy must have got lost in translation. either that, or treyarch's minds are murky and dark wanting to make EVERYTHING gritty. but seriously, people could make better maps with the mod tools.
Shangri-la seems well built, but it's not my cup of tea in terms of what I look for in a zombie map.

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