|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Release: June 28th, 2011|
|Players: 1-18 (Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language|
Like the other DLC, the Annihilation pack's true strength lies in its incredibly fun zombie map. This time we're exploring an ancient shrine hidden deep within the Himalayan jungle, and there's a plethora of goodies that make this map one of the best we've seen so far. One of the first things you'll notice is the handful of new enemies, including female zombies, undead monkeys, and a couple of terrifying new Shrieker and Napalm zombies to keep you on your toes. The zombie monkeys are particularly annoying because they can steal power-ups and change them. (Thankfully, these little guys are easy to slay).
There are also a few new weapons to use, my favorite is the new Spikemore variation of the popular Claymore mine. It's similar to the claymore but it has Punji stakes armed with fireworks attached to it, causing massive damage against the hordes of undead you'll come across. There's also a brand new Wonder Weapon, the 31-79 JGb215 (catchy name, huh?), that shrinks zombies, and both the Monkey Bomb and Bowie knife have made glorious returns. Like the other zombie maps, should you find yourself low on ammunition you can always depend on the new traps to save your life, like the Punji stakes that can be activated to skewer oncoming enemies and the geysers that can be used to quickly jump to safety. The geysers aren't necessarily traps; instead they're more of a quick way out of a sticky situation. Just beware, there's a delay between when you activate the geyser and when it actually fires, so make sure you're not in immediate danger.
For the players who want to wring every last drop of content out of the zombie map, there's also a colossal, time-traveling Easter egg that's easily one of the most difficult and time-consuming to complete so far. If you're in need of motivation, you should know it includes a spectacular eclipse, traveling to the past, a few cooperative puzzles, and more than a handful of fun tasks you'll have to complete in a short amount of time. It's obvious that Treyarch is spending more time and creativity with each new zombie map, and as a result of their effort, the zombie mode has become my favorite thing about Call of Duty. Hopefully this promising trend will continue, because if there's one thing I just can't get enough of, it's zombies.
This isn't the best map pack we've seen so far, and that's mainly because the competitive maps are too similar to the ones we've already played. There are a few cool ideas—fighting on a golf course or in a secret government facility, for example—but there's little here that we haven't seen or played through before. The most enjoyment you're likely to glean from this comes from the Shangri-La zombie map, because it's insanely addictive and infinitely replayable. The rest just aren't as remarkable.
CCC Contributing Writer