Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation Review
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Dev: Treyarch
Pub: Activision
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).

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation Screenshot

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.

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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.

By Adam Dodd
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The maps all look great, but there's still the lingering feeling that we've seen much of it before.
4.5
Control
Nothing's different here: Black Ops still controls exceptionally well and Shangri-La brings with it new enemies and weapons with which to dispatch them.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The gunfire and explosions are still as satisfying and in your face as they've always been.
4.5
Play Value
The four new competitive maps are fun, even if they are a little too similar to what we already have, and the Shangri-La zombie map is pretty great.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Experience the zombie mode like you never have before in the lush jungles of the Shangri-La map where you'll explore a long lost shrine that's as beautiful as it is deadly.
  • Shangri-La is not your ordinary zombie map; It brings with it new enemies, a unique day and night cycle, mine cart, water slide, more weapons and a whole lot more.
  • Four new competitive multiplayer maps, including Hanger 18, Silo, Hazard, and Drive-In.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation Screenshot - click to enlarge Call of Duty: Black Ops - Annihilation Screenshot - click to enlarge

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