Apocalypse is the fourth and final set of map packs and is contains some very clever new and reworked offerings which should delight even the most jaded fans, some of whom complain that the DLC is often more of the same.
Like the previous map collections the players are limited to either Mosh pit or Hardcore Moshpit that puts teams of players in a series of online games where the objective is varied. There is the usual mix, Team Deathmatch, Hardpoint, Kill Confirmed, and Demolition modes and the mode as well as your teammates change with each map.
Accessing the new maps is easy as once you start in multiplayer mode; the option to select Apocalypse is shown on your menu. Players who have the previous map packs which are not required to play the new ones, will be able to access them in the game mode of their choice now as they would for the maps that came with the initial release of the game.
As time unfolds the map packs become part of the collection and players will simply select the online game they wish to play and if the server supports the new maps, then they will be included. However for the first few weeks of a DLC release, the option to select it is included.
The first map I played was called POD which is set in Taiwan and is focused on a failed modular community. The map is a tight area set between an ocean, mountains, and an overgrown forest which has sprawled over into the community.
As such the circular and spiral buildings are impressive though snipers will be upset that they cannot scale the buildings to setup kill zones.
The close-quarters will keep your twitch reflex on high alert and enemies can and do appear at a moments notice.
The next map is called “Takeoff” and I had a real blast playing this one, literally. It is set on a Space Shuttle launch site in the Pacific Ocean. The futuristic setting has a great mix of open areas, plenty of cover, and very detailed interiors.
I was tasked to set and diffuse bombs during my early attempts on the map and finding choke points and kill zones early allowed me to not only accomplish my tasks but to setup ambushes and traps along the most likely routes that the enemies would take.
Up next is “Frost” which is set in frozen Amsterdam and challenges players to navigate not only the frozen canals and streets of the city as well as the enemy onslaught. The central bridge of the map is always a point of contention and the ability to use the intersecting canals to get around is also a new dimension to explore.
I took a beating early in playing this map, but by my third time around I was able to rack up some kills by using the canals to get around choke points and lobbing grenades upwards to enemy groups and then emerge guns blazing in the confusion.
The map has many buildings that have a fairly generic look but the focus here is on outdoor combat in the snow rather than battling in building interiors.
The final map is entitled “DIG” and it is a reworking of Courtyard from Call of Duty: World at War: The map is set in a circular manner in an archeological site and contains plenty of open areas and scant cover. Some areas are abundant in walls, debris and other areas ideal to sneak up on an enemy but many others leave you in the open for long moments as you wait for a barrage of gunfire to take you out.
I did well on this one the first time out by locating choke points and using grenades to pin an enemy in and following up with my team as we attacked them in groups of three.
Of course no DLC would be complete without another battle with the Undead and “Origins” delivers in a big way. Set in carnage strewn World War 1 No Man’s Land of trenches, bunkers, and more, the undead are relentless.
Players must work with one another to start up some generators and survive but of course there is more to it than this. For one, the enemies are intense and seeing the zombie masses in spiked helmets and other attire from the era as well as the gigantic robot makes for a very surreal site amongst the trenches.
Origins takes players back to where the first Zombie mode began and is a prequel of a type as it explains where all of the Zombie chaos that has been a fixture of the Treyarch Call of Duty games began.
I loved getting the Zombie Blood Reward which caused the undead to see me as one of their own which was even more rewarding when I opened up amongst them in close quarters.
Even with two of the maps being reworked ones, Apocalypse feels fresher than many of the other DLC maps in that the designers have attempted to give players something new and different. There is only so much that can be down with map packs but the clever mix of locales and features as well as the best Zombie mode to date.
4 stars out of 5.