Next week, the dramatic conclusion of the Origins storyline will be revealed with the release of Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Salvation DLC map Revelation, but gamers all around the world have been curious why Richtofen, Takeo, Dempsey, and Nikolai have been eliminating their alternate selves. Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Awakening DLC is the first map pack that players must complete steps in order to eliminate the crews alternate versions of themselves following the events of The Giant map.
Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Awakening DLC comes with four multiplayer maps and one zombies map. The four multiplayer maps are Rise, Splash, Skyjacked, and Gauntlet. Each map allows for players to fight on different kinds of terrain whether it is a piece of construction equipment, a water slide, or a VTOL warship. Three of the four maps are visually stimulation with Rise being the only exception.
Gauntlet is set in a military training facility in which each of the three paths of the map is a different environment. One path is a jungle environment, another is an arctic snowy climate, and the final path is an urban city street. This map follows Treyarch’s core philosophy regarding a three lane division of a map to create a multilayered battlefield enabling players to fight how they feel is best. The jungle environment provides players with the capability to blend into their surroundings to stealthy take out their foes. The arctic tundra is the center of the map with multiple paths from the different sections of the map converge. The urban city street allows for players to practice clearing street corners while not providing any capability of sniping from an upper vantage point. Gauntlet gives a refreshing feel to multiplayer maps while falling short due to its center focused layout; it is very rare to find people in either the jungle or the urban city path and if do they will most likely be camping.
Splash is playful abandoned water theme park. Paths are connected by a variety of water slides that will allow combatants to battle within the slide. Underwater combat will be another primary focus with additional tunnels being underneath the water. The Splash water park focuses on a pirate theme with a giant pirate ship on the map. Players can use some of the open tubes in order to get around the map. Sadly, Activision failed to give players a memorable map by limiting the combat field; it would have been exciting to slide through waterslides to kill your enemies or climb on top of a metal tower with a hydro cannon and a slide. Splash has an enjoyable feel to it with a fun natured environment but the map falls short with its pathing and over simplicity.
Rise takes place on the outskirts of snowy Zurich at a Coalescence Corporation construction project. Rise feels like the most classic Call of Duty multiplayer map, focusing primarily on cover to cover combat and a large variety of lane structures. The long lane focuses on open combat with the possibility of wall running to change the flow of combat. The middle lane focuses on intense choke point arena combat where all the paths converge, and the final path has a variety of underwater opportunities for combat and connects to the middle lane. Rise is a boring map with its only highlighting feature being the under water combat being available in the map.
Skyjacked is a re-imagining of the map Hijacked from Call of Duty Black Ops 2. Skyjacked is a floating airship that has been damaged, which creates a chaotic environment that allows for a variety of movement opportunities that have been built into the map. The Skyjacked map takes place on a security VTOL holding in position over urban Zurich. It is almost identical to its predecessor and features new wall running spots and a new entrance to the bottom level of the map where the side walkway used to be. The ladders have been blocked off because they are no longer needed and hovercrafts have been added to the back of the boat replacing the older lifeboats. Although we love seeing former maps returning to newer Call of Duty DLCs, Skyjacked is Treyarch’s attempt to drawn in Call of Duty players who had a nostalgic feeling towards the Black Ops 2 map Hijacked. The map is over-simplified and feels too small to be a Black Ops 3 map; it attempts to bring in Black Ops 3 wall running and jet pack system while trying to reconnect players to that nostalgic feel, ultimately it falls short of its goals.
Der Eisendrache takes place in a medieval castle in Ner Werfen, Austria . The castle was built on an ancient site, where many dark atrocities have occurred. The castle has massive deposits of element 115 which will shoot the player up to higher levels or will make objects float throughout the map. While playing the map, players can collect a tram fuse in order to call one of two gondolas that will have a random power up on it. In Der Eisendrache, players can unlock an explosive bow call the Wrath of the Ancients to kill the undead; this is accomplished by feeding the dragon heads located around the map the right amount of zombies.
Players can then upgrade the explosive bows by completing one of four paths: the lighting, the void, the wolf, or the fire. Each bow has its own special shot when the shot is charged. The lightning bow will produce a swirling vortex of lightning killing all zombies that get in its way. The void bow spawns skeleton heads that will kill up to six zombies near the shot. The fire bow looks zombies in place allowing for the player to shoot freely, and the wolf bow blows all zombies in front of the shot to the side, allowing for players to escape safely. The bow is one of the best ways to defeat the special round boss, the Panzer.
In order to survive, players can use multiple devices located around the map to protect themselves. Players can use the wonder-spheres and teleporter to transport themselves around the map. The wonder-spheres must be linked to their corresponding landing pads, so a lot of the map needs to be opened up before they can be useful. The player can also use the death ray to repel zombies in the center of the tower, but if the player does not have a strategy, it can ultimately lead to their demise. Finally, players can build the Ragnarok DG-4 to protect themselves for a short time. The Ragnarok DG-4 is also used to get to the final boss for the easter egg.
Four new mega gumballs have been introduced in order to help players survive waves of undead zombies; the four new mega gumballs are Crawl Space, Fatal Contraption, Head Drama, and Undead Man Walking. The player can use the Crawl Space gobblegum in order to make all nearby zombies into crawlers and can be used five times through the one gobblegum. The Fatal Contraption gobblegum spawns a dead machine power up near the player and can be used twice through the one gobblegum. The Head Drama gobblegum makes any bullet which hits a zombie will damage its head. The Undead Man Walking gobblegum slows down all zombies to a shambling speed and lasts 4 minutes; the gobblegum activates as soon as the player picks it up out of the gobblegum machine.
Der Eisendrache is a fun experience from start to finish. Although the map takes a little bit of time to get used to due to its complex layout, Der Eisendrache will have you returning for more as you try to go mid-evil on this ass. The worst part about Der Eisendrache is that some of its corridors are narrow, which inhibits players from leaving with no way to escape or maneuver once in them. So be careful around stairs on Der Eisendrache.
Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Awakening DLC leaves players asking for more from the multiplayer maps but Der Eisendrache makes up for Treyarch’s and Activision’s inadequacies. Der Eisendrache gives additional information on the original characters history while unraveling the mysteries behind the Origins cutscene. Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Awakening DLC is retailed at $14.99, but it does not feel worth that price. Call of Duty needs to lower the price of its DLC back to $10 at most or provide additional content with each map pack besides four maps and an alternate game mode.