Escalation is the second downloadable content for Black Ops. It features four multiplayer maps and a new zombie experience, Call Of The Dead.
Lets start with Convoy. This map is set in an urban environment filled with Russian trucks and Jeeps. I would say it's the brightest looking map of them all and it's got a Homefront look to it. A broken freeway runs through the middle allowing you to jump down through the hole and also climb back up. It's not the biggest map of the four but it's still a decent size with many alleyways and corners that will have you constantly moving around the map. If you like getting up close with your enemies in large gun fights, this map certainly does the trick. Next up is Hotel.
Hotel places you on a high rooftop overlooking a beach. This is the largest map of the four and is very open. At each end of the map are elevators that can be operated. These are very useful especially for snipers, due to a great overlooking position from the large windows. At one end of the map is a Casino and a large hotel lobby at the other. Most of the fighting will take place outside in the middle but that's not the best looking part of the map. It's a shame because the Casino looks great and will not get used much. Next up is Zoo.
I would say Zoo is the darkest looking map of the four but is also the most unique and complex. It takes place in an abandoned Soviet Zoo with a lot of buildings, corners, tunnels and a monorail that runs around the map. Getting up on to the rail is a great way to travel around the map faster and it also gives you a good angle on the whole map.
The last map here is Stockpile. This map takes place in a Soviet town with a weapons lab in the middle. The lab has two entrances and both can be operated, allowing you to get in and close the doors. This map is one of the best in games modes like Domination. It's great fun when trying to hold of the building in intense gunfights. Stockpile is one of the strongest map in the package.
Call Of The Dead is the last piece of content in the package. Zombies was a big success when it was first release in World At War, so there's no reason why it shouldn't return here. Call Of The Dead is a totally different experience to any of the previous Zombies. It introduces four new characters which are star celebrities. George A. Romero, Danny Trejo (The Devils Rejects, Machete), Robert Englund (Nightmare On Elm Street), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), Sarah Michele Geller (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) Call Of The Dead has the largest map yet and places you in cold snowy Siberia. The gameplay mechanics stay the same with you fighting waves of Zombie horde. What's different is George A. Romero is constantly chasing you all, making it even more of a challenge to survive.
If you still play Black Ops and have a crave for Zombies, Escalation map pack is something you shouldn't miss.
Review by Gareth Smith