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Annihilation Map Pack PS3 – Release Date And Review

Annihilation Map Pack PS3 – Release Date And Review

It’s not out on PlayStation3 until 28th July, apparently, but we’ve been playing it on those DIRTY HORRIBLE DISGUSTING XBOX THINGS in our office so we know what the maps will be like.

Here’s a quick and dirty review of them all for when they hit PlayStation3 in just under two weeks…

Silo: Fairly long, muddy map with two bunker type buildings at the top. It’s a missile silo on a slope, with the silos themselves breaking up the middle area connecting the bunker type buildings and sparse spawn area at the bottom. Imagine Modern Warfare 2’s Quarry but with a smaller play area and not quite as tightly designed.

It initially seems like a sniper’s dream but there aren’t actually many sniping spots for the sit-down-and-snipe-until-dead type of players. There’s an open, accessible silo in the middle which has a tunnel leading off to the side of the map (which no-one uses) and a small balcony at the top (which everyone uses) for sniper battles with the bunker building opposite. There’s also a huge, obvious sniper tower which is a deathtrap for anyone using it.

The open, circular nature of the silos mean there aren’t many safe routes to pick your way through the middle of the map and also it means a lot of the action gets congested around the big bunker building at the top of the slope. Fortunately, there aren’t too many obvious camping spots either.

It’s fast paced when you get into the action areas of the big bunker at the top or the slopes leading up it, and it’s hard to defend yourself when you don’t know where the next shot is coming from. The end result is messy TDM matches and carnage in any objective modes, where objectives have so many avenues to attack from.

What To Do When You Play It: There’s a sniper tower off to the side of the map. Get in the habit of throwing a semtex/cooked frag up there, you’ll get a kill more often than you realise, as there’s nowhere for the sniper to go. Also avoid trying to hold the big bunker building on the hill by yourself. There are three entrances and they all get used frequently, so clear the silo out and move onwards.

Hangar 18: This map is essentially an aircraft carrier with a stationary Blackbird inside. For some reason, this is a magnet for the dumb element of Call of Duty’s community, who scramble all over it while getting shot at from different angles.

As a result, the Blackbird is the focal point of the map, with the other areas designed with the Blackbird in mind. There’s a main entrance to the hangar which doesn’t get used much, as it’s on the opposite side of the Blackbird and then two side entrances, which see a lot of traffic. There’s also a sniper building with a window that looks onto the Blackbird and some heavy containers opposite which protect the entrance towards the Blackbird’s nose.

The action tends to bunch up around those areas quite a lot, with almost no action taking place around the edges of the map. Everyone heads towards the Blackbird area and then alters their strategy depending on layout and what’s already happening. Rarely will you see a sustained gun battle break out anywhere else.

Because of that, it’s a good map for those who want the carnage of a Team Deathmatch without having to think too much. Even though rushing in carelessly will only end up with you being shot, that hasn’t stopped most players from trying.

What To Do When You Play It: Avoid running along the top of the Blackbird in the hangar. Lots of players do this and get cut down because you can be shot from the outside (on both sides), the window of the nearby building, both balconies on the inside and the ground. From everywhere, basically.

Always look for players on top of the Blackbird and keep an eye on the ‘entrances’ leading to those areas. There are five entrances, one of which rarely gets used, the rest of which are open enough that you can get easy kills if you’re smart. Claymores work particularly well on this map (as does the Flak Jacket perk, for the same reason).

Drive-In: The pick of the new maps. It’s a battered, ruined drive-in which has a cinema projector room, huge billboard and two long alleys down either side. There’s plenty of overgrown grass, broken down cars and debris to hide behind plus lots of space even within the tight map for snipers to operate in.

Besides the spawn areas at the far ends of the map (too open) and the central point of the map (too many areas to be shot from), the action takes place everywhere. Snipers tend to work on the respective corners of the map while other players will rush round and ‘lap’ the map, as it is almost designed like a running track. There’s an obvious sniping area through the billboard gap but… it’s obvious. Almost all snipers avoid that spot.

Unfortunately, this is the map where players are most likely to camp. The broken down arcade is an area where players like to sit in the corner and shoot at anyone coming in, along with the fast food restaurants and some of the broken down cars in the middle. It can make for a frustrating experience but the camping still doesn’t reach the same levels it did in Modern Warfare 2, so it’s just about tolerable in small doses.

It’s one of those rare maps that accounts for all playing styles so however you like to play Black Ops, you’ll find Drive In fairly accomodating.

What To Do When You Play It: There are two sniper areas facing each other from the corners of the map, one above the ‘FOOD’ area and one in the ramshackle hut. Keep checking these areas, as well as the actual cinema projection room, to get some easy kills. Watch out for claymores protecting the area though, Hacker is a good perk for this map.

Also be careful when heading down the side alleys. One side alley has a metal hut on one side and a broken carousel on the other. Snipers do like to set up around these areas, so stay alert. Same goes for the alley on the other side of the map. You’re more likely to find assault rifle resistance here but players often have shootouts across the wrecked restaurants, so don’t wander into the middle. Instead, duck into the toilets, exit either side and circle around the players.

Hazard: A remake of World at War’s best map, Cliffside, Hazard sees the rocky area turned into a golf course. It plays out almost exactly the same way as Cliffside did two, with snipers facing off down the long stretch in the middle where the map has been ‘scooped out’ while everyone else fights on the sides.

There’s more cover for the snipers to hide themselves in now, thanks to the palm trees and foliage around the sniping area by the golf bar that snipers tend to set up on that end of the map. Other players will brave the sides of the map, which is often teeming with players.

Cliffside was defined by two things: 1) the crazy impasse at the top that funnelled both teams through a narrow chokepoint and 2) the wide open capture point in the middle of the map in Domination. Hazard has lost some of the first and kept the latter. While there’s still a narrow chokepoint, it doesn’t feel nearly as messy or chaotic as World at War’s did – grenades don’t fly in nearly as often and the notorious noobtube has been toned down, so it’s a bit calmer.

It’s still the map of choice for Domination, though there’s no real advice for taking the middle point of the map. It’ll be covered by snipers and players rushing in. Smoke helps here, as does Nova Gas but apart from that? Good luck.

What To Do When You Play It: The middle of the map is often a sniper shootout and the map sides are where everyone else congregates. So if you have a sniper set-up, you either want to be by the clubhouse or by the small towers/ridges/bunkers, depending on which side of the map you are.

Everyone else will be fighting for control over the sides of the map, so you want a weapon that holds its own at range. Noobtube helps here, as does flash/concussion grenades, as does Warlord to ensure you have a sight on your gun.

Overall: The main sticking point will be the price but these are solid maps, so you should already know if you value Black Ops multiplayer high enough to shell out for these new playgrounds or not. We reckon it’s worth it but they won’t change the mind of those who hate Call of Duty’s multiplayer, so don’tshell out if multiplayer was already winding you up with its weird quirks and idiosyncrasies.

Common sense but it’s worth repeating regardless…

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