Published on March 11th, 2016 | by Tony0
DLC Review: Black Ops 3 – Awakening DLC
last week saw the release of the first bit of DLC for Black Ops 3 on the Xbox One, with Awakening finally getting a release after our PlayStation gaming brothers had enjoyed it for the last month or so. Before all this changing of rights, Xbox owners had the very same deal but in favour of them, so I remember the uproar when this news broke, with some even claiming to switch their console preference just because one console was getting such DLC early. In terms of myself being actually bothered about such a deal now being in place, that was never an issue. At the age of 36 the days of having to have something first like a spoilt child have passed me by, and if anything the 30 day wait flew by without me even taking that much notice.
Awakening offers Black Ops 3 players the chance of adding in four new multiplayer maps to their collection, as well as a brand new zombie experience with Der Eisendrache (The Iron Dragon), which is where we will begin this short review.
Way back when friends enjoyed what Call Of Duty had to offer, Zombies was a great place to team up and have a little fun to see how long you could survive the wave after wave of the undead. Since the early days however, whenever some new DLC is released I now seem to find myself having to hard sell the DLC to people on my friends list just so I don’t have to play the DLC with random people. Der Eisendrache is something I find hard to sell to people, purely because zombies for me has become something I tend to play a couple of times and quickly get bored with. While Der Eisendrache will tick all the boxes for every zombie purist out there who love these modes, sadly the mode once again fails to offer any sort of pull for the guy who doesn’t really play them that much. Last wave after wave while working out many of the maps secrets is the simple goal to achieve when playing this mode, but of course trying to do that with tons of undead chewing at your face is where the challenge begins. It’s fun don’t get me wrong, but like I say, if you only dabbled in these modes like I have done in the past it can come across like you’ve missed too much to get any sort of grasp on it.
Onto the maps on offer in multiplayer, and each one offers something a little different.
First we will get the lazy map out the way, and by that I mean the one they like to call the “reimagined fan-favorite” map we seem to get every DLC pack these days. Skyjacked being the new-look offering of the Hijacked map seen back in Black Ops 2, which sees you taken from the safe yet harsh surroundings of a luxury yacht on the open sea, to now being set on security VTOL hovering in the sky. If you played the original it pretty much offers the same fast paced action that you would expect, but of course the map now offering way more flexibility with you having wall running at your disposal. It’s an alright take on what used to be a map I enjoyed, but I would much more prefer something new and fresh on offer in each new map pack over something just given a little touch up.
Second up we have Splash, which is set in an abandoned water park full of slides and underwater spots for you to surprise your opponents with. This was perhaps my favorite map of the whole pack, as something about the setting and how it was laid out just sat right with me when playing it. It sort of goes old-school too, as the option to wall run and boost all the time isn’t really needed here. So yeah like I say, One of the better maps in this pack. Works great with Safeguard too.
Thirdly we have Gauntlet, in which Treyarch are selling as featuring their”signature three-lane format” with the map layout. A very decent map in truth, with an amazon like setting down the left, snow down the middle, and finally urban style back streets down the right hand side. All of these spots can also be accessed right from spawn or at certain points down the snow and ice filled middle section. This map finishes Joint top for me with Splash as best map in the whole pack.
Last up we have the worst of the bunch with the map Rise. Set on a Coalescence Corporation construction project, it reminded me of a smaller version of a map I’ve seen in a Call of Duty game before years ago, but my brain won’t bloody allow me to remember the damn name. I came out after playing games on this just feeling very bored, as it come across a very tired, been there done it map.
Overall: This map pack will please those who want more Call of Duty in their lives, as well as pleasing the zombie guy out there who love what Treyarch do with it when they get their hands on it. For the in and out guy like myself however, the zombie part of any DLC is short-lived and forgotten about very soon, with the maps on offer also being a very mixed affair when it comes to ones I can see myself wanting to play on a regular basis after this review is over with.
You can buy this DLC as a singular download from the Xbox Store for £11.59 by clicking here. If you want the much better value Season pass which offers this map pack and three more map packs coming later this year, you can buy that here for just £34.99