Cheats and Walkthroughs
Treyarch has finally unleashed the latest map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops, “Escalation.” Just like the previous “First Strike” pack, this new DLC adds four new multiplayer maps – Convoy, Hotel, Stockpile and Zoo – and one new zombie map, Call of the Dead. We’ve been playing through the Escalation content almost non-stop since the pack went up on Xbox Live Marketplace Tuesday morning, and we’ve put together some key survival tips to help you get started. We break down all of the maps, and give you an in-depth guide to surviving Call of the Dead. Which, if you haven't played, you need to jump into immediately.
The Convoy map is a large one, packing all of the action into a rectangular space with a bomb-shattered elevated freeway running through the center of it. Pedestrian overpasses situated at either end provide serious sniper nests, though you’ll need help if you want to effectively keep yourself covered at the two entrances on each end. A motion scanner placed in the middle is too far from either side to give you an early warning—by the time a nearby enemy is detected, they’ve already got you sighted.
Stay out of the central area on the elevated freeway if at all possible. In objective-based matches like Domination that won’t be possible; just make sure when you move on that central area, you bring a group along. Smoke grenades as well. Also, make your approach from the side, skirting around the freeway through the outlying buildings and roadways until you reach a set of stairs. There’s one situated on either side of the freeway and both bring you to that central area. If you’re defending the middle, the overpasses and side stairs are solid places to set up shop. Also be sure to use the area directly beneath the center, below the smoking crater. Don’t bother throwing grenades at the sniper walkways, they’re too thin; save your explosives instead for that central location below the freeway.
Hotel doesn’t initially seem like a large map, but that’s the great deception. There are so many rooms and routes to take, it easy to miss the action entirely. Try to stay in a group and avoid the open area in the center of the map. Teams spawn at each end of the map, in the two largest buildings. Head over to the opposite side as soon as you spawn – blindly chucking grenades and tomahawks across as you go, especially if you’ve got the Scavenger perk – and try to catch the opposing team members as they exit the hotel through the side and rear. Stay outside if you can, to keep the spawn point flowing.
On objective-based maps, the central area becomes a tough spot to fight over. Point B on Domination matches is in the pool area, smack in the middle of the map. You might be tempted to hole up in the minibar that sits alongside it, but that can be dangerous. It’s easy to land a grenade in there and there’s very little room to maneuver if you suddenly find yourself caught. Approach instead from the side, and be sure to bring friends. As soon as the enemy knows you’re at the capture point, gun sights from all over the map will turn and point in your direction, as the central pool area is visible from just about every elevated location.
An added note: don’t bother with the elevators. Plant claymores in front of them, but they make too much noise to offer a stealthy flanking route and you’re basically a sitting duck when they do open.
Stockpile is probably the smallest of the new maps, with a squarish layout highlighted by a central facility with bullet-resistant, player-operated garage doors situated on two sides. Cover is at a minimum on the outlying portions of the map, but the center is a close combat killfest. Leave your sniper rifle behind for this map if you can bear to part with it; it may be useful in the more open areas, but the lack of elevation on this map makes it an unfriendly one for snipers.
Overall, Stockpile is probably best suited for objective-based games. Strategically position a motion sensor before you settle in to take the central area and you can cover yourself pretty well against any opposing forces as they move in to defend. Decoy is also a useful toy to bring out; the close quarters work to the decoy-thrower’s advantage in keeping nearby enemies on their toes to the point of distraction. Also, and this really ought to be a no-brainer: make sure you stand off to the side, and crouch or go prone, any time you open a garage door. That’s just good sense. Beware though—the garage doors on Stockpile are even louder than Hotel’s elevators.
Ah, Zoo. Easily the best map in the pack. There’s a lot going on with this one, and the biggest challenge at first will really be getting a feel for the layout. That’s true with all of the maps of course, but you feel it the most with this one. The central area is pretty open, so you’ll want to skirt around it whenever possible. There’s a monorail track you can access which is partially covered, though you’ll eventually come to a point where that cover goes away and the rail narrows; you can keep following it for easy access to the other side of the map, but you’re totally exposed as you do.
The better bet is to stick to the outlying caves and buildings. The aquarium is a good spot to hole up; blast out one section of glass on the fishtanks and use the rest of the glass and surrounding rocks as cover while you take out anyone who passes through. Don’t stick around too long though; move never to the nearby cave ringed with empty animal cages. There are two ground-level entrances, one on each side, and a centrally located ramp leading up to a balcony with a waist-high rock formation offering cover. Really, you’ll want to take advantage of all of this map’s indoor spaces, anything with a ceiling. The abundance of elevated areas creates some unexpected firing angles, and you’ll often find yourself being gunned down from odd directions if you’re not careful.
Adam Rosenberg is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, NY and living at the whims of his lovable chow, Loki. You can find his work plastered all over the Internet, or just follow him on Twitter @geminibros