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Your guide to surviving ‘Vengeance’ the latest ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’ map pack

Black Ops 2 Vengeance

The downloadable content season for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 moves right along with the release of the Vengeance map pack, the third of four planned DLCs included with the Season Pass. Vengeance includes four multiplayer maps, one new Zombies mode, and a bonus weapon that trickles back down into all previous Zombies maps. If you’re still playing Black Ops 2 then you’re probably picking up – or simply getting, via your Season Pass – the map pack. And if you got the map pack then you’re probably searching for some useful tips to help ease you into the new environs.

You know the drill by now: read on, and we’ll give you a taste of what the Vengeance pack is all about, along with some basic strategies and tricks for extending your lifespan and using your tools effectively.

The Maps

Black Ops 2 CoveCove deposits players on the sandy, golden beaches of a deserted tropical island. The roughly circular arena-style map is dotted with giant boulders that serve to create a series of twisting paths into a central killzone that is divided into two halves by the smoking ruins of a crashed plane’s fuselage. A ground-level cave system along with strategically placed rocks and various plane wreckage offers plenty of cover for those who prefer to skip the central area and skirt around the fringes of the map. Take note, however: instant death waits for those that step into water that rises above your head. There’s a safe path around the perimeter of the island, but you’ve got to watch where you step.

The cockpit provides an elevated vantage point from which to observe and snipe at enemies coming from the opposing spawn. Directly across from the shattered cockpit window is another elevated vantage point, situated at the mouth of a cave, offering a similar recon advantage. Both locations can be flanked, but both can also be assaulted from the front by vaulting onto the rock formations in front of them.

SMGs once again will be dominant here, but there are plenty of nooks and crannies to hide in an pick people off with silenced weapon. Keep an eye out for equipment like claymores and bouncing betties that could make the outer rim and the pathways through the center death traps. Your two real choices are to camp, or be extremely aggressive. Moving hesitantly will cost you. 

Black Ops 2 DetourDetour is a long, symmetrically oriented map set on a crumbling, war-ravaged bridge. Wrecked vehicles and thick construction barriers dot the upper central portion of the map and support catwalks on the east and west sides offer flanking routes below. The map is relatively straightforward, with similar cover and flanking opportunities accessible from each spawn working to create a balanced playing field for the opposing sides. The only hitch is a pair of gaping holes in the central portion of the bridge; fall through one of these, and it’s instant death.

It’s very easy to become entrenched on Detour. A communicative team will have one or two snipers in the central bunker-like structure providing above-ground overwatch while the rest of the team splits off and covers the flanking routes at either side of the map. Rooting out a deeply entrenched team requires similar levels of coordination, since you’ll want to have part of the team keeping enemy attention on the central bridge while a smaller, faster-moving force takes advantage of the catwalks. Note too that the pipes running along the extreme outside fringe of the bridge function as platforms, providing a more heavily covered, if treacherous, alternative. That also makes them ripe for traps. 

Assault rifles can work here, but the map is small, and with the exception of the central areas that snipers can control, the rest of the map is a good shotgun or SMG arena. 

Black Ops 2 RushRush turns an abandoned indoor/outdoor paintball facility into a roughly rectangular battleground with a variety of routes and vantage points designed to suit every type of player. Shotgun and SMG artists will want to stick to either side of the map. The indoor paintball course is the preferred route, thanks to its multiple points of entry/exit and abundance of brightly colored cover. Two elevated rooms, accessible via ramp, run along the opposite side of the map, though the long, relatively cover-free and camper-friendly hallway that connects them can be a very dangerous place to step into. 

The central, open-air route comes with some perfect sniper opportunities, both elevated and ground-level. Snipers also have an advantage in the parking lot spawn area, with the abandoned white van in the back corner offering perfect cover to watch the ramp, the central approach, and the office leading to the indoor paintball course. There’s a definite advantage for teams that start in the parking lot spawn. The trick with Rush, more than many other Call of Duty maps, is to learn the various routes. This is a complex and very open map with a lot of different access points, making it easy to suddenly find yourself being flanked from directions you wouldn’t have expected.

If you are running a close quarters loadout, lightweight is a good bet, especially if you spawn in the course instead of the parking lot. Making a quick break up the elevated left side can give you the jump on enemies, and with a few teammates helping you, you can control the entire outside section of the map. 

Black Ops 2 UplinkUplink is a carbon-copy of Summit from Black Ops, in much the same way that the previous Uprising map pack’s Studio was a carbon-copy of Firing Range. Your fighting still rages across a mountaintop, but the snowy landscape of Summit is replaced now with the greenery of a Malaysian jungle. Cosmetic shift aside, the layout is otherwise exactly the same. Much of the fighting tends to center around the large, open control facility in the middle of the map. The second-floor hallway offers great vantage points for snipers, though an abundance of flanking routes prevent the roost from being a sure thing. 

This is a map that favors mid-range attackers the most, though long-barrel-fitted SMGs can be fairly effective if your reflexes are quick and your accuracy is spot-on. There’s a few long-sightline locations that favor snipers, particular the rocky path that runs below the outside of the control room, but you’ll want to back up your scoped weapon with something a little less long-range.

Zombies

Before we dive in with a look at the new Zombies map, Buried, let’s take a look at the new weapon added with this pack. The Ray Gun Mark II is a brand-new box weapon that you can pick up on any of the Zombies maps, not just the new one. Its design resembles the original Ray Gun, though with a slightly longer and fatter barrel. The Mark II is a burst-fire weapon that spits out three shots in quick succession. It appears to be slightly more powerful than the original Ray Gun, though it chews through ammo much more quickly. Also setting it apart from the original is the fact that there’s no splash damage from Mark II shots. This is both good and bad, since it requires better accuracy when you’re gunning down zombies but there’s never any danger of accidentally downing yourself when you fire it at close range.

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As for Buried, the new map is set in and around a Wild West ghost town. It isn’t a large map compared to some of the others – and it’s tiny compared to TranZit – but there is perhaps more going on with this map than there was in any of the previous Zombies outings. Regular Zombies players will be pleased to learn that both the bank and the weapon storage locker from TranZit appear in Buried as well, along with any savings you’ve accrued from earlier playthroughs. Both are located in the central main street area: the locker can be found in the General Store, directly across the street from the initial Mystery Box spawn location, and the bank can be found in the Bank (surprise!)..

You’ll also find a hulking, coveralls-wearing brute – whom the Internet seems to be calling “Leroy” – locked away in the town’s lone jail cell. Breaking him out requires finding a key; the first one is always located right next to the jail cell, hanging on a wall hook, but it moves to another location if Leroy ends up back in the slammer, which happens if you shoot him too much.

The thing about Leroy is that he’s friendly. Zombies won’t attack him and he won’t ever attack you, but you can use him as a tool to help you in various ways. Feed him a bottle of booze and he’ll perform a quick 180 then charge off away from you. You can use this ability to have him bash his way through certain barriers, such as the one on main street barring the way to Jugger-Nog. Much like the key, the first bottle of booze is found right near Leroy, in his cell. Once you’ve fed him that, you’ll have to find other scattered around the map.

Leroy also likes candy, and feeding him some sends him into a sugar rush rampage during which he stomps any zombie he sees. There’s another use for the candy, however. Feed it to Leroy while you’re facing a buildable station (workbenches with blueprints on the wall) and he’ll scurry off to find all of the parts and assemble the item! The first piece of candy is a free pickup like any other part, though you’ll have to buy subsequent helpings from the General Store’s cash register for 1,000 points apiece.

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As you explore the town in the Buried map you’ll probably spot several locations where there’s a glowing question mark on the wall. These relate to a room in the town, accessible via some rooftop jumping, where five wall weapons are laid out in a row, one next to the other. You can’t buy the weapons here, but you can collect each one as a piece of chalk and then interact with a question mark location while you’re carrying it to place the wall weapon in its new, permanent home. This is the only way to obtain the Galvaknuckles, which are needed to complete the latest sprawling easter egg. Note as well that the power room also requires some roof-to-roof jumping; it’s easy enough to find – next to the Saloon – if you just follow the signs.

Then there’s Pack-a-Punch. The weapon upgrade machine is an unholy pain to get to. First you’ve got to use Leroy to clear out the debris blocking the freaky-looking house at one end of town. Once you do that and pay to open the mansion’s door, you’ve got to make your way through while an army of female ghosts spawn in to attack. They’re less damaging than regular zombies, but each hit from a ghost costs you 2,000 points. Zombies don’t spawn in this haunted house, but the ghosts never stop coming.

That’s only half of the challenge, however. Once you’re outside, you’ve got to make your way through a hedge maze to reach a gazebo in the center. That’s where you’ll find the Pack-a-Punch machine, provided that you have any points left by then. It’s relatively easy to camp near PaP during the earlier rounds to get the points you need, but you’re better off learning how to cope with the ghosts and get through the house with your points intact.  Getting back to the main portion of the map requires either going through the house again or using a Ray Gun (either will do) to destroy a fountain inside the hedge maze, beneath which you’ll find a teleporter back to the main spawn.

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Before we wrap this guide, let’s also take a look at the new weapons you can pick up in Buried. The latest Wonder Weapon is the Paralyzer, a massive, shoulder-mounted thing that spews zombie-slowing rays that, over time, cause targets to disintegrate. Paralyzer kills earn no points, but the weapon comes with unlimited ammo. The only hitch is that it’s only got so much energy, meaning that you’ll need to let it recharge if it starts glowing red.

Also new is the Time Bomb, a secondary “grenade” that you can throw out on the ground at any point. Doing so sets up what is essentially a save point, recording your current loadout and ammo count, wave number, and so on. If you then later reach a point in your match where it looks like you’re moments away from losing, you can activate the Time Bomb to rewind time back to the moment it was planted. This is a necessary item for completing the easter egg. The final new weapon is a Colt revolver, a fitting (and powerful) addition given Buried’s Wild West theme.

Hey wait! One more thing! A new perk: Vulture Aid! This is a cool one that offers a number of advantages. For starters, having the perk equipped allows you to see the location of the mystery box, wall weapons, and any number of other things as checkpoint markers, even if there’s a wall (or multiple walls) in the way. You’ll also notice that downed zombies often drop glowing yellow pickups; collect these to earn extra points and recover ammo.  Zombies also sometimes leave behind a green cloud of smoke when you take them out. Step into it and any other zombies will lose interest in your for a brief period of time.

As always, big ups to the Zombies-loving community for helping to figure all of this stuff out, and to the posters at Se7enSins in particular. Find more info there about Buried, including a detailed rundown of how to solve the Maxis and Richtofen easter eggs.