One of the best first-person shooters in the world just got a lot better. Call of Duty Blacks Ops is one of the most played games in the world and in recent years has managed to position itself at the forefront of mainstream American culture. All across the globe, rabid fans pour countless hours into honing their skills and humiliating their opponents in order to gain new levels of prestige. With the release of the first multiplayer map pack “First Strike” gamers will receive 4 additional multiplayer stages and a new zombie map for the affordable price of $15.

The most aesthetically pleasing map is “Discovery”. This map is a sniper’s paradise featuring multiple high vantage points, narrow bridges with limited cover, and plenty of bottomless chasms.  While “Call of Duty Black Ops” already has its fair share of snowy levels, this map feels unique in both its color palette and visual design. The level is good for both indoor and outdoor firefights.

The new “Berlin Wall” map is essentially a Russian military facility that is split directly down the middle by a broken stone wall. This map like “Discovery” is also a haven for long range weapon users and incorporates a new feature into the game. Along the wall that separates the two military compounds are a group of automated turrets that will catch careless players off guard. If a player is reckless enough to be caught in the firing zone between the wall and the other base when the sirens go off then the automated sentry guns will mow the player down in a hail of gunfire.

“Stadium” is a map that was built more for the run and gun type of players. The map is one of the smaller maps and features more close range encounters with opponents. The new stage features the backdrop of a hockey stadium and mostly the perimeter of the building that houses it. This stage has dangerous wide-open courtyards, winding alleys, and a few sniper perches for players that like to have an over-view of their maps.

“Kowloon” is the smallest of all the new maps and has its own distinct feature like “Berlin Wall”. The map is set up as a series of rooftops, ladders, and special zip lines. These unique zip lines allow players to quickly transverse one side of the map and can be an important aid in flanking opponents. Players using these zip lines must be cautious as other opponents will camp (sit next to without moving) by the zip line to get an easy kill. The new zombie map “Ascension” pits players against a horde of nasty zombies as they try to fight their way out of an underground rocket silo. The map features new weapons such as a portable black hole device that swallows up zombies and new enemies such as space monkeys that crash land in sci-fi U.F.O.’s. This map comes with 4 new achievements and plenty of cooperative replay value.

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