Having had the Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike DLC for a while now, I think I have had enough experience with it to be able to write a good review on the Zombies Map, Ascension.
The game features the four main characters found in Shi No Numa, Der Riese and Kino Der Toten - Dempsey, Nikolai, Takeo and Richtofen.
The map is by far one of the biggest zombie maps to date, the first thing you see when you descend into the missile silo is just how big it actually is but nothing can compare to actually running around it and seeing for yourself. It can be a little overwhelming at first but trust me, it get's a lot easier the more you play. It is set in the 1960s around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
One of the next things you will notice is that the screen starts off in Black and White, with Dempsey sometimes commenting on the fact there is always a switch to find to turn the power on which then turns it back to colour - and that is exactly what you have to do, surprise surprise. You will also notice a rather large contraption spinning around in the center of the room - used for training people to withstand G Force when going into space. It is spinning violently but will stop as soon as you hit the floor. However even though the power seems to be off it will still continue to spin at random intervals (alerting you by a siren before doing so) - This, if it hits you or a zombie, can kill instantly.
There's two floors and 4 windows to start off with with easy access to the lower levels by gaps in the walkway... as you progress through the level you will ultimately realise the sheer size of it with multiple routes to the same areas and lots of places to open up.Whilst I am not going to detail or comment on every route and room, I will highlight some of the more recognisable or special rooms.
A common place for people to camp is on a plateau outside, it gives only three points of entry for zombies, one from each side and the main stairway at the front... with four players it is quite easy to hold this area off for quite a long time. There's also a Lunar Lander behind you for quick escapes, these are similar to the teleporter only it flies you back to the starting room. There's also two more dotted around the map as well.
Of course you have the random box machine which starts off at the same place that you turn the power on, it will dot around the map as usual the more you use it whenever a teddy bear is obtained from it. Another place is the Pack-A-Punch room which can be accessed by setting the giant rocket off thats prominent in the map - this is done by riding all three of the Lunar Landers.
Weapons, Perks and Pickups
New weapons include Matryoshka Dolls which are pretty much just cluster bombs, the Gersch Device which sucks zombies in and detroys them (or teleports them into space I don't quite know) and also a sickle which replaces the Bowie Knife.
The Death Machine, Fire Sale & Bonfire Sale pickups make an appearance as well as the rest of the pickups. New Perks include Stamin-Up which makes you sprint faster and PhD Flopper which not only makes you immune from your own explosions but also causes you to create a mini nuke around you when you dive from a height. Good for clearing out swarms of zombies.
Obviously Zombies make an appearance but this time they have the ability to try and dodge your bullets by moving to the side, they have also been known to roll around in rare cases. Hell Hounds don't make an appearance but instead we have Space Monkies which try to steal any perks you have on you, they do this by attacking the Perk machines and you have to protect them, if you don't you lose whichever perk was attacked. If you kill all the monkies without any damage to a perk machine you not only get a Max Ammo but also a random Perk given to you.
This might contain spoilers, but nothing too major. Basically in the game there exists a process of events called the Kassimir mechanism which, if you fulfil all of the requirements (not going to list them but there's plenty of callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/Kass...
, each of the players will receive a Death Machine for 90 seconds.
Theres also, as always, a hidden musical easter egg which plays a song called callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/Abra...
by Kevin Sherwood/Elena Siegman... this can be activated by finding all three teddy bears holding sickles.
There's also 4 Matryoshka Dolls representing the four main characters which, when activated, say a quote in a high voice... as far as I can tell these don't actually do anything more.
Overall I'd say this isn't the best Zombies map of them all but it is fun... The achievements are a lot easier to earn in this DLC than that of previous ones and along with the 4 Multiplayer maps that come with the DLC... it is worth getting if you like Zombies. It's always nice to see the next chapter in the ever more cryptic Zombies Story.
I give it an 8/10!