‘Black Ops’ New ‘First Strike’ Zombie Map ‘Ascension’ Details

The first of what is supposed to be many upcoming DLC offerings for “Call of Duty: Black Ops” arrives on Xbox Live Marketplace sometime after midnight tonight, the “First Strike” Map Pack, which includes three new competitive multiplayer maps and a new co-op map for the game’s zombie mode, called “Ascension.” A bunch of new details about the zombie map emerged over the weekend and there’s some exciting stuff you’ll want to hear more about. Especially… SPACE MONKEYS!!

I’m going to feed you the bare bullet points first for those who want just the fact and then elaborate a bit:

• Everything is in black & white until you turn the power on
• NEW WEAPON: Matroyshka dolls – basically, they’re cluster grenades
• NEW WEAPON: Gersch Device/Black Hole Bomb – exactly what the name implies
• Thunder Gun is back, with a slightly different skin
• Landers are floating platforms that take you back to starting room. They also relate to some of the maps other secrets, most likely access to the Pack-A-Punch room.
• Space Monkeys replace dogs, complete with round-ending Max Ammo. They’re smart little buggers. They throw your grenades back at you!!

Those are the basics. The map itself is set in an abandoned Soviet cosmodrome. Play starts on what looks to be the facility’s lower level, in a room containing a giant centrifuge (as seen in the trailer). The centrifuge isn’t always on, but it spins occasionally (following an alarm bell) and will damage anyone standing in its path.

It’s hard to say exactly how large Ascension is based on the video that’s out there, but the surrounding space is certainly grand in its scope. There’s an attached launch facility complete with prepped-for-launch rocketship. I’d put my money on the rocket, or perhaps the launch pad, being the home of the Pack-A-Punch room.

The Space Monkeys are a pretty interesting bunch. I may be mistaken, but I recall seeing them pictured in one video alongside zombies. If Space Monkeys are the new Hellhounds and they’re joined by zombies too, that would certainly make for an interesting twist. We do know that the monkeys can steal your perks — which lends credence to theories that new perk PhD Flopper allows you to keep your perks when downed — and now we’ve also learned that the crafty bastards will throw your grenades back at you.

Great. Jugger-Nog-stealing, grenade-chucking Space Monkeys. That’s not going to be a pain in the ass at all.

The two new weapons works pretty much as they’re described above. The Matroyshka Dolls — aka Russian stacking dolls — open up and release small versions of themselves, resulting in a cluster of explosions. As for the Black Hole Bomb, which incidentally looks a little like the ghost traps from “Ghostbusters”… you toss one on the ground and it emits a bright, purple light which sucks in all surrounding zombies. It seems that players are able to jump into the black hole as well… though were it takes them remains a mystery.

That covers most of what’s new. The information comes from a variety of sources; there are several

lengthy threads over at GameFAQs, if you’d like to dive a little deeper.

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