Even since my excitement for Destiny waned I’ve gotten back into Call of Duty in a big way – and oh man is the grind real. I’m on a mission to unlock the Dark Matter camouflage for all of my guns. So far I’ve unlocked the ugly diamond camo for the Sub Machine Guns and now I’m working my way through the assault rifles. I have to admit though that it’s not actually all that much fun, but I just haven’t been able to find another game at the moment that’s grabbed me so I was excited when the latest DLC dropped as at least I would be able to grind on some new maps.

The Awakening DLC has been released with 4 maps and a new zombie experience. As I’ve mentioned before I’m not a fan of the Zombie side of Black Ops so I haven’t even touched that but I’ve had more than enough time in the new maps to give them a review.

So here we go in order of preference.


When I first saw Gauntlet come up in the map rotation I was so confused, because it looks like 3 maps in one. Then the game started and I was even more confused because it is three maps in one.

The map is divided into 3 distinct parts, namely city streets, a jungle section and a snowy section all interlinked in a military building.

The snow section is your centre path where I have found the majority of players congregate, making it a duck shoot of epic proportion. However the nice levels of verticality in this section add some fun to the centre lane. The street section is designed for long shots which makes it a no go zone for most of the game as it’s too easy to be sniped coming around the corner. And the jungle section is so cluttered that I often found myself running into people without even seeing them.

In the end I love the idea of splitting the map like this but this is the least favourite of the four only because it just feels unbalanced with everyone being in the snowy section for most of the time.


Splash is something new to the Call of Duty universe. The map is set in an abandoned water park with water slides everywhere, splash pools and tons of verticality in the centre lane to really keep you on your toes.

As usual the map is split into 3 lanes with the left lane taking you around the food court area, which is once again a major sniping alley but this time it is worth taking the risk as if you can get to the middle tower it gives you a great vantage spot in the centre lane.

The right lane takes you up past the lazy river ride with tight corners and with very few sniping spots makes it the easier lane to get to the other side of the map but also the least active one. However there are some good shortcuts if you find them. The centre lane is tumutuous, with 7 or more great vantage points to try dominate the middle and with some good team work you can really lock down this map.

My only negative part of this map is that the wall running/parkour ability of the map is severely limited which takes away from Black Ops 3’s inherent fun.


Rise took me a while to get in to as the map at first is probably the most visually boring of the lot. Set in a construction yard, the map offers little in the way of set verticality with all of the action happening on the same level.

However what Rise appears to get right is that none of the 3 lanes appears to have more action than any other with both home bases (or whatever we are calling the opposite starting points these days) often being where the main action occurs.

Another great aspect of Rise is the sheer number of walls and other obstacles that can be used for wall running which gives you the opportunity to create  your own false verticality to ambush your opponents as well as some great long avenues to try your sniping ability out.


I hate myself for this.

The biggest complaint about Call of Duty from fans and haters is that it’s the same game just repeated annually with no real innovation. I always argue this as the innovation is definitely there and subtle but it makes all the difference. Then I go and vote a rinse-and-repeat map as the best of the map pack.

You see Skyjacked is simply a re-hash of Hijacked which was one of the best maps in Black Ops 2. The lanes are identical and the only thing they’ve done is turn the boat into an aircraft.. that looks like a boat. And stuck it in the air.

Yes it has a new paint job and a few slight differences elsewhere but really it’s the same damned map and they shouldn’t be applauded for doing crap like this. But…the map is amazing, it has all the aspects you want in a Call of Duty map and the tight gameplay it just so enjoyable. I hate you Treyarch, I really do… but I love you so much at the same time.

Last Updated: February 12, 2016

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Awakening
So that’s it! you'll get 4 great maps and while I definitely have my preference I can honestly say I’m never disappointed with which map is picked in the rotation. They are all good in their own way, just like the kid at school who licked the chalkboard when no one was looking.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Awakening was reviewed on PlayStation 4
74 / 100

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