From Black Ops 1 to 4 we have seen some incredible maps. GGRecon rank the best three maps from each Black Ops game.
Treyarch’s Black Ops series has been hugely successful in the Call of Duty Franchise, and they are set to continue in 2020 with Call of Duty: Cold War. In recent Call of Duty news, we got the first glimpse at the prototype-Alpha Call of Duty: Cold War gameplay, showing off an untextured map named ‘Tanks’. Looking rather similar to the tank factory in Ghosts, Sovereign, Cold War is set to have both new maps, and revisit some old Black Ops Maps. It is rumoured to feature Nuketown, Summit, Firing Range and Array, which has filled us with nostalgia. Reminiscing over past Call of Duties, we look at the best maps from each Black Ops games, and with hope, some may be seen in Cold War.
*Note, remade maps won’t be included in our top three.
Black Ops 1
Treyarch stepped up the game when creating Black Ops 1. They created some monumental maps that have been remade numerous times due to their high demand. In the first instalment of the Black Ops sub-franchise, Treyarch had a perfect blend of long-ranged sniping maps and short-ranged SMG paradises, allowing players to fall in love with Black Ops. Some greats miss out here, but our top three is as follows:
#3 – Jungle
Jungle changed the meta completely. Snipers had been prominent in Call of Duty before, such as in MW2’s Highrise and Wasteland, but never in this light. It created a blend of sniping battles and SMG runners with the typical three-laned design, it was the first time a map had blended in all three of the favourite weapon categories into one battleground. It could be infuriating at times with players camping on the rock overlooking mid, but a clever snipe or grenade would flip the control. An overall great.
#2 – Firing Range
Black Ops was known for primarily making some classing small maps, and Firing Range went down in history as one of the best. Fans have called for multiple remakes, as it featured in other Black Ops series, although nothing will beat the original. Plenty of 50 bombs were dropped on a firing range domination game.
#1 – Nuketown
The pinnacle of Treyarch’s map design. Nuketown has featured in every Black Ops game, and it’s clear to see why. The original was brilliant, with such a simple design of two houses and two large vehicles, players quickly learnt their way around Nuketown, and it became an instant fan favourite. Nuketown could be argued to be the best Call of Duty map ever.
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Black Ops 2
Arguably the best Call of Duty ever made, alongside Modern Warfare 2, the maps were a big part of Black Ops 2’s popularity. The map designs complimented the advances in gameplay and movement, and were adored by Call of Duty fans. Some maps did favour specific game modes, such as Meltdown favouring Search and Destroy, and Slums favouring objective-based modes, but ultimately there were many great maps. Our top three in Black Ops 2 will be firmly etched in your memory.
#3 – Hijacked
Hijacked was a huge success. Based on a yacht, it allowed players to get up-close-and personal with players but still had lanes for AR slayers. You could even chill in a hot tub. With three exit lanes from each spawn, it allowed for some high kill games and many flanks and spawn flips. A multiplayer great.
#2 – Standoff
Standoff was an objective based heaven. Hardpoint, Domination, Search and Destroy and Capture the Flag were amazing on Standoff. The map was designed perfectly to flank objectives and push as a team through certain lanes. Home to the OpTic van, Standoff was brilliant in both multiplayer and League Play, we could play this map all day.
#1 – Raid
If Call of Duty: Cold War could give us one remastered map, Raid would have to be in the discussion. Perfect for Assault Rifles such as the M8A1, and SMG’s such as the MSMC, Raid was a massive fan-favourite. The only remaster we have seen so far was on the battle-royale map Blackout, so it would be a welcome addition. Raid was Black Ops 2’s best map, and the complexity of design would suit the recent dynamics of Call of Duty now it is boots-on-the-ground again.
Black Ops 3
Black Ops 3, for all its flaws, arguably boasted the largest collection of great maps. Very few of the Bo3 maps flopped, with most of the fanbase loving them. Despite the flying systems which a lot of the community disliked, the map designs were brilliant, resulting in the likes of Stronghold, Redwood and Fringe missing out on our top 3.
#3 – Hunted
A mixture of caves, woodland, rivers and houses, Hunted was a cinematic blend which lead to engaging gameplay. Mainly popular with Assault Rifle players, there were avenues for SMG players to utilize the water and sneak up on opponents to rack up a lot of kills. This map had good objective locations and made for an intriguing match-up in every game.
#2 – Infection
Hugely popular in competitive Call of Duty, Infection was great for Search and Destroy and Uplink. It struggled to remain engaging in public matches, especially in the likes of TDM modes, but the three lanes made for great strategical plays for the more competitive sides. This may be one of the best competitive maps we have ever seen.
#1 – Combine
Set in the Egyptian Sahara, Combine had a very Nuketown-y feel to it, with houses on either side, but fit the game style perfectly. With an open middle, Assault Rifle slayers could enjoy picking players off at will, and the SMG flexes could easily utilise the wall runs to get in the face of the opponent and cause havoc behind enemy lines. It complimented the dynamics of Black Ops 3’s gameplay perfectly and goes down as the best map in Bo3.
Black Ops 4
The maps we remember from Black Ops 4 are Slums, Summit, Firing Range and Jungle, which speaks volumes. The remakes of old Black Ops maps were significantly better than the new maps, aside from the top three. It was clear that when it came to map design, most of the efforts went into Blackout, a criticism which is similar to the main fault in Modern Warfare with their eyes diverted to Warzone. Bo4 did have some good original maps though, here’s our top three.
#3 – Frequency
Designed for quick movement between lanes, this map could become very hectic, and had some dirty head glitches, despite its close quarters combat. It did, however place its objectives very far apart allowing for some great team games where you had to control the map and the lanes. Another popular choice in competitive rather than public matches, Frequency just edges into our top three over Gridlock
#2 – Seaside
Seaside wasn’t what it said on the tin. Featuring many buildings including a huge church, Seaside was one of the better Bo4 maps. In the seaside village, there were many avenues to dip in and out of with your SMG’s but could be infuriating if caught in a spawn trap. In balanced games, Seaside was a brilliantly designed map, as players could dip between lanes through windows and village avenues, allowing for great objective-based matchups.
#1 – Hacienda
Hacienda was a very beautiful map, set in a huge mansion with a statue in the middle. It was the most balanced and symmetrical map in Black Ops 4 and allowed for both Assault Rifles and SMG players to showcase their talent. It would suit the current dynamic of Call of Duty with a mixture of AR’s and SMG’s being adopted by teams in lobbies and could work in a Cold War setting. Hacienda would be a welcome choice to be remastered.
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Image via Activision