Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation map guide

Disturbingly rude, headset-wearing preadolescents who don’t understand the difference between camping and simply cowering in a corner can really wear on your self-esteem when you’re just learning fresh maps. It’s hard to avoid playing the role of a bullet sponge as you painstakingly discover where all best perches and choke points are. That’s why we’re here to help you bypass all that trial and error and get down with the pwnage as quickly as possible.

It should be said before we get started that working as a team basically trumps any other kind of tactic on any map. But as anyone who’s seen a team of eight dash off in eight different directions at the start of a match can tell you, coordination with anyone other than your close friends is a lost cause.


Map Tour

Convoy features a collapsed highway running over another section of road and some surrounding properties including a gas station and motel. It’s a fairly small map with relatively few extended sightlines, therefore short to mid range weapons work best. There are also lots of places to hide and take cover, so make sure to check your corners when moving around the outside edges of the map.

Be careful when rushing the bridge at the start of matches. As you might expect, many players will blindly throw grenades over to your side during the first few moments of play. Try not to be goaded into lobbing your own ‘nades in return and instead wait until you can actually see your targets on the other side.

Above: Isn’t it a tad dangerous to shoot guns and throw grenades around a gigantic missile?

The bridge is at the center of the map, and most of the match will be spent fighting for control of one or both sides of it. If you do wrestle control, make sure to keep an eye on the entrances at the middle on either side, as well as the gaping hole in the middle.

Above: Taking zero tolerance seatbelt laws to a whole new level

The high walkways above each end of the bridge are prime sniper/camper nests. Always look up here before sprinting across the bridge (which you shouldn’t do very often) and don’t be afraid to chuck grenades up there when approaching from behind.

Alternatively, if you can hold one of these walkways with a friend or two you’ll be doing your team a big favor by picking off those foolish enough to wander onto the bridge. Keeping an eye out in the direction opposite the bridge is just as valuable a tactic (if not more so) since those areas have higher traffic.

Above: That’ll teach you to use a van for cover

You can blow up vehicles like this one to cause some nice area damage.

The second floor of the motel is a great perch. From here you can take out players climbing the ladder that leads to the walkway above the bridge. Though you’re fairly exposed on the balcony, the door and the stairs that lead up here are relatively easy to guard, especially with a teammate or two.

Having an RPG, M72, or grenade launcher as part of your loadout comes in handy for clearing out the perches above the bridge, especially at the start of matches.


Map Tour

Set on the roof of a sky-high luxury hotel and casino, Hotel has it all – maintenance rooms, lavatories, long corridors, open areas, and sniper perches. Your loadout will vary depending on what you plan to do, which will probably change as the match progresses given how big the map is.

Above: This is just plain mean

This office up here is perhaps the most coveted area since it provides a great view of the map and because it’s easier to defend than the perch on the opposite end. The narrow hallways that lead to it are perfect for bottlenecking and claymore traps. For you snipers out there, you should make the balcony to the left and the opposite window your top priority when peering out.

One underutilized strategy is to place a tactical insertion in the corner of the perches zones or somewhere close by. That way when the opposing team storms the room and cuts you down, you can spawn a few moments later and knife everyone in the back.

A great way to counter players sniping from the windows is to flank around the side of the map and throw a grenade in from underneath.

Above: No diving!

The pool may look inviting, but going anywhere near it or the surrounding central area is a bad idea. It’s a classic n00b farm, and you’ll likely get shot from a thousand different angles if you decide to go for a swim.

Like many other maps, you can basically do laps around the outside paths to avoid the frontlines. Unfortunately most of the pathways on Hotel are very long, so be prepared for any enemies coming around the distant corners. They’ll have the advantage if you’re not ready, since they can simply turn back whereas you may have nowhere to hide.

The casino is a very colorful and almost disorienting place. As a result it can be hard to spot enemies lying in wait. Like this idiot.

Have some fun with the elevators. Send them up or down empty while you flank via the stairs, put a claymore inside for a nasty surprise, or ride them in a cloud of your own smoke for a confusing ambush.

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