Call of Duty’s upcoming Zombies mode for Black Ops Cold War has been revealed today featuring the launch map known as Die Maschine (The Machine). Promising both new and returning features, weapons and characters as well as some crazy new visuals, the newest edition of Call of Duty’s most popular mode aims to please both die-hard fans and newcomers alike – no easy task, especially for a game as big as Call of Duty.
A completely different story
Treyarch has set out to create something which is unique but still pays homage to the 12 years of Zombies history. The new story continues the cold war themes of the campaign and multiplayer but will obviously deviate from actual history significantly. While they did clarify that it still takes place within the same universe as the Aether storyline of previous Black Ops titles, they explained how this is simply “the next chapter” now known as the Dark Aether. To cut a (very long and complex) story short, at the end of Black Ops 4 the Zombies multiverse was erased resulting in just one ‘perfect’ universe which is where Cold War Zombies is set (so obviously not so perfect after all).
Players will now fight for a secret group known as Requiem, led by Black Ops 1’s Grigori Weaver, as they investigate an underground bunker and attempt to uncover the secrets within before the equally secretive Soviet group Omega. It seems to be a typical lore-fueled Zombies experience with various simple and complex Easter Eggs to uncover by the community of dedicated fans. While Treyarch emphasised that this is a new story, they also hinted at hidden secrets that may reference the characters, locations or events of past Aether stories so keen-eyed fans may find out story details just below the surface.
Firstly, Treyarch revealed that part of this new experience takes place on the original Zombies map, Nacht Der Untoten. The map has received a significant graphical and aesthetic overhaul with a daytime setting, colourful graffiti and an underground bunker system – where players will be required to use torches on their weapons in order to navigate their way to find the inevitable power switch. The trailer confirms that the perks Jugg-a-Nogg, Quick Revive, Deadshot Daquiri and Speed Cola are back for this iteration, along with the Pack-a-Punch machine and the Mystery Box.
A Connected Experience
Zombies this year will continue the connected nature of the multiplayer with completely free DLC, cross-generation and cross-platform play. Plus they are offering access for new players to be able to get into the story in ways that make it clearer and easier to track Easter Egg progress compared to previous years. It should also be easier for players to get straight into the action with how they’ve modified the “core gameplay loop” allowing for people to just have some casual zombie-slaying fun. To simplify and condense progression, your weapon unlocks and battle pass progression will be unified across Multiplayer and Zombies. This will make everything much clearer and will ensure that whatever mode you’re playing you’re not wasting time and you’re being rewarded for your efforts. Multiplayer and campaign characters can even be used for zombies.
Craig Housten (lead writer) described the gameplay itself as “classic” but “tonally quite fresh”. So that means endless waves of zombies in increasing quantities while you upgrade your character through perks, wonder weapons and equipment which only ends after you become overwhelmed and die. However, there will be additional layers with Cold War with the ability to actually exfiltrate the map via helicopter for example. Also, weapons will have rarity levels with different degrees of power and scorestreak will be purchasable (earnable?) to assist you against the undead.
Ultimately, this year’s Zombies offering should provide the most dedicated Easter Egg hunters with an entire universe of lore to uncover, with new puzzles and cyphers to solve. While at the same time, new and casual fans should be able to have fun with the new weapons and features to assist them as they destroy the undead hordes. Similarly, new innovations of the core gameplay should ensure that things remain exciting for players. Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War launches November 13th for current-gen, next-gen and PC.