Activision and Treyarch have unveiled the Zombies mode for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, showcasing some big changes, locations and characters coming as part of this new entry.
Fans of the original Black Ops will be delighted with the direction Treyarch is taking with Zombies this time around as they seemingly retconned the undead canon seen in Black Ops 4 and opt for a sequel of sorts to Nacht der Untoten, which players might recognise as the first map ever introduced with Call of Duty: World at War.
This year’s iteration will be known as “Die Maschine” and will whisk us back to the 1980s where the zombies are almost as popular as the groovy music dominating the charts. While the multiverse has been unified, there are clearly still some loose strings to be addressed by our heroes. The Zombies narrative is always a bit silly, and Cold War continues that tradition.
You will play as a task force known as Requiem, a CIA-packed group of operatives who are asked to infiltrate an abandoned World War 2 bunker in search of strange occult secrets. The layout will be inspired by the aforementioned Nacht der Untoten, although you can likely expect an abundance of new changes, weapons and zombie types to contend with.
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Treyarch describes this iteration of Zombies as a “completely new chapter in our universe” that isn’t afraid to rewrite the bonkers narrative that came before it. It will also house a new progression system, perks, combat opportunities and even crossplay across all available platforms – which will be a first for the mode.
Players can expect the usual mixture of pack-a-punch machines, weapon boxes and round-based gameplay they’ve grown accustomed to, but the progression system will now be unified across the entirety of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. This means existing weapon levels, loadouts and other aspects of your account will carry over into Zombies.
It will be weird not fending for our lives but nothing but a pistol in the opening rounds, although Treyarch is tackling the potential imbalance of introducing existing weapon loadouts with a new rarity system that will determine what your weapons are capable of throughout an extended zombie-slaying session.
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One of the biggest new features is Exfil, which fundamentally changes how Zombies will work towards the endgame. It will no longer be a fight for survival or an endless hunt for easter eggs, with Exfil allowing you to summon a chopper and escape the chaos with your lives intact. It’s a cool twist on the formula, and we’re keen to see it in action.
As for post-launch support, Treyarch has confirmed that all future maps for Zombies mode will be made available for free, meaning that no players are left behind and can experience the unfolding storyline in full. We also wouldn’t be surprised in the seasonal battle pass also ties into the mode in some way.