Treyarch was once considered the underdog of Call Of Duty development. They had to turn out a game better and more interesting than Infinity Ward for a few years. Usually Treyarch’s Call Of Duty games were considered the weaker in the franchise. What was their answer to this long running stigma? Zombies of course! In 2008, Treyarch’s Call Of Duty: World at War was released, one of the newest additions, zombies. Why are there zombies in your World War II shooter? Because there just can be. The new mode became highly popular and even spawned an iPod/iPhone spin-off game in 2009. Zombie mode returns in Treyarch’s latest Call of Duty game, Black Ops. With it comes an even more frantic, and hilarious experience.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops brings back the highly addictive Zombies mode in a familiar and new way. There are two Zombies maps in Black Ops: Kino der Toten, and ‘Five’. Dead Ops Arcade can also be counted but I’ll get back to that later.
Kino der Torten has players transported forward into time to face Nazi Zombies (the best kind), hellhounds as well as Nova 6 gas zombies. This is the only map that follows the Nazi Zombies story established in World at War. The map has several rooms to move into, and contains many of the devices that the previous map, Der Riese included. The entire map is a huge cinema with access to surrounding buildings and alleys. The map is rundown, dirty and similar to previous maps. Players step into the returning shoes of Tank Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, Takeo Masaki and Doctor Edward Richtofen. Kino is available upon start, and ‘Five’ must be unlocked by beating the campaign.
‘Five’, while not following the Nazi Zombie story, has to be one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen. This map brings in four new characters to the zombie invasion. John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon, and Robert McNamara. These political figures are casually have a meeting over the world’s conflict with communism in the Pentagon, when the DEFCON system goes online. Zombies have invaded the Pentagon, and it’s up to these historical figures to serve the smack down. The entire map takes place in the Pentagon. Opening up locations leads players down to a secret underground facility where the zombies and Crawlers get even more ferocious. The boss of this map is a mad scientist that steals your equipped weapon. Using some type of cloaking/teleporting, the scientist can move around maps quickly and easily. He is particularly hard to kill because of his weapon stealing ability, and transporting of players. The random quotes spout by the characters are extremely humorous. Nixon, while not a crook, is a coward. Kennedy is the leader, so he plays a brave role. Castro is an extreme badass, and McNamara sort of goes unnoticed.
Zombies mode in Black Ops basically plays as a horde mode. All four players must survive round after round of zombies. What Zombies in Black Ops does so well is the feeling of frantic uncertainty. Zombie mode feels very similar to the game Killing Floor. Players must survive waves of zombies, restock on ammo, buy new guns, close doorways and open new ones in hopes to survive the onslaught. While this is a coop game mode, turning your back still feels threatening. While repairing a door, the nagging feeling of a zombie sneaking up is always on the mind. Choosing the right weapon is always a gamble. Spend money on an exit strategy, or pump up your gun? Good teamwork can keep this flowing in the positive direction as you can ration off your teams expenses. Rebuilding doorways and killing zombies net you cash. Money can be used to activate map items such as a new level of DEFCON in ‘Five’ or perks/traps in Kino der Torten. Both maps feature a wide variety of weapons, some from the past, some from the games current setting (the 1960s). The secret unlockable Dead Ops Arcade, or DOA, is a different type of zombie mode. It’s a top-down coop shooter that plays heavily like Smash T.V. Players shoot down mass amounts of zombies, and rack up points. It’s a nice addition that livens up Black Ops Zombies, but some more traditional maps would have been nice.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies makes it into our Suitable Mention series for a few reasons, it has freaky zombies, frantic heart pounding gameplay, and it’s overall just pretty damn fun. The original Zombies maps from World at War are available in Black Ops for those who purchased the Hardened or Prestige editions. I certainly hope those maps appear as DLC soon, because I feel like killing some more Nazi’s, who just so happen to be dead. ES IST MEIN TEIL!