Nuketown is the signature map for Call of Duty Black Ops games. There is no Black Ops without Nuketown. Nuketown is a small, fast-paced map that was first introduced in Black Ops 1 ten years ago. Fans loved the map so much that revised versions of it were introduced in the Black Ops games released in the following years. While the new maps retained the original layout, they were introduced with new aesthetics and themes.
The original Nuketown map is based on a conventional 1950's U.S. suburban residential area which is used as a nuclear test site to demonstrate the effects of a nuclear blast on a typical residential area. The map is "populated" using mannequins, vehicles, and two houses on either side of the main street, almost symmetrical.
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Nuketown map was an "unofficial" project started by the level designer at Treyarch, Adam Hoggatt. He worked and developed a working design of the map within two days and showed it to other developers at Treyarch. It became a favorite with them just like it is among COD players today.
During an interview, game designer and director at Treyarch, David Vonderhaar, said that the map was inspired by a scene in the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where Indiana Jones was chased by Soviet Soldiers and stumbles across a nuclear testing site. This site also had the same 50s suburban themed residential area with many mannequins populating the buildings and streets.
Nuketown vs Nuketown ’84
As mentioned, Black Ops is not Black Ops without Nuketown. Following the tradition of releasing Nuketown for Black Ops games, the new Black Ops Cold War game also offers a revamped Nuketown called Nuketown '84.
Nuketown '84 has the same dimensions and map layout except for the aesthetics. The map's aesthetics have changed to fit the 80s theme, with destroyed buildings and graffiti-filled walls compared to a clean 50s suburban neighborhood seen in Black Ops 1.
And yes, it does have a brand new mannequin easter egg along with a secret passage for the RC-XD, just like the original Nuketown. The result of this years' easter egg is a unique one. It puts an arcade-themed retro filter on your screen, with catchy synth-wave music playing in the background.
Below, we have a full video showcasing the original Nuketown from Black Ops 1 in comparison to the Nuketown '84 released in Black Ops Cold War ten years later.
We also have some pictures below showing various parts of the map side by side. The pictures on the left are from Black Ops 1 Nuketown and the pictures on the right are from Black Ops Cold War Nuketown '84.