Activision has unveiled the newest chapter of the Zombies narrative that has been running in the Call of Duty franchise since the first Black Ops game.
Part of this year's upcoming launch, Cold War, Zombies is getting rebooted. Sort of. It's always complicated with time travel stories. The mode is joining a narrative driven campaign and complete multiplayer mode, making Cold War a truly content-rich package.
While in many ways a new beginning for the Zombies series, the mode will be familiar to players who have been fans of the supernatural co-op subline that's been running alongside the main Call of Duty games for a decade now. You're still teaming up with your mates to fend off hordes of undead and there will be a lot of familiar plot points present, but this new chapter is exploiting the time travel present in the series to softly reboot everything.
Some characters will return from the previous Zombies canon and there will be familiar locations and maps, but the convoluted plotline is out the window.
There were already two separate-ish plotlines, and Cold War takes the original as its basis. Two opposing special forces squads are sent by their respective nations - the USA and the USSR, in this case - to explore a clandestine WWII bunker that has been sealed up since the war with rumors of a cache of invaluable military secrets and answers to unexplained phenomena that could be harnessed for a tactical advantage.
Activision has described the first map of the new Zombies campaign, called Die Machine, as more than just a little similar to the very first Zombies map players ever experienced, Nacht der Untoten. The German name implies that the Nazi obsession with the occult is once again a key element of the storyline.
Players will step into the boots of operators fighting with the CIA's Requiem team led by Grigori Weaver, returning from Black Ops, or the Soviet Omega Group. Since both teams will be, presumably, stuck in a bunker swarming with the mutated undead, they'll probably end up having to work together.
In Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Zombies will be a full fledged mode with all the benefits of full multiplayer. Playing Zombies will count towards Battle Pass progression like multiplayer and Warzone, lobbies will be both cross-platform and cross-generation, and you can use your custom loadouts as well.
A weapon rarity system combined with the return of the Pack-a-Punch machine will solve some balance issues inherent to the mode in the past, allowing any weapon to remain effective throughout an entire match. Field Upgrades, Perks and special equipment will add additional dimensions to gameplay.
The new Exfil mechanic adds a third option on ending a match so that death and victory are no longer the only possible outcomes. If you feel like winning is no longer viable, choosing to call in Exfil gives the team a second chance. A helicopter will be sent to airlift you to safety, but it will also attract significantly more enemies. Should you survive the ramped-up onslaught, you'll earn special rewards.
Activision is set to reveal some more details about the Zombies mode leading up to the November 13 launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, so keep an eye out for news!