Black Ops Cold War Zombies – Story, Gameplay, Progression, & More

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies has finally been revealed after weeks of anticipation. Teased during the multiplayer live stream, this was the first time we actually got a good look at this new game mode. Zombies has always been a popular game mode since it’s inception in Call of Duty: World at War. Battling against hordes of A.I. controlled undead not only served as a challenging experience but allowed developer Treyarch to interweave its own pulpy science fiction story. However, this mode has gone through some seriously drastic changes since its release, leaving many wondering what would be the new direction for Black Ops Cold War’s Zombie mode.

Even though every detail hasn’t been announced, we got some good information today about what players can expect from Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold Wars Zombie mode. We will update this article as new information is released leading up to the release.

Black Ops Cold War Zombie Trailer

Black Ops Cold War Zombies Story

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be restarting its story completely. Instead of simply continuing the different plots from previous entries, Treyarch is introducing new characters and mysteries for players to uncover. The first chapter is called Die Maschine,  which will take place in the very first Zombies map Nacht der Untoten. Treyarch describes this as a “Cold War story.” You play the role of a soldier in a shadowy organization called Requiem and will be tasked with uncovering the secret base underneath the destroyed bunker.

Opposing you is a Soviet squad called Omega Group, who are also looking to control the zombies and the machines that created them. Players will earn “intel,” which acts as additional story beats and lore you can earn. Treyarch promises these will be more accessible than ever, but didn’t dive into any additional details of how this works.

Black Ops Cold War Zombies Gameplay

Unsurprisingly, a lot of elements in Cold War Zombies remain the same. You’ll still battle against waves of undead enemies with a variety of classic and wacky weapons such as the Ray Gun. Treyarch confirmed that the Pack-a-Punch machine, power-ups, Mystery Box, and various classic perks will be returning. However, progression has been completely rehauled. Instead of having a separate leveling system, Cold War will feature a unified progression system. This means that any progress or experience you earn in multiplayer will be carried over to Warzone or Zombies. Given how bad the grind could be for the Zombies mode, this should help alleviate some of the mode’s issues making it easier for casual ghoul killers.

You will no longer just start with a pistol, as players can bring in their loadout weapons at the beginning of the game. Weapons will also have a rarity now, which will increase their efficiency and damage during Zombie games. This is meant to ease the burden of only having a few viable weapons in the late game, allowing for more versatility. Field Upgrades will also be available which are abilities that users can trigger by killing zombies, providing a myriad of additional buffs of effects.

Each user will also have a Lethal, Tactical, and Support slot for equipment that they can find or craft in the field. Scorestreaks can also be used during Zombie rounds, allowing you to call in a chopper gunner, sentry turret, or anything else to push back the undead menace. How you earn them in Zombies is unknown, but my best guess is it’ll be tied to how many points you have to spend.

Finally, Zombies will now have an optional ending that players can take. Typically a game of Zombies ended when everyone died, but this isn’t the case anymore. Players can now call in a helicopter to evacuate them, but they’ll need to survive a few more waves before it arrives. Treyarch explained that once you call in the helicopter, the subsequent waves will grow in intensity. Surviving the map awards you with experience and other rewards.

Black Ops Cold War Zombies DLC

While no new maps were shown, Treyarch confirmed that all of the post-launch content for Zombies will be absolutely free. This includes any new maps, which previously always cost real-world money to unlock.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War releases on PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC on November 13.


Collin MacGregor

Collin MacGregor is the Guide Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He's also the person who willingly plays the support class (you're welcome) and continues to hold out for an Ape Escape remake.

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