With Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies now confirmed, what kind of maps, weapons, and changes can we expect from Treyarch’s fifth instalment of the mode?
We can’t wait to resume mowing down COD zombies with Pack-a-Punched MGs. However, will we see the return of any familiar faces, such as Richtofen or "Tank" Dempsey? And what new and returning gameplay features will make up Black Ops 4 zombies? We’ll attempt to answer as much of that as possible, as well as run through our dream wishlist of features, gameplay tweaks, and upcoming DLC we’d like to see in Treyarch’s latest.
Check out the best first-person shooters on PC for more games like COD.
With Black Ops 3 taking the zombies mode to absurd new places, such as fighting dragons in the ruins of Stalingrad, anything could be on the table for the upcoming undead horde mode. So, we’re going to keep things simple and run through everything we know about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies, from Custom Mutations to what maps you will have available at launch.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies maps
If you buy the standard version of the game then you will have three zombies maps ready to play right from the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 release date: IX, Voyage of Despair, and Blood of the Dead. A fourth zombies map, Classified, will also be out when the game launches, but only for players who purchase either the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Season Pass or a special editions of the game.
Apparently set in Roman times, the reveal trailer for IX shows a new team of heroes travelling back in time and emerging in a coliseum where they are pitted against zombies. Interestingly, the trailer only shows melee weapons, which at the very least suggests we’ll start out with some new melee weapons rather than a pistol.
There’s also plenty of curious cult activity going on in the reveal trailer, but as this is a new storyline it’s impossible to figure out what exactly is going on. Clearly, the Ancient Order have figured out how to turn people into zombies and are offering up our time-travelling squad as bait. We do see a powerful magic staff, so perhaps this will be one of the weapons available in IX - Black Ops 2 featured Elemental Staffs in the Origins map so a return of some form is not out of the question.
Voyage of Despair
The second new Black Ops 4 zombies map featuring the new crew and storyline is Voyage of Despair. Fittingly, it’s set aboard the RMS Titanic, which probably means we’re going to have to contend with an iceberg at some point.
The reveal trailer for Voyage of Despair shows an elaborate plot wherein the team go about stealing keys, gaining access to locked rooms, knocking out guards, and cracking a safe. Then all hell breaks loose and the team are left fighting off a cruise ship full of zombies - so presumably this is where players will start off when playing Voyage of Despair.
In the reveal trailer we also see the infection spread throughout the ship, turning guests and crew into the undead, but also creating what would appear to be a Mystery Box, not to mention a new type of upgrade machine in the form of a Viking statue. We do see some pistols in this trailer, so it seems like we’ll definitely have access to weapons in Voyage of Despair.
Blood of the Dead
Blood of the Dead is a remake of the very popular Mob of the Dead Black Ops 2 map set on Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. This map will feature the classic Primis crew and while details are scarce you can make out that blood vials hanging from Richtofen, so perhaps this remake will finally explain what their purpose is.
The second remade Black Ops 4 zombies map coming to Black Ops 4 is Classified, which will see the return of the Ultimas team and the Pentagon map from the first Black Ops, Five - we also know that it is a prequel to Five.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies characters
Who are the new cast of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies characters? Scarlett, Shaw, Diego, and Bruno will be the playable characters in IX and Voyage of Despair. Scarlett and Diego appear to be the rogues, male and female respectively, while Shaw is scientist of some ilk and Bruno is the team’s bruiser. It is unlikely that any of these characteristics will transfer to gameplay.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies Custom Mutations
Treyarch want to make Black Ops 4 zombies more replayable than their previous zombies experiences, so they have added a new way of playing zombie maps called Custom Mutations. These will allow players to change hundreds of variables covering everything from overall difficulty to zombie speed. You will then be able to save your Custom Mutations and upload them for others to play. Treyarch will be hosting their own Custom Mutations as community events, so it seems like there will be no end of challenges and events to play through post-launch.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies wishlist
After 24 COD zombies maps the mode has naturally transformed a huge amount with new mechanics, larger areas, and an increased emphasis on hunting for hidden secrets. Somewhere along the way COD zombies got cutscenes, endings, and secret snippets of story, rather than a simple horde survival mode where players strive to beat their previous max wave count.
We still love the stories and evolution of Call of Duty zombies, but we would love to see a return to the simple, stripped-back design of maps like Shi No Numa and Kino der Toten, if only for a single map. Beating your highest rank, developing new team strategies, and mastering every route and rotation through the map gave zombies mode an element of replayability that has been missing for some time. The addition of Custom Mutations and dedicated leaderboards for player-made zombie challenges suggests an increased emphasis on wave survival, but we’d like to see it in the core zombies experience, too.
Black Ops 3 added the ability to put your Pack-a-Punched weapons back through the machine to get additional buffs in the form of modules like Blast Furnace that sets zombies alight. COD: WW2 did away with this, setting off a still unsolved easter egg hunt to unlock the supposed full suite of Pack-a-Punch features.
For Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies, however, we want multiple Pack-a-Punches back - and instead of modules, we want new, weirder versions with each submission. Remember putting the Colt M1911 through and getting Mustang and Sally, the akimbo pistols that actually fired rifle grenades? How about putting those back through the machine and getting a single colt that is slow firing but can insta-gib any enemy. Then that weapon variant could be put back through the Pack-a-Punch machine to get something even more ridiculous. Finding new weapon variants in COD Zombies has always been a joy, and part of that joy is risking your good weapon for one that is virtually useless.
Solo easter eggs
Easter eggs in COD Zombies have ballooned from throwaway references to full-blown storylines and even a means of escaping the map, but they are often designed for full squads who are talking to each other. A lot of players do not have that luxury, but still want to explore every nook and cranny of each new map, so let them by adding more easter eggs that were made with solo players in mind.
Treyarch confirmed that you will be able to play Black Ops 4 zombies alone with the help of AI bots, but it’s still unclear if those bots will be good enough to cover you while you try and complete easter eggs or if Black Ops 4 easter eggs will be made with solo players in mind.
More map remasters
People love a spot of nostalgia. A second collection of the best COD zombies maps, visually overhauled and outfitted with a few gameplay tweaks, would also be a great way to bulk out the selection of zombie maps available at launch. Reworks of TranZit, Call of the Dead, Five, Mob of the Dead, Nuketown Zombies, and Die Rise would be our top picks, and Treyarch have already confirmed two of those are happening. Judging by the very positive Steam store ratings for Black Ops 3 DLC Zombies Chronicles, which remastered a few of the oldest maps in the game, more map remasters would not go amiss.
Bad Mystery Box guns
Recent COD zombies maps have been a little too generous with the weapons you can find in the Mystery Box: there are very few bad outcomes. That makes rolling the dice a risk-free endeavour, even if there is still some RNG when it comes to acquiring the best Mystery Box weapons. Most players resort to the Mystery Box when they have run out of ammo and are still kiting zombies, so stuffing a few more dud weapons like the L96A1 and Ballistic knife from Black Ops would make for great entertainment - weapons so bad that not even putting them through the Pack-a-Punch machine will make them usable.
That’s your lot, every scrap of information we have on Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 zombies as well as our hopes for the upcoming mode.