[CR] Call of Duty: Black Ops: Zombies

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CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS: ZOMBIES (XBOX 360)


Hello, everyone. This is a companion review to my previous review of Black Ops. In this segment, I'll be reviewing the new Zombies mode.

Several people, I recall, said quite simply of Black Ops: "If there are no zombies, I'm not buying it." Well, it's a Treyarch addition to the franchise, and, after the success of Nazi Zombies in World at War it was, in my opinion, pretty much inevitable.

Anyway, if you -- like me -- are a bit strapped for cash and couldn't afford the 'Hardened' edition of Black Ops then you only get two maps (for the moment): "Kino der Toten" (Theatre of the Dead) and "Five." I won't bother with a spoiler alert, because I think everybody knows about it by now -- Five is set in the Pentagon.

'Nova 6ers' -- not to be confused with the '76ers,' a basketball team from Pennsylvania.

"Kino der Toten" feels a bit like "Der Riese" with less room for mistakes and less room to run. So in that regard, it feels a little like an interior "Der Riese" crossed with "Verrückt" (except that it's not quite as difficult as the latter).

I neglected to mention that there are now 'crawlers.' Or... nobody really knows what they're called. In-game, they're called 'Abominations,' but online I've heard them referred to as anything from 'Crawlers,' to 'Nova Zombies,' to 'Those Things.' So chances are, if you hear a 12 year old screaming down your headset, "Argh! It's those things!" chances are, he's referring to either Crawler-Zombies... or boobs. (Hey, I was afraid of boobs when I was 12.)

Other than that, it's a rather unremarkable map. There are a couple of big rooms where you can hold off zombies, but to counter that, there are some very narrow corridors (fine, 'hallways') where zombies quite literally jump from the ledge above you.

On the other hand, we have "Five" which is set in the Pentagon. See, no spoiler marks again. It's set in the Pentagon! But, you probably already knew that. (And if you didn't, well, now you do.)

In 'KdT,' you play as one of the four original Zombies crew: Dempsey, Dr. Richtofen, Nikolai, or Takeo. In "Five," you play as one of four historically significant characters -- John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara (JFK's Secretary of Defense), Richard Nixon (JFK's political rival and successor), and Fidel Castro (Cuban dictator).

Something tells me that this is not exactly historically accurate...

"Five" starts you off in a conference room -- a fairly nice area with a few Zombie spawn points, access to a shotgun and an M14. It's also the location of the stupid Table Glitch, which is the bane of my (and other serious Zombie Slayers') existence. It's a good place to hold off for a while, but eventually you'll need to move to get some better weapons.

Outside, lo and behold, is the elevator. This takes you to the DEFCON Room -- so called because it has the levers to raise/lower the DEFense CONdition (you see what the clever clogs US Abbreviation Team did there?). I'm pretty sure that's not how it works in real life ("Mr President! We're under attack from zombies! I'm going to pull the DEFCON 3 lever!"), but then again a Zombie Apocalypse scenario isn't exactly realistic either.

Lowering the DEFCON Level from One to Five (that's how it works in real life: that US Reverse-Numbering Team at it again!) will open up a secret war room full of weapons (like the one seen in the opening cinematic). In order to leave some stuff for you to figure out for yourselves, I won't tell you how to get the Pack-A-Punch or some of the other Easter Eggs/Secrets in the level.

The Presidential Team (as I call it), though, spews out hilarious quotes whilst beheading Zombies with 7.62mm NATO rounds -- I've never laughed so hard as when I had insufficient points to buy a weapon and heard JFK say something along the lines of "What we need is economic reform!" Hearing Richard Nixon blame the entire situation on the 'damn Communists' is also pretty funny.

Apparently, JFK died killing zombies.

Overall, "Five" is my favourite of the two maps. It's pretty funny to think that you're playing as a member of the U.S. Government, protecting the woefully unprepared Defense Department from a Zombie Invasion. (I hope the real Pentagon might be more prepared to deal with zombies... but unfortunately, I doubt it.)

It's really fun to finally have modern(ish) weapons to make the undead... un-undead (re-dead?), and the M14 is fantastic for making heads fly. And in both maps, you can get good SMGs like the Kiparis and the Spectre quite early on: they're super-efficient at killing zombies, but can run out of ammo quite quickly. Unfortunately, there are no real good machine guns to replace the Browning M1919 or the MG42 of the previous installment. Additionally, the odds of getting a good weapon from the Magic Box are stacked heavily against you, and Pack-a-Punched weapons seem less powerful than I think they should be.

Finally, what's quite nice is that the design of the maps forces to you to keep moving and keep adapting your strategy, as opposed to "Der Riese," which was awesome but permitted you to camp in a corner until you ran out of ammunition.

SCORING:
Story: 10/10[1] (Nothing in Zombies is without significance; I'm sure Treyarch will fit "Five" in with the story somehow.)
Voice Acting: 10/10 (JFK impersonation is spot-on, dialogue is fantastic.)
Sound Design: 9/10 (Same as those effects found in the main game.)
Soundtrack: 8/10 (Not much music, per se, but there's some creepy ambiance which fits Zombies perfectly.)
Replay Value: 10/10 (Nothing says "fun" like shootin' Zombies with a gun! -- And that, Escapists, is why I don't write poetry.)

FINAL VERDICT: 94/100 - EXCELLENT

(NOTE: final score is not an average)

[1] Yes, Nazi Zombies actually has a very elaborate story/plot that's revealed through in-game Easter Eggs. If you're interested in learning more about the attention to detail and plot that Treyarch put into the Zombies game mode, feel free to check out this interesting thread

Good review, love zombies! :D I got the harden edition so I also have the World at War maps, which I never owned WaW so for me those are pretty good also. :)

I got to round 10 in Five, it was sooooooooo much fun with friends! :D

The reason I didn't like the "Five" map as much was the guy who voiced JFK: He has absolutely no emotions.

It makes his quotes all the funnier, but it really annoys me.

Great review, regardless.

TheYellowCellPhone:
The reason I didn't like the "Five" map as much was the guy who voiced JFK: He has absolutely no emotions.

It makes his quotes all the funnier, but it really annoys me.

Great review, regardless.

That is a good point, about the voice actor's lack of emotions. Maybe he is a robot? I'll admit it doesn't really bother me: I seem to always play Nixon.

Thanks for reading and commenting :D

Korten12:
Good review, love zombies! :D I got the harden edition so I also have the World at War maps, which I never owned WaW so for me those are pretty good also. :)

I got to round 10 in Five, it was sooooooooo much fun with friends! :D

Well thank you :) I think Zombies really are one of the highlights of the Treyarch games. As for the World at War maps, I don't know where you personally stand on them, but I love those maps even more than the two in this game :D

And yes, Zombies with friends is definitely the way to play!

TheYellowCellPhone:
The reason I didn't like the "Five" map as much was the guy who voiced JFK: He has absolutely no emotions.

It makes his quotes all the funnier, but it really annoys me.

What annoys me slightly is how they seem off in their performance. A JFK impersonation is pretty common (I'm sure even you could do one,) but the Nixon actor sounds really odd.

Can't say much for the other two, though McNamara has one of my favorite quotes so far. Still fun as hell, despite how terrible I am at it.

chemicalreaper:

Korten12:
Good review, love zombies! :D I got the harden edition so I also have the World at War maps, which I never owned WaW so for me those are pretty good also. :)

I got to round 10 in Five, it was sooooooooo much fun with friends! :D

Well thank you :) I think Zombies really are one of the highlights of the Treyarch games. As for the World at War maps, I don't know where you personally stand on them, but I love those maps even more than the two in this game :D

And yes, Zombies with friends is definitely the way to play!

Yeah, we all had mics and it was soooo much fun. At one time when two of them left to go play Multiplayer (after a while of playing zombies) the two of us that were left, we stayed in the elevator and kept going up and down but eventually two zombies got in and got killed. :( But it was soo much fun! Running and then the scientist that steals your guns! LOL! So many laughs. :)

I disagree that kino der toten leaves you with less room to run. If done correctly you can just keep running in circles at kino and rapetrain the sh#t out of them zombies until like, forever if you're fast enough. just make sure to always keep ahead of new zombies trying to spawn ahaed of you and you're fine.

You failed to mention the greatest thing about Kino der Toten...

Also, I have to disagree about Kino not having enough room, the theatre area has plenty of room to group the zombies together, then you just keep running around and killing them. A mate and me got to wave 41 using that tactic (we were tired so we let ourselves be killed) so it's pretty effective.

 

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