The second part of Season One of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings changes to both the zombies and multiplayer game modes. Exciting changes to the spin-off Battle Royale mode Warzone have also been made this week.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ll know that Call of Duty has been a hive for cheaters and hackers over the last few weeks, none more so than in the massively successful Warzone Battle Royale mode. For many people, including most notably Youtuber and streamer Vikkstar123, it swiftly prompted a player strike on the game and although there are better ways to solve the problem, some players even took the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ approach and hacked themselves to force the developers into action. The streamer’s strike on the popular game mode even made it to the Breaking News channel of the BBC.
Coincidentally, just a day after Vikkstar, who has won over $60,000 from playing the game in various tournaments, Infinity Ward banned more than 60,000 accounts found to have broken terms of service. As you’d expect, some cheaters have sneaked through the net, however, according to Xbox On’s own BennyCentral, Verdansk is a much more pleasant place to be.
For those of you whose cup of tea doesn’t involve shooting 149 other people in a Battle Royale mode, Treyarch has been updating their Black Ops Cold War instalment of the franchise in the first big content drop of their rotation, and boy is it a good one. Standard procedure is resumed, with a new zombies map, Firebase Z, and a plethora of new multiplayer updates.
New Zombies Content
The biggest news is the release of the follow up to the Die Maschine base game zombies map, in the form of Firebase Z. Set in a dual-location, players are dropped off in a small Vietnamese village with the simple premise of surviving. A portal takes you to the main setting for the map, a radar facility in the mountains nearby. Think of the portal in Area 51 in the Moon map from the original Black Ops and you’re not far off.
Like Die Maschine, a list of objectives walks you though turning the power on and getting the Pack-A-Punch machine operational. Turning the power on in this map reminds me of the Origins process way back in Black Ops 2, in which there are multiple generators that must be protected from intermittent attacks every couple of rounds. The attacks are slightly different in that, similar to a beach storming scene you’d see in a campaign mission, what feels like hundreds of zombies spawn at the bottom of a bunker hill and rush towards you and two sentry turrets. Tombstone Soda also makes its first reappearance since Black Ops 2’s TranZit and its variant maps.
There are several bosses in Firebase Z, Mimics and Gorod Krovi’s Manglers make a return. A mimic, as the name suggests, mimics a powerful ground pickup and will transform when approached. During the first playthrough, I couldn’t help but notice the likeness of the Mimic to the Demogorgon from Stranger Things and the Mangler to The Terminator, but that’s just me.
I say bosses lightly here, if you think these two are bad, you should see their older relative. Mimics and Manglers are no match next to Orda. Spawning roughly on Round 30 as part of a generator defence round, this freakishly tall bundle of nightmare fuel will slowly approach from the distance along with the regular hordes of zombies. Ordnance power-ups can be bought to hold off the zombies in these areas, which come in very handy against Orda.
A new map brings a new Wonder Weapon – the catchy-named Reactorniy Avtomat-Izluchatel Kuhlklay-84, or the R.A.I.K-84 for short – a fully automatic, 30 round mag weapon which can be obtained via a blueprint or, of course, from the mystery box. Thankfully, this wonder weapon is a Pack-A-Punch upgrade, meaning there are no secret elemental upgrade puzzles to solve.
The Hunt Begins
Speaking of solving things, Treyarch confirmed the Easter Egg for this map will be activated at 10 am PT/6 pm GMT on the 5th of February with thousands of people competing to solve the puzzles. Easter eggs are a big part of the zombie’s culture and are always a fascinating sight. If this one is anywhere near as Michael Bay-esque as the Die Maschine puzzle, we’re in for a treat. I’m sure solutions and walkthrough videos will be uploaded on YouTube by the end of the night.
New Multiplayer Content
If shooting hordes of zombies isn’t your thing, Treyarch has got you covered. Fan-favourite Express made a welcome reappearance in the multiplayer playlists on February 4th, joining Raid as the second classic map. With this map comes plenty of Black Ops 2 memories of having the train hurtling towards me at high speed. If you’ve missed the map over the last (sorry for this) eight years, a brand new Express 24/7 game mode has been added, which consists of the classic modes Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination, and Hardpoint.
Double XP started yesterday for PlayStation players and starts tonight for other platforms at 10 am PT/6 pm GMT running through to the same time on the 8th of February. As always, XP earned on both Black Ops Cold War and Warzone will be doubled.
I will be sure to get everything I need to be done before 6 pm to make the most of the weekend boosts. Let us know in the comments what you’re looking forward to most this weekend. Will you be racing against others to solve the Easter Egg?
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I’m a university student studying Chemistry in Sheffield, UK. I represent my university in Rainbow Six: Siege and play and sometimes stream other FPS games in my spare time. I’ve been playing PC since May 2020 and was an Xbox player before then.