7 Things I Want To See in Black Ops 2 Zombies
Oh, come on guys! You can talk about the zombies mode in the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2! Zombies are not that overused. They’ve only been featured in Left 4 Dead, the Walking Dead, Dead Rising, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Dead Island, Red Dead redemption, and… man, if I say the word ‘dead’ again, I’ll probably earn that status myself.
Ok, so they are very prevalent in modern culture. Nevertheless, the “zombies mode” from Treayarch’s Call of Duty games has garnered immense popularity due to its thoughtful nonlinear design, addictive pacing, and the fact that it can be played cooperatively. While I really enjoy the zombies mode, I think it can still use some improvement. With Activision set to release Black Ops 2 this fall, what better time to propose 7 things that I want to see in its inevitable continuation of the zombie tradition. Repair your room’s barracks and stock up on ammo as we dive right in.
More maps, please!
Listen, Treyarch. We know Activision tries to milk its franchises until there’s no tomorrow, but sometimes you follow in their footsteps a little too well. You gave us only 1 zombies map in World at War and 2 in Black Ops. The rest? They had to be bought as downloadable content. For Black Ops 2, at least give us around 5 maps to start off with; we are paying $60 for your game, after all. Also, it would be a good idea to separate the zombies and multi-player maps when releasing map packs. A lot of people were interested in zombie scenarios like Shangri-la and Ascension, but didn’t want all the other multi-player maps included in the package. Do something similar to the Rezzurection map pack (which was comprised entirely of zombie maps), and us zombie slayers will be happy.
Let’s face it; when you’re dealing with zombies and time travel at the same time, taking the whole premise seriously is next to impossible. So in that case, why not go as crazy as possible? Black Ops gave you a laser pistol and wind-up monkey bombs, but the vast majority of the arsenal was still comprised of realistic firearms. For Black Ops 2, why not give us a gun that shoots explosive bouncing balls? How about a power-up that gives you a gravity gun temporarily? Of course, you have to keep the game balanced, so another option could be to make unique pack-a-punch upgrades that bestow special abilities to the gun. The crossbow, for instance, could shoot nets. Maybe the shotgun could get a power where missed shots have 40% of their shrapnel redirect toward a random enemy. The possibilities are endless, and I hope Treyarch is willing to experiment.
Left 4 Dead has shown us that a traditional “point A to point B” level structure with zombies can work, so it would be interesting to see how Treyarch handles it. Levels could be structured in a linear fashion, or Treyarch could just use standard maps and create objectives to complete within them, such as defending or activating something; all the while zombies will be roaming around in order to make things difficult. There doesn’t need to be many of these. Just 1 would be enough, as the Left 4 Dead series is already doing these types of scenarios anyway. However, having this kind of zombie map available could add a lot of variety to Black Ops 2’s zombies mode.
New Zombie Types
This is probably going to be addressed anyways, but it’s still good to mention it. New types of zombies can never hurt. Well actually, they can hurt you, more so than regular zombies, but that’s not the point. The DLC maps for Black Ops introduced quite a few interesting new zombies, such as phasing crawlers that could teleport around the map and shriekers, who could disorient you with their screams. Invisible zombies would probably just be annoying, but I’m sure there are other varieties that could be introduced. How about zombie birds? Or maybe a type that “buffs” zombies around them and gives them perks? Free ideas, Treyarch, and yours for the taking.
Wave Select Feature
To my knowledge (which is not worth much), Red Faction: Armageddon is the only game with a horde mode that gives you the ability to select the wave you go up against. So I ask this; why not include it in Black Ops 2? Sometimes after losing an intense match, you just want to skip the first few waves of the next one in order to get back to the challenging and frantic action. To balance out such a feature, Treyarch could make it so you could only skip a certain number of waves (10 maximum?) or they could prevent skippers from being tracked on leaderboards and given achievements. It would be a small touch, but a welcome one.
Different Barrier Types
While the barriers you can erect around the map have always been a neat concept, they’re not particularly useful. All they do is slow the zombies down, and in later waves it’s not really worth the hassle trying to repair them. In that case, why not give players the ability to upgrade barriers or purchase new types? I can imagine an explosive barrier being pretty useful; it could detonate if a certain amount of zombies come near. An upgraded metal barrier or a corrosive poison barrier would also be cool. Perhaps you could set wooden ones on fire, making them hurt enemies while the barrier burns away, forcing the player to make a strategic choice. All we need now is a Chuck Norris zombie that can instantly break barriers with a roundhouse kick.
I’ve recently played Serious Sam for the first time and was absolutely stunned at the immense scale of some of the environments. Judging by how fast the player can sprint and how many zombies can occupy the screen at once, I think it would be interesting to see a gigantic map for you to fight zombies in. Imagine looking over a balcony onto an immense field filled with zombies sprinting towards you. Isn’t that something you want to tell your grandkids about? Even if only one of the maps turns out to be an immense playground, it would still be a nice deviation from claustrophobic corridors, as fun as those are.
Black Ops 2 is set to have its reveal tomorrow, though I very much doubt it will feature any boomsticks to the heads of the undead. In fact, the zombies mode has generally gone unmentioned so far. Let us never forget one of the simple joys in life; survival by the way of buying weapons with imaginary currency. Is there anything you want to see in the zombies mode? Let us know in the comments section. You never know if Treyarch is spying on our site and doing some black ops themselves.