SPOLIER ALERT This discussion will include information about the new zombie modes including information about a leaked video showing game play. Read at your own risk...
Is the new zombies going to be an amazing continuation of what fans have grown to love, or is it going to "jump the shark"? What are some of the fundamentals that you expect to see in the game vs. what are some new things that you always wanted to see? How are fans going to react given the game engine is the same? Will we be disappointed with plot lines or will this turn out to be exactly the fix we needed? Will Treyarch ever make Zombies into a stand alone game?
There are three types of people that buy Call of Duty games produced by Treyarch now a days. The first would be people that love the campaigns and the stories that continue to evolve. The second are the people who have to have a multiplayer aspect to a first person shooter. This is the category that I believe most gamers fall into. In the Black Ops multiplayer menu there was a ticker that kept track of random stats combined from all players. The one that really stands out is under the category of "Where's the Sun?" I'd call that a success. Finally there's the third type of person that is more excited for the zombie mode immortalized at the end of the campaign in the game World at War. This hidden aspect of the game has gone on to be a major factor in the popularity of Black Ops and the upcoming Black Ops II.
Luckily for the two larger groups here -- multiplayer and zombie lovers -- there are going to be new leader board and ranking systems in place for zombie mode. Now leader boards are not anything new, and they were included in original Black Ops, but for Black Ops II the leader boards are going to be much more extensive. Head shots and accuracy will be tracked and contribute to the players overall ranking. For those that hate getting paired up with "newbs" this new leaderboard will pair players with others with similar stats. Hopefully, no more games ending due to the host rage quitting. Also, the zombie match making system is going to be the same as the multiplayer. Faster match set ups and fewer failures to connect should be on the way.
There will be new characters in the zombies. One can only hope that the new characters are as entertaining as the last veterans were. Given what the map areas look like I wouldn't be surprised to see a farmer or a waitress as one of the characters. Rumors of the girl from the zombie poster being one of the characters seem creditable. There would be little surprise to have an equal male to female character ratio. Plus gauging by the poster this new chick looks like she might be able to take Dempsey in a fist fight.
Aside from the notable difference in eye color there have been some other additions to the zombie army. Most notable will be the addition of flying zombies. These appear to be some sort of evil rooster or crow, and will probably be a massive pain in the neck. No more scanning only at head or ground level looking for death dealers. A new rumor circulating around includes new "electric boss", then again, I thought we already had that with George Romero. Whatever it turns out to be it sure does sound exciting. Ray guns will be back as will the "usual arsenal" on the walls and from the trusted gun box.
There will be three different game modes to get ready for. The first is the traditional survival mode. Players will have to hold out in one of the four new map areas and construct their own strategies for making it to the next rounds. The other two game modes are going to be the new and exciting aspects. The biggest mode is called Transit. It consists of all four map areas from survival combined. Like a giant sandbox, players will be able to freely travel from one zone to the other either by foot or by bus. Although bus travel will be quicker, that doesn't mean safer. Players will constantly be under attack regardless of mode of transit.
Don't expect a whole new look for the zombie mode. There will be some new things as far as the look and feel are concerned, but ultimately things will tend to be the same until there's a new console to really push the limits. In the coming days there are sure to be more clips and updates as what's to come. It's going to be an amazing version of zombies that hopefully in the next year or so will ultimately lead to a stand alone game of zombies. Treyarch has said that as long as fans still love zombies, then they'll continue the zombie apocalypse. Remember to reload and keep moving.
- Dan Gallagher