In the midst of, well, pretty much everything else happening in the Call of Duty universe, between releases of new content for Infinite Warfare and all the hype going into Call of Duty: WWII, the last thing we really expected was a new pack to come out for Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Activision's 2015 release. But Treyarch decided to surprise everyone from out of left field with a Zombies Chronicles pack, one that features some of the best Zombies-oriented maps that it's produced over the past few years. It's something that really caught a lot of fans off guard – but in a good way.
But here's the more surprising thing about this – Zombies Chronicles is pretty damn good. The developers did a tremendous job importing these maps into the Black Ops III universe, and, despite a few nitpicks, it gives you plenty of reasons to jump back in and lay waste to the undead with your friends.
The pack includes eight different Zombies maps in all, including favorites from World At War, Black Ops and Black Ops II. Granted, some of the bigger content is missing, like Call of the Dead, Mob of the Dead and others that feature top-notch talent, and that's kind of a bummer considering just how much fun those were. But a variety of maps remain here, and fans of the series will no doubt want to dig in.
Perhaps my favorite of the bunch, as it's always been, is Moon. That's because you actually get to battle zombies on the frickin' moon while unlocking new sections of the base and picking up new gear that can help you make a difference in wiping them out. The ambience alone is funky and a lot of fun to run through, and, I tell you, there's nothing uglier than a lunar death at the hands of space zombies. Some may disagree as they're getting chowed down on by a Crawler, but to each their own.
What Changes Have Been Made?
Other maps in the game are a lot of fun as well. I particularly found myself enjoying a return to World At War's old territory with Verrucky and Nacht Der Untoten, as well as others. And the maps introduced in the Black Ops games look great as well, particularly Shangri-La and Ascension, with their keen design.
But on top of that, Treyarch has incorporated some features that actually fit very well into these maps. For instance, GobbleGum, a big feature from Shadows of Evil, is included, and enables you to get additional buffs as you fight off increasingly tougher waves of opponents. You can also choose which loadouts you want to go with, ideal if you're looking for something powerful or just plain quick as you board up the exits and try to stay alive as long as you can. You can also earn items through progression, something that's certainly going to be welcome to those who have gotten used to that system in newer Zombie maps. It may make some of them a pushover at first, but relax – there are plenty of challenges coming your way.
The buffs and perks really go a long way in keeping longevity going with these maps. Sure, it sucks that a few fan favorites have gone missing, but the replacements, like the Window's Wine, for instance, are suitable, and having a Der Wunderfizz machine around to offer even more options is cool, even if they weren't quite in the original maps.
Weapons still play a huge part in the game, but you'll find more of Black Ops III's arsenal in these maps instead of the classic ones you may remember. For those in a throwback sort of mood, this may be a mild disappointment, especially if you preferred some of the weapons from the Xbox 360/PS3 era of the series. That said, the new weapons are still worthwhile, especially when you combine them with your fast-moving skills and start mowing down waves of zombies in a successive manner. I just hope Treyarch finds a way to add a classic gun pack down the road, just because.prevnext
Worth Blasting Your Way Through
And for those that were fans of the puzzles that were featured in the classic maps, good news – they're back, and they once again provide a great deal of backstory to those that are looking to do a little exploration. As you might have seen in a teaser trailer before the expansion's release, the Zombies Chronicles have a crapload of story to tell, and the more you discover, the more you might be surprised just how deep the lore goes. Consider it a nice little bonus atop getting to blast hordes of zombies into the next life.
While Zombies Chronicles has a few changes that might not sit well with those that loved the action from the original maps – namely with weapons and the lack of more star-studded entries like Call of the Dead – it's still a worthwhile (and probably final) addition to Call of Duty: Black Ops III, especially if you live for taking down the undead with your friends. It's a little costly compared to other expansions ($30 instead of the usual $15), but you get a lot for your money here, and the new perks, buffs and weapons will certainly keep you occupied.
Besides, you get to kill zombies on the freakin' moon. Who would resist something like that?0comments
RATING: Three and a half stars out of five.
Call of Duty® Black Ops III Zombies Chronicles...by WWG
Disclaimer: A review code was provided by the publisher.prev