A few weeks ago, a teaser trailer was released that gave a brief glimpse at what Zombies will bring to the table in Black Ops II. That teaser lead to a full review trailer that let the cat out of the bag about numerous elements of the new Zombies mode, plus info that Activision released after the trailer.
First, check out the trailer for yourself right here:
And now let’s get analytical and see what has been revealed from that footage, just as we did with the multiplayer reveal trailer a month ago!
BUS-ty babes. Get it?
During the first few seconds of the trailer, before anything really even happens, we can learn so much about the upcoming game mode in Black Ops II. The first few seconds shows a bus pulling in to a bus station and then making a stop, showing that the bus is somehow going to be tied to the gameplay this time around.
A zombie scream erupts and takes over the game as zombies lumber toward the bus and its doors open. In a flurry of action sequences, even more information about Black Ops II’s Zombies is revealed. The zombies this time around have glowing blue eyes, which is definitely different from the eyes of the zombies in the previous games, and furthermore, we can see two different characters of the game during these sequences as well.
For one, we see a woman briefly sprint across the screen. She is scantily clad and using a shotgun, which she promptly uses to blow the heads off a few of the undead. We also see a male character with glasses that looks like an adult nerd, utilizing a submachine gun as his weapon of choice.
As these two characters run away, we see an older gentleman kneeling and firing away at the zombies with an assault rifle. The characters pack up in the bus and start driving away, mowing down the zombies on the road in the progress of doing so.
This new campaign in Zombies is called Tranzit. Up to eight players can play together cooperatively, using the bus to move from level to level as they try to survive for a set amount of time against the zombies and then get back on the bus to head to the next level. From the look of the trailer, there appears to be customizations that can be made on the bus to make it withstand the undead forces better, kind of like the famous bus from the Dawn of the Dead remake.
The bus takes the survivors to the next level. The level they were just at was a bus stop, but now they are at a diner. A stylish overworld map shows their progress as they dot around the landscape. Upon arriving at the diner, zombies slide down the roof, and a flaming zombie charges one of the survivors as they are quickly swarmed from all directions. Black Ops II is no slouch visually or technically, as a lot of zombies crowd the screen and look great doing it, too.
Inside the diner, we can see the female survivor from earlier holding her own behind the counter. At this point in the trailer, we are treated to plenty of zombie variety. There are zombies dressed in formal Chinese garb, zombies with their asses showing in their hospital gowns, zombies dressed in a variety of different clothes…Black Ops II is definitely providing more variety when it comes to the look of the zombies.
It’s also at this diner level that the game switches to a first-person view for the first time, and we get a glimpse at two of the different guns available in the game. One is a heavy-looking machinegun that is quite powerful, and we also see a smaller, but still effective, machinegun used as well.
When the diner level is finished, the survivors pile back on the bus and continue their journey across the flaming world to their next destination: a farm.
Obligatory Farmhouse Level
What is it with zombies and farmhouses? It seems most major zombie fiction involves a farmhouse of some form. I can think of numerous examples right now, right off the top of my head. The Walking Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Left 4 Dead, Diary of the Dead…the list goes on and on. Well, the third level revealed for Tranzit is, of course, a farmhouse level.
Now, the level did not reveal if the actual farmhouse can be explored, but a beaten-up old barn was on tap for the demo level. The survivors took strategic positions as the zombies poured in the area from all directions in what looked like a very intense sequence.
From there, the survivors continued onward to the next level, which took place in a half-destroyed warehouse. This level seemed more cramped, but it was also used to showcase a new weapon that can be used in zombies, and the first time such a weapon has appeared in any Treyarch Call of Duty game, I believe.
Riot shields! Of course, the riot shields in Black Ops II are makeshift and silly looking, but they were effective nonetheless as the survivors used it to bash in zombie brains.
City of the Dead
Early on in the trailer, it showed a little how the bus will be interactive. Later, in the trailer, as the survivors are riding on to their next destination, we see this in action. The windows of the bus have been boarded up to protect those inside from the deadly foes outside, and this is a major hint that players will be able to barricade the bus like they barricade windows in the classic Zombies maps in World at War and the original Black Ops.
Inside the bus, the younger male survivor blasts away at the zombies through the windows, but a couple manage to bust inside. The female survivor goes onto the roof of the bus, and starts fighting off the zombies that have climbed on top of it.
The next level we see is the most exciting level yet. It takes place in what appears to be a block of a city. Players are free to go outside into the streets, but the survivors wisely try to hold up in a bar, complete with a pool table and everything. Zombies begin attacking the survivor in larger numbers than ever before, and the fight goes outside.
The camera pulls back high into the sky, showing the three revealed survivors battling an absurd amount of zombies that crowd the screen. They are totally screwed as dozens of zombies, some electrified, some on fire, set down on them for a good meal. But just when all seems lost…
…there is a strange machine. It is activated. We hear what sounds like zombies being killed. What is this? The camera is too close to the object to tell. I guess this will be just another one of Black Ops II’s many secrets as we inch ever closer to that November 13th release date.
What did they do to my Zombies?!
Zombies purists may be appalled about what Treyarch is doing to Zombies, but don’t worry. Tranzit mode sounds amazing, looks awesome, and given Treyarch’s track record, it will probably be fantastic. That being said, Treyarch isn’t completely abandoning what made Zombies fun in the first place.
Using the multiplayer engine, Treyarch is improving upon the Zombies experience in every way imaginable. Not only will players be able to join games in a more efficient way, migrate hosts if some jerk decides to leave in the middle of a match, and enjoy the polish of the multiplayer engine, but Black Ops II’s Zombies will be the biggest iteration of the mode yet, featuring three different game modes!
Tranzit is the campaign of Zombies, but the classic co-op Zombies will return, with players facing the zombies in levels based on Tranzit, trying to beat their rounds and best the high scores of their friends. At their worst, each Tranzit level looks interesting, and while I wish that Treyarch would’ve created original maps better suited for the classic Zombies gameplay, this is still good.
And finally, a new competitive mode is being introduced called 4z4. No, that is not a typo. 4z4 is where there are two teams of four that are playing a normal Zombies game. They cannot directly kill each other, but their goal is to outlast the other team. It is possible to grief the opposing team in ways that make the zombies go over to them instead, which is where the real competitive nature will come in, and hence the “Z”, as the zombies really are functioning as a third team in these skirmishes.
But where does it fit in?
Hardcore fans of the Zombies modes in Call of Duty games know that there is actually a pretty complex plot that carries the entire thing. That plot was concluded by the time the final DLC release came out for the original Black Ops, so where does Black Ops II fit in the campaign, and where are the original characters?
Well, the original characters were last seen on the moon, if I remember correctly, blowing up Earth. Or something like that. The zombie plague takes over Earth at some point, and that is when the characters from the original game go to the moon to a secret base. Black Ops II is likely depicting the events on Earth as all this was going down in the meantime.
Call of Duty: Blacks Ops II is scheduled to release on November 13th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The game will also be a launch title for Nintendo’s eighth generation Wii U system, and will be available when that system releases on November 18th.