Black Ops 3: Zombies Review
Black Ops 3 is the next first person shooter in the Call of Duty series with a new iteration of the Zombies game mode. This time the zombies game mode is quite different while still giving the old feel of what we enjoy so much about the game mode. It is not a knock off like extinction was in Call of Duty Ghosts. The game looks amazing and each of the characters is unique and different than past characters in the zombies difficulty. There are some distinct changes from this iteration of zombies compared to the past games. Zombies attack much faster than in previous games and move noticeably faster, as well as start running earlier. There are various new monsters added to zombies as well such as flying bugs, witches that don’t look anything like witches, rolling balls of fire that explode, and a huge giant with three heads called a Margwa. Of all the monsters I would say the last one is the most annoying as the number of these mini boss’ increases as you get to higher rounds.
There are a few new additions to the Black Ops 3 zombies iteration that most people are probably interested in. The Gumball Machine gives GobbleGums and cost 500 points in game for a random gumball from a limited selection that you can set before the game starts. The common ones are pretty useful although most of them have a very limited duration making many of them not even worth wasting the time to get. My favorite from the common Gumballs is called Stock Option for example. This Gumball allows me to use all of my ammo without even needing to reload for about two or three minutes. I find this extremely useful at all points in the game especially when pack a punching a weapon that chews through ammunition like crazy.
Other than the new monster types, the Gumballs, and changes to the zombies A.I, one other major change is the ability to level up weapons and unlock attachments for the weapons. As you level a gun up by using that gun in zombies you gain experience for it and unlock attachments for it. You can put several attachments at once on a single weapon and then buy that gun straight off the wall modified and all. The weapons wall price does not even change when doing so. I love this addition it shows progression for me and shows others I have used the weapon a lot.
With all these new additions and the vast change of map design style to that presented in The Shadows of Evil I very much enjoy this current version of zombies in Black Ops 3. If you enjoy zombies specifically in the Call of Duty franchise I would recommend buying Black Ops 3 specifically for zombies. Add on the fact that there is a new difficulty in the regular campaign called Nightmare which presents a story based around zombies and there is plenty of re-playability in this game.
Having almost reached the ability to Prestige to Prestige one in the Black Ops 3 zombie mode there are however a few things that I feel need some work. At first I thought the Shadows of Evil map was far to difficult. Training zombies is much harder due to the changes in zombie A.I as well as their mobility and increased attack rate. On top of this the Margwas appears far to frequently and at a large increasing number as you progress well into the twenty plus rounds. One or two of these guys is plenty enough as their ability to teleport around the map alone is enough to kill you in a dead end when you are corned from both directions by these 3 headed monsters. On top of this they do not count towards the amount of enemies that need to be defeated to complete the round. As such even if you complete the round these monsters will still be running around the map and causing problems. Worse case scenario you kill everything else before you kill these Margwas and the next round spawns the fireball guys or bugs to just cause even more issues. I also feel they do way to much damage with their ground slam. I have been one shot with Juggernog on and it is very frustrating to lose to them let alone having to deal with the faster and seemingly smarter zombie A.I. I feel the amount of these monsters should increase every 5 rounds and they should at most come every 5 rounds. Having one come on round 4 or 5 and then two of them on round 8 is already problematic in itself. Also the teleporting can cause an unfair loss in higher rounds. Sometimes when running away they will teleport behind you while another one will teleport ahead of you causing you to be pinned between them. Along with the zombies this can easily mean you will die as you do not always have the ability to shoot a head.
Apart from the game mode being overly difficult at both early and late rounds I also find the cost of doors excessive compared to previous games. These door costs make it more difficult to progress through the map to unlock Pack-a-punch, at least on Shadows of Evil map. While technically in a group of four with some point management it is possible to unlock the Pack-a-punch room on round one, this is far to difficult and to much to ask for in a public match up. In a typical group of 4 players it can take 30 minutes or even longer with a full group of inexperienced players to even unlock the room, let alone upgrade a single weapon. This all has to be done by wave 5 or else it gets increasingly more difficult. If less Margwas spawned, and the Margwas counted towards the amount of enemies needed to finish the round it might not be as bad at later rounds. Unfortunately though at later rounds bugs, the fire ball monsters, and zombies can also randomly spawn in at the same time as Margwas have also spawned which just makes the map far to luck based. I don’t like that zombies preemptively spawn in zones you are moving towards in order to cut you off or box you in. I also dislike that there are pathways that can not be boarded up at all.
The new Widows Wine perk is a great addition to zombies and is also in my opinion the most important perk in the game. While Juggernog does reduce damage taken Widows Wine gives you several benefits which are all based around crowd control. If you get hit the zombie will be slowed and wrapped up in a spider web. If you throw a grenade it will stick to any surface and explode cause things near the explosion to be slowed and then webbed. If you knife anything it will also be slowed and webbed. This perk uses grenades as a cost to activate this perk. As such when you run out of grenades this perk does nothing, with the exception of being able to apply the effect by knifing zombies. The great thing though is that when you run out of grenades you are not technically screwed till the round is over. You can replenish your charges for this perk by simply killing zombies that occasionally drop a spider web power up that gives you a single charge. Max ammo pickups will refill charges completely. On top of this you get two grenades at the end of a round which can be saved to use this perk two times.
Overall the Shadows of Evil zombies map is quite difficult. With the collectors edition of Black Ops 3 they did how ever give the “Giant” zombies map which is a remake of “Der Riese”. I was actually genuinely annoyed and aggravated when I saw how easy this map is compared to Shadows of Evil. While others might think differently, I view the Giant’s map difficulty being extremely easy as a trick or ploy to get people to buy the season pass to make leveling up and progressing through the zombies game mode much easier. It is also a remake of an old map and to be honest I want to only see new maps. If we want nostalgia of old maps we can easily just load up Black Ops one or two.