I was pretty excited when I first saw that the zombie map ‘Origins’ was being released in the Apocalypse map pack and, to be honest, the only reason I bought the map pack was specifically for the zombies. It was the introduction of a few new weapons and some different ways of getting those perks which excited me. I must admit, I would class myself as a confident COD zombie slayer. I’ve collected hours of playing time on COD zombies over the years, all the way back to when they first came out in COD World At War. I always thought that they were a fantastic addition to the Call of Duty series but, sadly, this time I have a few disappointments.
First of all, I don’t understand why Treyarch have decided to make these new maps so complicated. I miss the days when you had those 4 maps of Nacht Der Untoten, Shi No Numa, Verruckt and (my all time favourite) Der Riese, those maps were pretty simple to play. You didn’t have to be an expert to enjoy them and get to a decent level; they weren’t massive maps and didn’t have any silly, complicated, and unnecessary side missions, like finding parts to make a shield or a plane or whatever. My friends and I pretty much mastered Der Riese and could get to level 25 each time we played – it was so simple and fun that we went back for more every time. But since Treyarch have decided to develop the zombie gameplay more, I feel as though they have taken it too far. We once played COD zombies nearly every day, but now my friends don’t even buy the map packs because, one – they are so overpriced, two – you cannot just buy the zombie map, and three – the complicated and difficult side missions have taken the fun out of it all.
It is also very difficult for anyone playing solo to get anywhere on these new maps. This is mostly because of how big the maps are and the sheer amount of work that you have to put in to it to unlock things; you just seem to become overwhelmed by it all and fail. I personally found it very frustrating playing solo. I could once get to level 30 by myself on Der Riese (probably due to the overpowered Wunderwaffer) but I simply cannot do it anymore on these new maps, it is just too complicated and unnecessarily difficult.
On this particular map, ‘Origins’, Treyarch have introduced a type of super zombie that comes along around level 10 onwards, every now and then. They are a sort of juggernaught zombie that can take one hell of a beating and are hidden amongst the normal zombies to boot, so you pretty much have nowhere to run. In the older maps, you would have a whole level dedicated to just getting attacked by overpowered zombies (in this case undead dogs), so that you could set up your defences and you always knew how to handle them, sometimes your plans didn’t always work, but at least it gave you hope. But this new way of incorporating these ridiculous juggernaught zombies in the same level as the normal zombies is all a bit too frantic for my liking. Not only this, but they’ve also introduced huge robots who occasionally pass over the map, I have no idea what they are for or if they ever do anything when you unlock a certain amount of stuff, but all I do know is that they can step on you and down you in one! Pretty much as soon as you look up and you see one of their feet coming towards you, it’s too late, you can’t run out of the way and you’re downed.
Admittedly, doing multiplayer on Origins is actually quite fun (if you know what you’re doing). When I played, one of the other players knew what to do, so I was just constantly following him around and doing what he said, I still got downed 7 times which is unusual for me, but it just shows how hard it really is. I won’t be playing this map solo again, but multiplayer is a different experience and I would give this more of my time. But I still think it is way too complicated. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that they’ve noticed how us COD fans really enjoy the zombie add-ons and that they have developed it some more, but I feel that they could have done a much better job. For the serious gamer the developments are alright, but for the casual player who is just looking for a bit of fun – not so much. To be honest, if they spent a little more time developing the fan favourite Der Riese, I think that more people would buy it and enjoy it – not just the casual gamers but the serious gamers too.
There’s a lot that really grates on me with the Nazi Zombie game mode – namely that when you die, you have to start at level 1 all over again. Yes, they brought in the option in Black Ops II of starting from level 10, but you still start with a pistol and the same amount of points. Why they can’t allow you to go back to when you died and carry on from there is beyond me, all that hard work just goes down the pan otherwise. I feel that this really de-motivates the player to then start a new game again, after they had spent hours getting perks and their guns ‘pack-a-punched’, just to then lose it all. This, coupled with inconsistencies that I have picked up on over the years (such as the zombies power to take you down – sometimes they have to hit you a couple of times but other times you could take a flurry of hits, no problem), all seem to make these zombie maps unnecessarily difficult. And, by the way, why have they never brought back the Wunderwaffer?! THE best gun in the whole game, definitely a fan favourite, but yet again, they fail to impress by not offering this in the new maps.
This game mode once had a lot to offer, but it’s beginning to feel as though Treyarch are running out of ideas. Maybe it’s time to either go back to basics, or end it before we all become a little tired of undead Nazis.