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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies mode heads to the ’80s for a new chapter

Cross-gen cross-play will make it easy to find a four-player squad

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Developer Treyarch will usher in a new chapter of the franchise’s Zombies mode with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, while retaining the four-player co-op play that makes the enduring mode so popular. This time around, Zombies fans will wield Cold War-era weapons to fend off a zombie invasion set during the 1980s — but the undead threat is still rooted in World War II.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies will feature a story mode set in Die Maschine, a graffiti-laden, boarded-up bunker with nods to Nacht der Untoten, the original Zombies map featured in Call of Duty: World at War. Players will explore Die Maschine as a member of the CIA-backed group known as Requiem, which has also piqued the interest of the rival Soviet-led group known as Omega Group. Intrigue, and swarms of angry zombies, will presumably follow.

The new Zombies mode will feature many of the gameplay elements players are familiar with: Perks, Pack-a-Punch machines, and mystery boxes. This time, however, there will no longer be a limit to how many different Perks you players can consume, “so go ahead and crack open a six-pack,” Treyarch says, “if you have the points to do so.”

Two glowing green zombies from Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Image: Treyarch/Activision

Black Ops Cold War’s take on Zombies will also feature:

  • Field Upgrades — which sound similar to the Modern Warfare abilities of the same name — that will offer “offensive buffs to abilities that aid in evasion or healing and reviving;”
  • Equipment that can be found or crafted, like grenade launchers, sentry turrets, explosive bows, and helicopter gunners;
  • and a chance to escape hairy situations via Exfil, which will let you call in a helicopter rescue but also dials zombie spawns “up to 11,” Treyarch says, and can earn squads rewards if you manage to survive.

Treyarch says that play time in Zombies mode will also contribute to Black Ops Cold War’s Battle Pass and that players can bring their Gunsmith-crafted weapons of choice into the mode. Better still, Zombies will have cross-generation, cross-platform play, meaning a squad will be easy to put together.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be released Nov. 13 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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