Today was the massive reveal for the zombies modes in Black Ops 2—and we say modes because there are three of them, and “massive” because they are like a whole other game unto themselves. While we knew that the zombies were going to play a more central role in Black Ops 2 (owing to their popularity), we had no idea that Treyarch had more or less made a whole new game and packaged it in. We know people complain about the prices of video games these days, but seriously, Black Ops 2 is like getting three games in one. The single-player campaign mode will have lots of replay value, the multiplayer mode will of course remain the game’s central pillar, and the zombies modes are going to blow you away.
Let’s talk about the largest, most exciting mode, which is called Tranzit. Remember that old, dilapidated bus we saw in the teaser trailer about a week ago? It turns out that bus isn’t just part of a map, or an object in the background—it’s an actual transportation method players can use to explore the huge open world environment of Tranzit. This is the first time we’ve seen a Call of Duty game integrate open world gameplay. It’s going to be amazing.
“Imagine a world where there isn’t just one area, but multiple areas and there’s land in between that,” explained Mark Lamia, Treyarch studio boss. Players have the option of exploring the world on foot or using the bus in a co-op mode which can be played by 1-4 players at a time. There are four playable characters available to choose from. The bus offers cover and speed, but also can turn into a deathtrap since it’s an enclosed space. Exploring the world on foot can expose a player to more danger, but also more opportunity in terms of looting.
There’s going to be an actual crafting system in Tranzit that allows you to take objects you find in the environment and fashion them into makeshift weapons to help you battle your way through the zombie apocalypse. So your creativity and ingenuity can help you to survive by making customized items—something else that’s brand new to Call of Duty. There will also be plenty of other weapons strewn about the landscape including some futuristic technology and also fun “wonder weapons” with magical abilities.
While Tranzit is the centerpiece, there are two other zombies modes available. One of them is called “Survival,” and it’s pretty much what most of us were expecting when we heard that Black Ops 2 would include a zombies mode. Survival is traditional gameplay on a single, confined map. The maps are areas found in Tranzit, but they are limited to their own dimensions and do not allow you or your opponents to wander off. Originally this was all we were really picturing with the zombies mode!
The other mode is called “Grief.” This is a competitive mode that pits teams of four gamers against one another. You’re not allowed to shoot at the other team, however, and you instead need to try to use the zombies that are also present on the map against your opponents while they do the same to you.
In terms of game mechanics, these modes may appear as co-op modes, but they include many of the features that were previously only available for multiplayer mode. This includes advanced statistics, leaderboards, and matchmaking systems. There will also be a lot of options you can use to customize the zombie modes. You can for example skip the initial rounds and jump straight to the more challenging rounds of zombie onslaughts. You also can change the game to headshot-only mode, or you can enable or disable specific weapons such as the wonder weapons.
Players were getting tired of waiting for information on the zombies mode, but we can all see now why there was such a long wait. It wasn’t just to build up the hype and anticipation, but also simply because this has been a huge undertaking. The zombies modes will add considerable value to the game; Tranzit will in many ways likely offer the most compelling experience in the game. Multiplayer modes with single maps have always offered excellent replay value since every match plays out differently—but the Tranzit mode with its open world will offer even more possibilities for variations and unique experiences. It will call upon players to make tactical decisions and to be inventive in their gameplay. The environment will be very detailed and will offer map lovers a whole new world to explore, with plenty of action along the way.
Black Ops 2 will be coming out on November 13th, which means there’s still a bit of time to pre-order. When you pre-order the game, you get a Nuketown 2025 map as a free bonus. There is a Nuketown Zombie map for those who pre-order the Hardened Edition limited collectible version of the game. The Care Package Prestige Edition has sold out already, but there are still a few copies of the Hardened Edition left, so now’s the time! In light of what we now know about Tranzit and the other zombies modes, it’s now obvious that Black Ops 2 is actually an excellent value, so that Hardened Edition price shouldn’t look quite as steep anymore!