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Black Ops Cold War Zombies Mode: How Does it Stack Up?

After playing Call of Duty Zombies for more than a decade, here’s how the newest Zombies map in Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War (BOCW) compares to the others.

Black Ops Cold War
Courtesy of

“Die Maschine,” the first available Zombies map in BOCW, is a relatively large map, featuring multiple areas above and below ground. What makes this map interesting is that players can craft killstreaks of sorts, allowing them to use a placeable sentry turret or pilot the minigun of a circling helicopter. 

Also, players can play infinitely or play a 20-rounds with an ending. Regardless of which mode is chosen, an overlying theme is apparent: it is easier than previous maps. 

Since BOCW released, players are constantly setting new world records for the most rounds played. If their computers hadn’t crashed, players would be reaching levels over 500. For their part, Treyarch have been providing updates and nerfs to the mode to make the mode harder.

Also, the map design isn’t necessarily new, with “Nacht Der Untoten,” the first map in Zombies history, as the quasi-starting area. The Easter Egg for “Die” is also easy, with world records for completion being set almost every day. 

Nevertheless, it would be fascinating to compare “Die Maschine” to previous Zombie maps. For clarity, “Die” will be compared to all maps a game had collectively. For example, “Die” would be compared to all World at War maps combined, rather than separately. Because there are over 30 maps, comparing “Die” individually would just take too long. 

Additionally, there will be three categories: difficulty, map design, and Easter Egg creativity. At the end, all points will be tallied to see how “Die” ranks among the rest of the Black Ops games. 

So, here’s how “Die” stacks up. 

Call of Duty: World at War (WAW)

Courtesy of Activision

Right off the bat, WAW’s Zombies mode is more difficult than BOCW. Playing the original “Nacht” then playing “Die” makes it incredibly evident how far the series has gone as well as how easy it’s gotten. Winner: WAW

Regarding map design, “Die” takes it since it features multiple areas and advancements. Special mention has to go to “Der Riese” though; it was the first map to feature the “Pack-a-Punch” machine and teleporters. Winner: BOCW

Lastly, BOCW soundly beats WAW in Easter Egg creativity since there were no Easter Eggs in WAW. Winner: BOCW

Count: BOCW: 2, the field: 1

Call of Duty: Black Ops (BO)

Courtesy of Activision

Arguably one of the more difficult offerings of Zombies, BO was difficult mainly because of the nerfed Ray Gun. Additionally, the Zombies’ health and the amount that spawned increased as rounds got higher. In BOCW’s, health capped at round 40. Eliminating Zombies becomes relatively easy with a Ray Gun on later levels as the Ray Gun is back to being a deadly weapon. Winner: BO

BO’s six maps – excluding Dead Ops Arcade – were very intuitive back in 2010. The map design in BO was also better and seemingly larger than “Die” which is surprising since the game first released a decade ago. In all, the maps in BO were extremely memorable. Winner: BO

Treyarch really became creative with Easter Eggs in BO. The Zombies storyline was extreme, eventually culminating in the Earth’s destruction with the map “Moon.” Just having a map take place on the Moon was an ambitious gamble, one that paid off handsomely. Winner: BO

Count: BOCW: 2, the field: 4

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (BO2)

Courtesy of Activision

Though BO2 allowed players to upgrade their weapons more than once, it just changed what attachment was on the gun. Zombies continually gained health and with the Ray Gun’s continued nerfing, the Zombies in BO2 are incredibly dangerous. Winner: BO2

BO2 mainly featured new maps aside from “Nuketown Zombies,” which takes place in the fan-favorite map “Nuketown.” The addition of “Green Run” – one big map with certain sections acting as standalone maps – added a new layer of playability. Each subsequent map is unique to Zombies as well. Winner: BO2

Building on previous maps, BO2’s Easter Eggs are grander and expansive than anything that came before it. Specifically with “Origins,” the Easter Egg is long, arduous and extremely fulfilling once completed. Winner: BO2

Count: BOCW: 2, the field: 7

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (BO3)

Courtesy of Activision

Much like BO2, the Zombies are just as dangerous in BO3. However, the addition of “Gobblegum” and more Wonder Weapons makes BO3 Zombies a bit easier than other installments. Winner: BOCW

Design-wise, five of the six maps are brand new with the final map – “Revelations” – taking bits and pieces of previous maps and turning them into one giant, playable map. It’s an extremely creative way to incorporate the past with the present. Winner: BO3

Like previous installments, BO3’s Zombies Easter Eggs are more creative than past maps. Though it’s not as in-depth as Easter Eggs in BO4, narratively speaking, the maps take more time than “Die.” Winner: BO3

Count: BOCW: 3, the field: 9

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (BO4)

Courtesy of Activision

Compared to BOCW, BO4’s Zombie mode is incredibly difficult. The Zombies are more advanced and seemingly stronger, leading to more frustrating games than usual. That level of challenge is oftentimes welcomed, especially in the Zombies community. Winner: BO4

Regarding map design, BO4 loses points since half of the eight maps are a reimagining of previous maps from previous games. That said, the other four are incredible: some are in ancient Greece, the Titanic and the Roman Empire. Overall, BO4’s creativity is key here. Winner: BO4

Speaking of creativity, BO4’s Easter Egg blows BOCW out of the water. That’s somewhat unfair to BOCW since BO4’s Easter Eggs were a culmination of almost a decade’s worth of planning. Nevertheless, the Easter Egg in BOCW is relatively tame in comparison. Winner: BO4

Count: BOCW: 3, the field: 12

In all, “Die” isn’t a bad Zombies map. Compared to the rest of the maps, though, it’s unremarkable. Again, it’s not entirely fair to compare “Die” to other Zombies maps considering that it is a culmination of the maps before it. 

Nonetheless, “Die” is fine for what it is — an introductory map for those new to Zombies. Here’s hoping that Treyarch can improve on BOCW, especially since it’s had a troubled development.

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