With the release of “Firebase Z,” the newest Zombies map for Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War (BOCW), fans finally have a new map to play aside from the original, “Die Maschine.” That said, after playing the map for more than a few hours, here are my thoughts on “Firebase Z” so far.
Right off the bat, “Firebase Z” gives off vibes of “Moon,” which was initially released as the final map for the original Black Ops. For those who have not played either map, essentially the player starts in one section of the map and, in order to experience the entire map, they must take a teleporter to reach a much larger portion.
Once on the actual firebase portion of the map, players must activate three reactors in order to fully turn on the power and access the Pack-a-Punch machine, which is located in the spawn area. After all the reactors have been activated, players can then choose to do the story Easter Egg or go for high rounds, which I personally did.
On my first time playing “Firebase Z,” I opted to see what round I could get to before I got overrun or just tired of playing. Surprisingly, I reached level 50 before calling it a night because at that point, I had been playing for more than a few hours — maybe four hours, with breaks to eat and such thrown in there.
During my run, I encountered regular Zombies, hellhounds, the new Mimic and Mangler Zombies, and “Orda” – a massive boss who pops up after round 30 or so to attack the reactors – which is a welcome change. Though I enjoyed the variety of Zombie types, especially since there are now “assault rounds” wherein hordes of Zombies rush to attack a machine, I was not a fan of how many Mimics popped up during gameplay.
Once I got past round 25, typically there would be a handful of Mimic Zombies spawning, and I usually made quick work of them thanks to “Ring of Fire” and “Brain Rot.” However, because they would appear as random objects throughout the map, hence their name, I often had to kill an additional five or six Mimics just to upgrade my gun, buy perks, fix my armor and so on.
After a point, this got really annoying, as I had to kill them all just to advance the round. Nevertheless, having new Zombie types to deal with instead of fighting the Megaton on “Die Maschine” is pretty fun, all things considered, and is one of the things I enjoyed about “Firebase Z.”
The new “Artillery” and “Napalm” scorestreaks are pretty fun as well, especially during the Assault Rounds, as they essentially turn the Zombies into paste when all is said and done. They are fairly expensive to use however, as after the first purchase during an Assault Round when they’re free, it costs a few thousand points to use again.
Another addition I like is the new Wonder Weapon: the Rai K-84 (pronounced as the “Ray-K 84”).
The Rai K-84 is a fantastic weapon, once you figure out how to use it. Initially, I used the two firing modes – the Rai K shoots superpowered bullets as well as a “grenade” of sorts – individually with moderate success. However, after combining the two modes — firing the grenade first then shooting said grenade with bullets — the Rai K became infinitely more useful to me as it decimated hordes almost instantly.
In spite of all the things I enjoyed about “Firebase Z,” my main gripe about the map is that I feel it has not been properly playtested. For example, when I had horde Zombies trained at the helipad on the main map, using a Combat Bow at the horde caused my Xbox One to hard crash, which was extremely infuriating because in that same game, I had just unlocked all the camos for my RPD.
Because the game did not track my progress, I had to get the camos back, and during an Assault Round on the new run, a “UI Error” message popped and all the medals appeared as black boxes throughout the duration of that game. Although it was not game-breaking by any means, it was still very annoying as the black box covered a decent portion of the top of my screen.
Nevertheless, I still enjoyed most of the games I played on “Firebase Z” and I welcome the new challenge it presents. Now, all that is left for me to do is beat the Easter Egg itself before I go back to grinding for camos and someday cracking the top-100,000 of all BOCW Zombies players while waiting for “Der Riese” to release again (hopefully).