Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, Activision’s latest offering in the mobile zombie slaying genre, recently received an update that makes it playable, several weeks after releasing on the app store. Now that we’ve actually been able to advance past the menus and delve into the gameplay, we are reminded why we enjoyed their previous release so much.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies Pros:
- Foreboding 3D environments with lots of nooks and areas to explore
- Brooding soundtrack with clear, crisp sound effects
- Responsive controls and voice chat included
- Single player, multiplayer co-op, and Dead Ops Arcade modes
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards, achievements, and matchmaking
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies Cons:
- Only a single map at launch
- Annoying double-tap to fire controls
- Some crashing issues remain
Much like the original release of Call of Duty: World At War Zombies (the World At War has since been dropped), there is only access to a single map at this time. CODZ eventually received 3 additional maps via IAP, so there is a good chance we’ll see the same in BOZ. Thankfully, the included map is quite expansive from the get-go, forcing you to cover more ground from the start than CODZ’s 4-window room. Gameplay is familiar, requiring you to fend off wave after wave of Nazi zombies who penetrate your compound through vulnerabilities such as open windows and doors. You can plug these breach points by nailing up boards, which slows the onslaught and earns you money. You also earn money for killing zombies. This money is spent on better weapons and ammo replenishment, as the pistol and knife that you start with become woefully inadequate within the first couple of minutes. The points-of-purchase for the improved weapons are chalk outlines drawn on the walls of the abandoned movie theater. The map is more expansive than it seems, with blocked passageways that are unblocked by spending some in-game currency. You’ll eventually need the extra space as the room fills with zombies. As a bonus, you’ll discover the power box at the back of the theather. With power restored, electricity traps will be switched on and give you much needed support to vanquish the undead.
Graphically, this version is on par with CODZ, if not better. The environments are dark and gritty, as you’d expect during the zombie apocalypse. Interactive objects cause a hand symbol to appear, which can be tapped to select or use an item. When zombies that are outside of your visual range get close enough to kill you, a small ghostly icon appears to alert you to their presence so that you can react before they take you out. There is a joystick on the left to move around (at a decidedly slower pace than we’d expect given the situation), and swiping on the right will adjust your aim. Firing your weapon requires you to double-tap on the right side of the screen. We would have preferred a dedicated fire button, similar to the dedicated knife button at the screen bottom, but this scheme is manageable. There are some alternative control setups that include dual-sticks and tilt. Weapons are reloaded by tapping the weapon symbol, and swapped by swiping across the icon. You can crouch or take a prone position, as well as toss grenades or activate iron sights for greater accuracy. The soundtrack has the same brooding tones as the previous game, conveying an air of doom and mystery. Sound effects are also crisp and clear.
Replay value is very good, offering both a single player mode and a multiplayer co-op for up to 4 players, though we did experience some lag during our attempts. One of the new features is voice chat, allowing you to communicate with your teammates to coordinate attacks and call for help when necessary. An additional game mode, Dead-Ops Arcade, is made available by collecting coin fragments hidden in the menus. This mode provides a top-down dual-stick zombie shooting game where you must survive 50 waves of zombies. A wealth of power-ups and awesome weapons can be picked up all across the map. GameCenter integration allows for leaderboards and achievements, as well as the matchmaking. A universal offering at $6.99, Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies is a solid 4-Dimple escape from reality.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies Review,