Why I Still Can’t Get Into Call of Duty’s Zombies Mode

It all started out as just an easter egg. In Call of Duty: World at War, after one beat the campaign, there was a secret mode called Nazi Zombies, where players could defend a building from waves of zombies, accumulating cash to unlock new weapons and areas. Eventually, this mode expanded with new maps and new features, and was overhauled in Call of Duty: Black Ops. Despite the immense popularity of the Nazi Zombies mode, I was never really drawn in by it, and rarely had fun playing it.

When I heard about the much deeper, more fleshed-out (no pun intended) zombies mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, I got very excited. The Tranzit game mode, which involved moving from area to area, building gadgets to try and beat the zombies seemed like it would be much more fun than the other zombies modes, which often felt very aimless, without purpose. I was particularly excited by Tranzit because it promised some more plot development in this wholly undeveloped world that developer Treyarch has slowly created over the years.

Unfortunately, even the very interesting new modes in Black Ops 2 failed to interest me. Since this mode has so much critical appeal, I wondered if I am not seeing something, or there is something about me as a gamer that does not mesh with this game type. Ultimately, it is most likely the latter. Even in Tranzit, there is no real ending, just some very unsatisfying easter eggs and this lack of closure made me lose interest. Hopefully, with the release of more zombies maps for Black Ops 2, there will be more and better plot development.

I usually enjoy games that have a resolution; their endings confirm to me that playing the game was not a waste of my time by providing closure with ample plot development. With a couple notable exceptions (the Civilization games, Burnout: Paradise, and a couple others), I only play games that have a set ending and do not provide a world so open, or a mode so simple, that I feel lacking in things to do. And this, to me, is where Call of Duty’s zombies mode fails. Killing zombies is fun, but the game gets repetitive very quickly. The only motivation to keep playing the game is that if one keeps killing zombies, they will get weapons and power-ups that make it easier to kill said zombies.

This circular progression may appeal to many people (and it obviously does) whether they realize it or not, but to me, when I play a game of Zombies, I truly feel like I am both literally and figuratively going in circles, or in other words, nowhere.

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  1. hse

    Call of Duty: Black Ops is a fantastic action adventure game that is perfectly designed to create the huge fan following it has accumulated.

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