Call of Duty’s Zombies mode has become a bigger and bigger part of the mega-hit franchise - ever since it debuted as a one-off idea in World at War. With Black Ops III, the unique mode is given the biggest treatment it has ever received. So much so, it probably won't be long before there is a standalone Call of Duty zombies installment all its own - maybe even in space.
The zombie part of Black Ops III is so special because it is more than just a glorified survival game mode on a specific map. It was branded as a third substantial experience alongside the single player campaign and competitive multiplayer. The zombies mode now has its own storyline, stand-out characters, and is also receiving its own add-on content as part of the game’s season pass - the latest of which, has received a trailer and release date.
DLC pack "Eclipse" will include four new multiplayer maps — Verge, Rift, Spire, and Knockout — as well as Zetsubou No Shima, which is Treyarch’s newest chapter in the Black Ops III zombies adventure. Following the events of Der Eisendrache, the Origins heroes find themselves stranded on a remote Pacific island, home to a secret biological research lab experimenting with Element 115. Players will face new terrifying enemies, devastating traps, and classic Zombies side quests to enhance the Origins narrative. From the trailer, it looks like Eclipse will offer more of the same high-octane action that comes with holding off hordes of the undead. The footage seems to show deadly plants as a new kind of enemy, possibly created using the facility’s biological weapons. There is a couple of moments in which the player looks able to use the environment to their advantage, as zombies are sucked into an air vent and sliced apart with a fallen plane’s propeller.
As far as the multiplayer maps are concerned, each appears set to offer a new challenge. Spire is set on a futuristic sub-orbital airport terminal high in the clouds. Knockout puts players in the middle of The Shaolin Temple and will feature fights in both close quarter combat and mid-range engagement. There’s also Rift, where gamers will go to the core of a futuristic military complex facility placed above an active volcano. Don’t be surprised if environmental dangers could change the tide of a deathmatch in that one. To cap it off, Verge is a reimagining of a Call of Duty: World At War map (Banzai) and drops players into the center of a post-apocalyptic future.
This is the second DLC pack for Black Ops III with another two expected to be released in the future. Both Eclipse and Awakening before it has offered a bunch of multiplayer maps along with a new chapter in the zombies experience, so fans will expect that to continue. Hopefully, though, there will be a new game mode thrown in one of the remaining two packs to keep things fresh.
Eclipse will be available first on PlayStation 4 from April 19 and is included as part of the game’s season pass.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC. There is also a version of the game on PS3 and Xbox 360 that only features the multiplayer component.