Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies Chronicles Review
When it comes to remastered games, my expectations have changed over the years. I used to be satisfied with a simple fresh coat of paint. Heading down memory lane in HD glory was enough for me at the time. Well, not anymore. I need more than updated visuals. I want to see audio improvements, better AI and perhaps some new gameplay mechanics. I want it all! Games have come a long way over the years and what was great back in the day might be nearly unplayable today. That is precisely what makes Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies Chronicles a satisfying remaster – it is more than just a repackaged high def game.
Granted, Zombies Chronicles does come in at a rather hefty price tag. For $29.99 you get 8 maps that have all been enhanced with new visuals, improved audio and some new gameplay mechanics. The maps are taken from 3 previous Call of Duty games. From Call of Duty: World at War we get Nacht der Untoten (Abandoned Bunker), Verruckt (Wittenau Sanitorium) and Shi No Numa (Jungle Swamp). From Call of Duty: Black Ops we get Kino Der Toten (Theater of the Dead), Ascension (Soviet Cosmodrome), Shangri-la (Exotic Jungle Shrine) and Moon (Lunar Base). Finally, from Call of Duty: Black Ops II we get Origins (WWI France). When you consider Zombie Chronicles is half the price of a full Call of Duty game that usually consists of a full single player mode, 10 plus multiplayer maps out of the box and usually a couple of zombie maps, Zombies Chronicles price point seems a tad high.
“There is no question the most noticeable eye popping difference with these maps is the enhanced visuals.”
There is no denying I love Call of Duty’s Zombie mode but I have no problem telling everyone I suck at it. If I am playing by myself I never seem to last more than 5 or 6 rounds and when playing with others I often feel like they get frustrated with how bad I am. Yet, it doesn’t stop me from playing and it was one of the reasons why I was really looking forward to this collection.
There is no question the most noticeable eye popping difference with these maps is the enhanced visuals. All 8 maps look stunning and the detail is incredible. It has been quite some time since I played World at War and the original Black Ops game but the maps nevertheless look amazing. Everything from the character models to the maps themselves, all aspects of the levels look and feel completely new. Sure, there is a general familiarity with the layout but to me it all felt fresh, vibrant and new. Treyarch has gone on record that they had to rebuild certain aspects of the maps and it certainly shows.
The audio is another aspect I found to be remarkably improved and enhanced this time around. The simple sounds of hammering those planks against the walls sounded so much better. There is plenty of ear candy to go around as it sounds like there is so much more going on. From zombies groans in the background to the creeks on the floors to the ruffles in the bushes, Zombie Chronicles is a rock solid audio experience.
Gameplay wise, the biggest difference you’ll notice is the improved AI. The zombies seem much more responsive and ferocious, just as they do with the modern COD zombie games. It makes for a dynamic and unpredictable experience. Hardcore zombie fans should also like the fact that the fan favorite GobbleGums are included in the maps. Some of the zombie purists may scoff at the inclusion but personally, I like it as it adds new wrinkles to the mix. Also, in addition to some of the original weapons, Treyach has introduced some new ones which is a nice touch.
It seems odd we are seeing a “Best of Call of Duty Zombies” collection for a Call of Duty game that came out two years ago. Perhaps the franchise needed a boost in sales or perhaps Treyarch just wanted to assemble a greatest hits collection for young and old fans alike. Whatever the case may be Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies Chronicles is an impressive, albeit expensive, zombies package. This is more than just a new splash of paint. It’s a compilation of some of the great maps that makes the mode so popular today.
***A PS4 review code was provided by the publisher***
- A nice HD walk down memory lane
- Excellent audio
- Nice new gameplay enhancements
- The cost
- Only 8 maps
- Mainly for the hardcore fans