Thanks to Activision and Treyarch’s policy of providing free content updates post launch, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is due to receive its next Zombies mode expansion come July 15th. Bringing a swath of changes, updates, and new things to play around with, here are the top 5 things you need to know about the COD Zombies Mauer Der Toten expansion.
5. Name Significance
Translated over from German into English, “Mauer Der Toten” literally means Wall of the Dead. Keeping the naming tradition from previous COD Zombies maps (Nicht Der Untoten, Kino Der Toten), Mauer Der Toten takes players and their operators to a security checkpoint in East Berlin near the infamous Berlin Wall, hence the name Mauer Der Toten.
Following the Zombies’ Dark Aether storyline from previous maps – Die Maschine and Firebase Z, the Requiem Strike Team has been kidnapped by Black Ops story antagonist Colonel Lev Kravchenko. Probably being caught after exfil-ing, given that Requiem’s ever-reliable helicopter pilot, Raptor-1 is kneeling alongside the operators. Bloodied, bruised, and worse-for-wear, Raptor-1’s safety and by extension, all of Berlin, is now in the players’ hands.
Kravchenko proposes a deal to the Requiem operators ordering them to dismantle the zombie threat plaguing Berlin and take out the Soviet traitor responsible for the incident, Aleksandra Valentina. This is most likely due to the Requiem Strike Team’s renown for fighting against the supernatural and otherworldly. If not, then poor old Raptor-1 will be bled dry, leaving everyone with an exfil pilot to escape with.
Players will have to survive against the horde within dilapidated buildings, along rain-soaked central plazas, and the cramped, claustrophobic subway if they want a chance of getting out of this onslaught alive.
There’s a lot of key details we still do not yet know, like the conclave of zombie officers floating in the middle of Berlin, the new skull-faced special enemy, and how exactly they play into the story or game. However, this is the first map in the Dark Aether story to take place in a non-military-based civilian setting, which is bound to throw in a curveball or two regarding how the map will play out.
4. Arrival of Mule Kick
Perks are a necessity in the COD Zombies mode. The perk overhaul and revamp in Black Ops Cold War gave every Perk-a-Cola in-game an immense boost in utility, giving every perk five tiers of upgrades via aetherium shards and crystals, exponentially increasing their strength and usefulness with each successive upgrade.
As such, the blessed rival of the Perk-a-Cola Mule Kick cannot be overstated. For those unaware, Mule Kick expands a user’s weapon inventory by a whole new slot, letting them take a total of three Pack-a-Punched weapons to dish out death and destruction against the undead menace. It will become a great boon in any player’s arsenal.
The update posted by Treyarch on its website informed readers that Mule Kick will allow players to equip up to three weapons at its first most basic tier, with no need for prior investment of aetherium. This bodes incredibly well for the overall strength and utility this perk might have in the coming update.
Tiers 1-3 are pretty standard upgrades to all Perk-a-Colas, like improved mobility or health in Stamin-Up and Juggernog respectively. However, Tier 4-5 upgrades are when things get really fun and bonkers. Though it’ll be reigned in by the restrictions and virtues of game balance, Mule Kick and its subsequent upgrades will most likely be incredibly strong and perhaps even a game-changer as the round counter continues to climb higher and higher.
3. Overall COD Zombies Nerf
As the Zombies game mode operates on a set of never-ending sequences of continuous rounds, the strength of zombie enemies must be accounted for to prevent rounds and the game as a whole from becoming stagnant and stale. Though the introduction of new special infected and enemy types like armored zombies, plaguehounds, and Megaton certainly liven things up and challenge players, they cannot deny that later and higher rounds essentially become bullet sponge hell.
Zombies and all enemy types become ridiculously tough, due to their health multipliers, armor, and whatnot, requiring players to play a delicate, dangerous, and bloody balancing act of managing points, staying alive, and staying well stocked with ammunition and equipment. Pack-a-Punched weapon ammunition doesn’t come cheap and a simple misstep could be the difference of lost armor or a lost run. It’s still a great deal of fun but the mode certainly does slow down at higher rounds.
The Mauer Der Toten update seeks to remedy those bullet sponge slog rounds by decreasing the overall health caps of zombies in all categories, normal and special. Treyarch provided a neat rundown of how much each category would be nerfed, with the regular fodder zombies having the biggest health cutdown, going from a 300% health boost to 100% instead during later rounds.
This health nerf, combined with the next point on this list, will ensure that rounds will proceed quicker and easier, provided the players play well enough, netting everyone involved some very much needed post-round loot and EXP.
2. Weapon and Equipment Buffs
With the way maps and weapons were designed in Cold War’s Zombies mode, there aren’t a whole ton of viable strategies players can perfectly utilize as they climb through the rounds, unlike previous iterations of COD Zombies. Holding down a chokepoint and raining a hellstorm of bullets down a narrow passageway at the horde of the undead is certainly one possible strat but map dimensions on Die Maschine and Firebase Z make this difficult to pull off without utmost squad cohesion, proper communication, and a well-stocked arsenal of the best weapons.
Many weapons and equipment, outside of the fabled “wunder weapons”, fall off immensely at later rounds, making use for certain weapons and entire categories invalid. LMGs for one slow down players that try to run around, making their use very niche. Snipers have high damage but are held back by mediocre ammo reserves and sluggish mobility. Time spent looking down the scope is better spent on backpedaling and firing point-blank.
As such, running and gunning with shotguns (provided players don’t have Wunder weapons) has become a widely used tactic that works most of the time, pigeonholing players into a“damned if you do, damned if you don’t” loop as the rounds progress. There’s no room for experimentation when there’s hardly any room to run for cover.
The Mauer Der Toten update will breathe new life into certain weapons, equipment, and field upgrades so that they don’t feel obsolete at higher rounds and players can play however they like without feeling forced into a specific playstyle. These buffs include proper damage scaling for field upgrades, boosted Pack-a-Punch multipliers for melee weapons, overall sniper class weaponry buffs across the board, and more.
The more ways there are to play and approach zombies, the better.
1. New Weapons and Allies
The trailer released by Treyarch for COD Zombies showcased some new toys players will be able to get their hands on come July 15th. Among them, the two that stood out the most were the new Wunder Weapon, the lengthily named Conversion-Ready Binary Repeater-Standard (CRBR-S), and a new potential ally, Klaus.
As detailed in the trailer and in the weapon’s blueprint, the CRBR-S is a fully automatic handgun that fires lethal energy blasts at the enemy, but the same could be said for nearly any other Wunder Weapon in-game. What sets the CRBR-S apart from its brethren is its ability to provide altered forms of use, coming in the forms of a handgun, a multi-barreled hand cannon, a shotgun-looking variant, and a long-rifle firing mode. The latter two have only made appearances via the blueprint. These variants seem to revolve around the “companion sphere” module in the gun, changing in color depending on which mode of fire is being used.
Klaus on the other hand is not a weapon the players wields. Instead, he is the always smiling test dummy, once seen at the upgrade station, now brought to life and ready to blast apart some undead corpses. With a menacing mein, a scribbled-on mustache, and a cheerful voice, he takes to the battlefield to fight alongside the Requiem operators. According to his blueprint, he is capable of taking on the undead at both close and range but incapable of understanding human fragility, lashing out with verbal jabs if provoked. Players would do well to have this robotic companion at their side. Just don’t try to shake his hand or give him a hug. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.