The Dark Aether storyline may be a product of its predecessors, but in a new look at the upcoming Firebase Z map for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the Zombies team explained how this part of the Call of Duty universe will be coming into its own.
Firebase Z, the map announced last year, is set in Vietnam, and players will be able to explore two separate areas. One is, of course, the firebase where scientists and soldiers carried out experiments and mined dark aether. The other is a village where the scientists slept and did their research. Because of all the scientific equipment lying around, players will be able to interact with some things mechanically, though we’ll have to wait until the map drops to see what all is possible.
The way you played the game’s previous Die Machine mode might not translate into how you take on Firebase Z. Lead level designer Anthony Saunders described the flow and level design of Firebase Z as similar to the Moon, in that you start in the village and eventually take a teleporter over to the firebase itself. Once you arrive at the outpost, there will be a hub of sorts with different paths you can choose from to navigate the area.
New rounds called Assault Rounds have also been added to Firebase Z’s gameplay loop. Assault Rounds will ask you to hold your ground and survive, while still requiring a bit of movement and fluidity. Managing your artillery and napalm strikes for crowd control will be key. But that’s not all you’ll have to worry about while taking on the base.
The Mimic is also making its debut in Zombies. It’s an ambush-style enemy that disguises itself as ordinary objects and then pounces when a potential victim comes close enough. With multiple tentacles and a nasty set of teeth, this creature will do a number on you if you come within its range. Beware high-level items and equipment that have gone unclaimed.
Don’t worry though, the Zombies team hasn’t left you defenseless. A new gun called the RAI-K84 is also coming to the game, and packs a wallop all its own. It’s composed of AK-74 parts and experimental technology, based on a Russian prototype weapon that never actually saw the light of day.
All of this is planned to culminate in an explosive expansion to the Dark Aether story, and to let players and writers really explore the character of Samantha Maxis. To see how the next installment of the Dark Aether storyline pans out, be sure to check out the free Zombies update dropping on February 4.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.