The Haunting Returns
January 15, 2021
January 15th is upon us once again, and we’ve got plenty to celebrate with the Zombies community!
For those unfamiliar, January 15th (or “115 Day”) is a special time when we take a moment to share a preview of what’s to come in Zombies, showcase some of our favorite creations from the community, and throw in a little 2XP to top it all off.
This year, we decided to kick off the festivities a little earlier than usual with the launch of our first-ever Zombies Free Access Week, new Cranked mode, the addition of Onslaught Raid, and support for the new Wakizashi sword in Zombies. But that wasn’t all.
Yesterday, we revealed the title and release date for the next chapter in the Dark Aether story. “Firebase Z” will arrive on February 4th during Season One, free for all Black Ops Cold War players.
Today, we’re excited to debut the official logo and new narrative details for our next Zombies map.
In less than three weeks, “Firebase Z” will introduce Zombies fans to an all-new location set in the jungles of Vietnam, along with new characters, new enemies, new gameplay mechanics, and much more. And, in keeping with Zombies tradition, a badass new Wonder Weapon awaits.
Now – without spoiling too much – let’s get into the story so far.
Dimensional breaches continue to open around the world. As both Omega and Requiem work in the shadows to ensure the secrecy of their discoveries, the greater public remains blissfully unaware of this deadly new arms race between East and West.
As the two sides continue to study the Dark Aether dimension and the Aetherium Crystals found within, each strives for an advantage over the other in the ongoing Cold War. The bad news? Requiem has fallen behind.
Omega Group’s newest research outpost represents their resounding successes in harnessing Dark Aether technology for their own gains. Equipped with an on-site dimensional gateway, they’ve acquired the ability to send soldiers and other “conscripts” into the Dark Aether to harvest Aetherium Crystals straight from the source.
As a result, Omega Group’s scientific breakthroughs in the last several months have far surpassed anything Requiem could have imagined.
With the destruction of the “Projekt Endstation” anomaly site in their wake, Grigori Weaver and the agents of Requiem turn their attention to a far greater threat: a new Dark Aether outbreak site in Southeast Asia.
After learning Agent Maxis has been captured by Omega Group, Weaver deploys Requiem’s strike team to infiltrate the facility where she’s reportedly being held: Outpost 25.
Against all odds, Requiem forces will infiltrate the outpost to rendezvous with an Omega Group informant, save Samantha Maxis, and above all else, survive the new horrors that await them in this abandoned research facility.
In the coming weeks, we’ll have more “Firebase Z” story details, new intel reveals, and the official gameplay trailer to share in the lead-up to launch. In the meantime, let’s dive into the additional content coming to Zombies as Season One continues.
As we may have not-so-subtly hinted on New Year’s Eve, we’re bringing a seventh Perk to Black Ops Cold War Zombies alongside the launch of “Firebase Z”: Tombstone Soda.
“But Treyarch,” you ask, “what’s so new about Tombstone?” Thanks for asking. Great question.
When deciding on the next Perk to introduce to Zombies, the design team reviewed the full history of every Perk and ability from the past that centered around death, and ultimately rolled them into an incredibly useful Perk for Black Ops Cold War. Tombstone Soda is all about manipulating and cheating the consequences of death, and you’ll need it against the forces waiting for you in Vietnam.
Unlike its first incarnation in Black Ops II, the new-and-improved Tombstone Soda will now transform the player into a shadow within the Dark Aether after being downed. In this shadow form, you’ll be equipped with weapons to help give you a fighting chance to revive yourself. However, if your health is reduced to zero while in shadow form, you’re dead.
Fortunately, Tombstone’s benefits only get better from there. Each Perk comes with its own set of upgradeable Skills in Black Ops Cold War, and this one’s no different. By investing Aetherium Crystals into your Tombstone Perk Skill, you’ll unlock the following upgrades:
You’ll be able to grab a can from the Tombstone Perk machine in “Firebase Z,” and you’ll also find it in the Der Wunderfizz machine in “Die Maschine” on Feb. 4th. When in doubt, just remember those timeless jingle lyrics: Rest in pieces, down for the count...
February 4th will also bring two new Support Scorestreaks to call in against the undead: the devastating Artillery and always-satisfying Napalm Strike. When the action gets a little too hot, head over to the Crafting Table and turn the heat even higher.
Ahh, we love the smell of crispy zombies in the morning.
And of course, a new Zombies map means new in-game Intel. Keep an eye out for new audio logs, documents, radio communications, Dark Aether dispatches, and artifacts hidden throughout “Firebase Z” starting on Feb. 4th. You never know what you might find.
Friendly reminder: if you haven’t discovered 100% of the in-game Intel hidden within “Die Maschine” and Onslaught yet, now’s the time to complete your collection before the story continues!
In addition to the new Intel waiting for PlayStation zombie-killers in Raid this week, Black Ops II’s Express is also coming to Onslaught (and Multiplayer!) later this season, along with new rewards and more Intel to discover.
The arrival of “Firebase Z” will also introduce new enemy types into the mix on every Onslaught map in the same update. We’d tell you what (or who?) they are, but then we’re getting into spoiler territory. Nice try.
As part of our 115 Day celebration, we’re kicking off the weekend with extended Double Weapon XP in Black Ops Cold War through 10AM PT Tuesday, Jan. 19th!
Whether you’re playing “Die Maschine,” Cranked, or Onslaught this weekend, now’s the time to jump in and level up your weapons twice as fast in Zombies. And in case you’ve got some friends who’ve always wanted to try Zombies for free and also want to get in on 2WXP...
For the first time ever, Zombies is available to play for free during Zombies Free Access Week!
Grab your friends and take on the terrors of “Die Maschine” and the new Cranked mode for free through Jan. 21. To start playing, simply search for “Zombies Free Access” on your platform’s store, download, and enjoy.
There’s no community on the planet (or in any other dimension, for that matter) quite like Zombies fans, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We’ve been blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of some of your latest creations, and we’re excited to share the spotlight with some of our recent favorites:
Plaguehound by Retconner
“Fire Sale!” by Youngtof1
Samantha Maxis by Erbian_Babaliu
Russell Adler by Mira
Samantha Maxis cosplay by UltimusAly
That’s a wrap on this year’s 115 Day! From everyone here at Treyarch, we’d like to give a huge shout-out to every single fan who’s come along with us on this crazy journey we call Zombies. Whether you’ve been with us since the mode’s humble beginnings as a post-credits secret in World at War, or “Die Maschine” is your first undead rodeo, we’re honored to have you in the community.
Before we go, we’ll leave you with this: what we’ve talked about today is just a glimpse of what’s planned for Zombies in 2021. If you think you know what to expect in Season Two... think again.