Treyarch’s Zombies – A Brief History [VIDEO]

During the third Black Ops 3 Friday live stream, Treyarch premiered a short video that goes into the history of the zombies mode.

Since first debuting Zombies as an Easter Egg unlock in Call of Duty: World at War, Zombies has become an unmistakeable part of Treyarch’s DNA. Let’s take a walk down memory lane…



‘Apocalypse’ DLC announced for Black Ops 2, available August 26th


Press release

“Apocalypse is Treyarch’s grand finale to Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” said Treyarch Studio Head, Mark Lamia. “It is the perfect culmination of our efforts, and fan feedback, with two all-new multiplayer maps for players to experience for the first time, and two fully reimagined fan-favorite multiplayer maps from past games – and Origins, our most epic Zombies experience to date. Apocalypse is a DLC pack that our fans will never forget.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops II Apocalypse delivers four diverse multiplayer maps:

  • Pod: A failed utopian community from the 70′s has left stacks of dilapidated residential pods nestled into an abandoned cliff side in Taiwan. Its residents long gone, the modernist compound now hosts frenetic combat as players must run atop the pods, as well as navigate their multi-tiered interiors for a strategic edge.
  • Frost: Fresh snow meets explosive gunpowder in this snow-capped European city, where the bridge over a frozen canal separates it into two sides, requiring players to employ multi-level traversal strategies to outsmart and ultimately outshoot their enemies.
  • Takeoff: Fans of “Stadium” from the original Call of Duty®: Black Ops First Strike DLC will find themselves at home on “Takeoff.” Marooned in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this remote launch site is all about close-quarters combat, combining tight corners with open spaces for intense encounters.
  • Dig: An adaptation of the fan-favorite “Courtyard” from Call of Duty®: World at War, where two archeological dig sites in Afghanistan become the perfect playground for combatants eager for hectic, unceasing confrontations. Treyarch, has retained the spirit of “Courtyard” with two major chokepoints, a wide open layout and raised platforms, but has provided fans with a fresh take on the multitude of paths.

In addition to the four maps, Apocalypse also reveals Origins, the most horrifying and imaginative Zombies experience to date. Players will be deployed to Dieselpunk-stylized World War I-era France where they will encounter the return of the four original heroes from the very first Zombies map, Tank, Nikolai, Takeo, and Rictofen, as well as hordes of zombies that have overrun trenches and fields, as well as the ruins of a mysterious and ancient location.

Unleashed after the Germans unearthed the mysterious “Element 115,” this next chapter in the Zombies legacy will explore the saga’s origins as players reunite with an unlikely band of soldiers that come together to defeat the greatest evil the world has ever seen, using a period-specific arsenal that includes Wonder Weapons that harness supernatural powers, a diesel-drone and Mark IV tank, as well a new perk machine and power-ups – and that’s just the start. Players will need all the help they can get to succeed in defeating the undead, as well as evading an unprecedented 1,000-foot tall robot abomination. In this stylized undead adventure, they’ll need every advantage if they have any hope of surviving one of Treyarch’s deepest Zombies experiences to date.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II Apocalypse will be available first, exclusively on Xbox Live for the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft for 1200 Microsoft Points on August 27, with other platforms to follow. Players who have already purchased the Season Pass can download Apocalypse as soon as it becomes available.

Black Ops 2 developer received death threats over weapon changes


Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 design director David Vonderhaar is receiving death threats over the game’s latest update, which tweaks the firing rate of several weapons in multiplayer mode, according to a post from Activision’s Dan Amrich on One of Swords.

The title update’s patch notes state three weapons have been tweaked slightly — the damage for the AN-94 assault rifle has been reduced and two other snipers have had their rate of fire slowed. The alterations were made to better balance the game, but according to Amrich and tweets from Vonderhaar, players have reacted violently.

Amrich explained weapons are changed and balanced over time well after a game’s launch, and that the violent reaction to these changes is a detriment to the entire gaming community.

“Vahn often gets told he should die in a fire or kill himself or is a horrible person,” he continued. “If anybody thinks for a second that this is okay, it is not. But if the loudest voices in the Call of Duty ‘community’ act like an angry mob instead, guess how the entire world views Call of Duty? Now consider that these Internet Tough Guy rants and demands are not unique to COD, but exist everywhere, in many gaming communities. This is why the world often does not take gaming seriously; this is why gamers are assumed to be immature, whiny assholes. Because the immature, whiny assholes are louder.”

Amrich stated this behavior is uncalled for, and that if players find problems with the game there are more constructive ways to approach developers.

“When you make a mistake — because you do, we all do — or someone finds something wrong with something that you created, whether it be a meal or driving instructions or even a blog post, how would you prefer to find out that there is an issue?” he wrote. “Would you like someone to just say ‘hey, I noticed this and I think it’s not quite right; are you seeing what I see?’ Or would you react better to having someone scream in your face that since your mother didn’t have an abortion, you should commit suicide instead?

“If you enjoy your games, have a little respect for the people who make them — and stop threatening them with bodily harm every time they do their job.”

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Vengeance DLC available August 1st on PS3/PC

Black Ops 2 Vengeance DLC pack will launch on PS3/PC on August 1st.

This pack brings 4 new MP maps, a new zombies map, and new Ray Gun Mark II.

  • Cove: The stage is set for all-out conflict on this small, forgotten island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, with players battling it out amongst the wreckage of a jet that crash-landed during a smuggling operation gone wrong.
  • Detour: A destroyed suspension bridge, high above an East Coast waterway, packed with scattered vehicles, exposed iron and collapsed pavement where the head-to-head action will play out on multiple levels.
  • Rush: Get ready for fast, close-quarters engagements in this paintball course turned full-combat arena, giving players new opportunities and challenges to use the cover to their advantage.
  • Uplink: In this re-imagined adaptation of the fan-favorite multiplayer map “Summit” from the original Call of Duty®: Black Ops, players clash deep in the rain-soaked jungles of Myanmar, high atop a hi-tech mountain facility.

Treyarch continues to expand the Zombies story world in imaginative, mind-tripping ways with “Buried.” Once players meet up with the four survivors of Tranzit, they’ll begin to encounter the undead residents of an abandoned underground Old West mining town. A healthy arsenal of equipment and weapons will be at players’ disposal, but with one very special addition – something so powerful it will also appear in all other Call of Duty: Black Ops II Zombies maps (with the purchase of Vengeance DLC) – the Ray Gun Mark II.

Vengeance is the third map pack for Black Ops II. The pack will cost $14.99 or it’ll be free if you are a Season Pass owner. You can watch gameplay from the maps on our YouTube channel.

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Activision: Call of Duty Has ‘Never Been Stronger’


It’s hard to get much bigger than Call of Duty. The most recent installment, Call of Duty: Black Ops II made $1 billion in 15 days and topped U.S. sales charts for 2012, continuing to appear at #2 even six months after its release.

While each installment continues to sell more than the lifetime sales of some entire franchises, Call of Duty will soon face something it hasn’t had to worry about in years: a console transition. As Xbox One and PlayStation 4 quickly approach, IGN spoke with Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg about whether or not he’s concerned about the megafranchise making the transition.

“All I can tell you is that the franchise has never been stronger,” Hirshberg told IGN. “At this moment in time, we have more people playing every month, more people logging on to play every day, a better digital business with people playing longer into the cycle of each product and purchasing more DLC and purchasing micro-DLC and purchasing season passes. Those are all the hard measures. How is the content we’re making selling? Are people enjoying it? That seems to be going well. Then you look at the softer measures, just in terms of social media engagement and video views. Anticipation is high for Ghosts. When you’re building off such a strong foundation of engaged players, that’s usually a pretty good sign.”

It all comes down to us making a great game every time out, and I’m confident that we are going to deliver something special with Ghosts.

“Now, at the end of the day, it all comes down to us making another great game,” Hirshberg continued. “That’s why we set the stage for greatness with Ghosts by wiping the slate clean creatively, not doing another Modern Warfare game with Infinity Ward, allowing them to create an entirely new narrative and cast of characters. We’ve changed to a world where America is not the dominant force, but an underdog. That opened up new visual opportunities. It opened up new gameplay opportunities. We’re shaking things up. Multiplayer is going to have new ideas. Dynamic maps are something we’re doing. Character customization is something we’re doing. The story mode is going to be…I don’t know if you’ve seen what we [showed at E3], but it’s gorgeous. It’s emotional. It’s got a different kind of tonality and feeling to it. It all comes down to us making a great game every time out, and I’m confident that we are going to deliver something special with Ghosts.”

Hirshberg also addressed the growing popularity of Call of Duty and how it’s even attracted Hollywood talent to work on the franchise. In addition to The Dark Knight writer David Goyer assisting on Black Ops II, Traffic writer Stephen Gaghan penned the script for Call of Duty: Ghosts.

“Steven Gaghan is writing the script with us. I’m excited about it,” Hirshberg said. “We’re reaching a point of maturity as an industry where a lot of the top Hollywood talent are gamers. They grew up playing games, the same way we did. They have a natural interest in it just as consumers. The other thing is that people look at where the entertainment audience is migrating and where people are spending the majority of their time and money. It’s an exciting industry to be involved in from that standpoint as well.”

“I still feel like we have a long way to go as an industry as far as developing the storytelling medium,” he continued. “It’s a gameplay medium first and foremost, and it should be. These are games. They’re interactive experiences. The creative process always starts with that – what would be a fun thing to do? But the level of immersion and the level of connection you can have with the characters, the level of interest we can generate in the storylines, I think can always be improved. I think Steve Gaghan, so far he’s knocking it out of the park for us.”

Call of Duty: Ghosts will hit stores on November 5th. For more, read our impressions from E3.

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Treyarch discusses the ‘Ray Gun Mark II’

ray-gunray-gun has just posted a Q&A with Treyarch’s Zombies Design Lead, Jimmy Zielinsk. Check out what he has to say about the new Ray Gun Mark II that’s arriving on the Vengeance DLC July 2nd.

About the Ray Gun Mark II:

It’s a re-imagining of the original Ray Gun with new functionality. We looked at what the original Ray Gun did, which was an explosive projectile weapon. We decided to make a real laser beam gun that goes through everything, and that’s what we did.

The original Ray Gun would shoot a projectile and make an impact at that place and explode. The Mark II is actually a laser beam, or bolt, that does a triple burst and fires down range through walls or zombies. If the wall’s not too thick like cement, it’s going to pass through – and effectively hit – as many zombies as you have lined up. It’s in the box and you have a chance to pull it. It’s also been added to all the previous Call of Duty: Black Ops II Zombies maps.


The final design of the Mark II:

The original designer of the art for the first Ray Gun, Max Porter, also made this design. It still bears his name. We just kind of talked about it and he just went away and did the art.

It’s cobbled together with parts of the original Ray Gun, plus some new bits. It’s an original creation that really harkens back to the old design, and it can be Pack-A-Punched just like the other weapons.


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