Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies|
It seems those pesky zombies just won’t give up as the unrelenting undead hordes return once again in Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies. If you’ve played any of the previous zombie games then you already know what to expect. Adapted from the console FPS, Black Ops Zombies puts you in the combat boots of a solider trying to defend his position against wave after wave of zombies hungry for brains...your brains. Think of it as part FPS and part tower defense.
You basically start off in a room with a few points of entry that the zombies will be using to try and get at you. Prior to each assault wave you can run around and board-up the openings, which will only delay their arrival, but time is a precious commodity when things start to get intense. As the zombies start knocking at the door you can shoot them before they arrive at your barricade, while they are tearing it down, and even after they've breached the room you’re in and are lunging to snack on your brains!
The more zombies you kill the more credits you will earn that can be spent on new and better weapons, purchase health packs, or to unlock doors to new areas of the map with more entrances to defend and lots more zombies to kill, and hopefully new and more powerful weapons. In the end it's not about if you are going to die…just when, so survive for as long as you can to earn the high scores and compete with your friends on the leaderboards.
When the game starts you are allowed to choose from four possible characters and three difficulty levels. There is a tutorial stage to get you started then you can dive into the Kino Der Toten map, currently the only map in the game, but it is huge. Even after weeks of play I've yet to fully explore it all. Other maps are in the works and should be available soon. There is also support for 4-player co-op, both locally via Wi-Fi and even online. If you choose the latter you can take advantage of the new real-time Voice Chat feature, an invaluable tool for coordinating with other players on the best tactics for staying alive or just shouting for backup.
Perhaps the single best addition to this game, and even the franchise, is the Dead-Ops Arcade. I loved this mini-game when it was on the console and it’s just as good and surprisingly just as playable on the iPad. This top-down, twin-stick shooter allows up to four zombie slayers to explore more than 50 levels of scrolling maps, looting treasure and slaying countless zombies. With vibrant colors, fun sounds, and intense arcade gameplay, Dead-Op is a radical departure from the traditional FPS zombie game and a welcome addition to the franchise. But before you can play Dead-Ops you first have to unlock it by exploring the various game menus and tapping on hidden coins.
Visually, the game is quite striking with near console-like quality. The levels look great; the zombies are quite terrifying, especially when you have only an upper torso crawling over to bite your ankle. The lighting is realistic but the game can be quite dark which makes playing it in any sort of well-lit environment problematic. Sitting in a dark room with headphones will yield the best and most terrifying results. I also enjoyed the graphic novel style menus and load screens. Very slick.
The audio can be quite chilling with eerie moans and groans of zombies, your endless gunfire and the furious pounding of nails as you try to board up doors and windows. There is some great music that really fits with the sinister theme. Things pick up a bit with Dead-Ops where the sounds are a bit more arcade and fun, especially with all the crazy weapons and gadgets.
If you are a fan of the Call of Duty zombie games then Black Ops Zombies is a must-own addition to your iPad library, if for no other reason than Dead-Ops Arcade. I’ve easily logged twice as many hours in that mode as the main FPS game, but that will likely change when new maps start to drop. Until then…try and stay alive.