Black Ops II''s Zombies Is Amazing... And It's Killing Me

Don't try to solo the extraordinary Zombies mode in the new Call of Duty. You won't last long.

The new zombies mode should probably be its own game and is definitely designed for co-op. I learned this after wrapping up the campaign and trying to play the new TranZit part of Zombies on my own. Possible, but also impossible!

Zombies in Black Ops II continues the story from the Rezurrection zombie-mode expansion to the first Black Ops. We begin in a wrecked small town in the middle of America. We're not soldiers, just survivors. The TranZit mode lets us take a tour through this town (and maybe beyond? I don't know). You start in a bus station and immediately have to shoot zombies. Every shot earns you points that you can spend, as before, on unlocking weapons and items that you'll be able to use during your run. You lose everything if you die.

You start TranZit with just a pistol and very little ammo. You're weak. The zombies are coming through the windows. Things are bad. You can board up the windows, earning some points in the process, but those boards won't hold.

From outside, you will hear the honk of a bus horn.

In the twisted world of Zombies, you had to pay in-game points to open doors, but in Tranzit you can also build stuff. One makeshift contraption will open doors for nothing. You should make it. You should grab a mannequin, a fan, and an item from a pay phone. They're all in the bus station. Craft them on the workbench and you get a device you can deploy near doors. It literally blows them open.

Smart survivors scramble to any idling nearby vehicles. That bus will do. It's driven by an automaton and seems, like the rest of Zombies mode, like something out of Fallout. Shut the bus doors and the driver will get a move on. Slowly, you'll drive to the next area. Zombies enjoy bus rides, too, so out the back window you'll see a few zombies that are on fire. They're running after the bus. Recommendation: shoot them. Others will climb on top of the bus or even jump inside.

The next stop was foggy. I'm not sure what was there. Eventually I reached a diner, maybe after another bus ride? My memory blurs.

I noticed that the bus is upgradeable. I added a ladder to it so I could ride on its roof. I'm hoping I can put some guns on this local.

The zombies come in waves. Each wave is tougher, which is why you really, really should be playing this with other people. The diner hid more items I could use for crafting, but I died before I could use them.

I'm very eager to play more of this.

TranZit is a quest, really. It has goals. The first is to turn on the power. I didn't manage to do that. The folks at Gamefront did, so please watch their video here for a tip about that.

And that's not all... TranZit is just one part of Zombies. There are many standalone maps that can be played as four gamers against zombie waves or as four gamers against four other gamers against zombie waves.

I did try to solo the small town map in Survival mode. I lasted six waves, hiding in the pool hall, shotgunning a bottlenecked bunch of zombies in the bank. I used some revive power-ups to keep death from being a Game Over. I didn't have enough.

It was tough.

It is remarkable that this whole Zombies thing is tucked into a Black Ops II disc that is already stuffed with an ambitious, albeit short, campaign and a whole heap of competitive multiplayer content. Lots of bang for your buck.

Just don't play it alone.