Call of Duty’s mid-season “Reloaded” update has arrived for Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, bringing Sylvester Stallone’s iconic John Rambo as an operator and some much-needed Zombies content and weapon tuning.
Rambo isn’t alone—Season Three’s ‘80s action theme also includes the introduction of John McClane from Die Hard. (I believe the proper response to this is, “Yippee-Ki-Yay.”) If you want to play Call of Duty as one of these two classic heroes, you’ll need to purchase them from the Black Ops Cold War or Warzone in-game shop. Each character comes with nine other thematic items and costs $20 each.
However, you can enjoy the rest of the ‘80s festivities without any extra buy-in. There’s the ‘80s Action Heroes event, which includes objective challenges across both Black Ops Cold War and Warzone. These unlock cosmetic rewards like weapon charms and calling cards. If you complete all nine Black Ops Cold War challenges, you get a tactical rifle blueprint, while completing all nine Warzone challenges earns you a sniper rifle weapon blueprint. This works pretty similarly to the Hunt For Adler event that launched at the start of Season Three.
This event also brings a Die Hard-themed map location to Warzone’s Verdansk ‘84 map. Players can now battle it out at Die Hard’s Nakatomi Plaza, which can be found in Verdansk’s Downtown location. The building boasts five floors of playable space that is modeled after the famous location from the original Die Hard.
The Nakatomi Plaza location also adds more optional missions in Warzone, which can be completed during your match for extra rewards. These missions include tasks like scavenging supplies from the tower, defusing C4 on the tower’s roof, and interrupting an arms deal.
Nakatomi Plaza is definitely the main point of interest added with the event, but there are smaller map changes as well. Small campsites areas can be found around Verdansk as “Survival Camp” locations, paying homage to Rambo: First Blood Part II. One of Verdansk’s aircraft hangars has also been converted to a CIA outpost.
The update also brings new maps and modes to Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer. The classic “Standoff” map from Black Ops 2 arrived today, which is a fan favorite 6v6 map. “Duga” is a new large-scale map set in the Ural Mountains, but players will likely already be familiar with this location from the Zombies Outbreak mode.
Season Three’s Reloaded also adds a new Fireteam mode for Cold War’s large-scale matches. “Multi-Team Elimination” pits 10 squads of four against each other, and there are expanding radiation zones to avoid. Respawns are limited, and squads need to scavenge for weapons and armor. The last squad standing or the first squad to board the exfil chopper in the final safe zone wins the match. This sounds much like Warzone, but on a smaller scale than the Verdansk map. However, at the time of writing this, the Multi-Team Elimination is still not available to try; Treyarch quickly disabled the mode after launch to investigate some issues.
And there’s the new Die Hardpoint, which is like a mashup of Cranked mode with the objective-based Hardpoint. In Die Hardpoint mode, you want to capture the “Hardpoint” locations to gain points for your team, and eliminating multiple enemies in the same life will earn you up to five powerful buffs. But much like Cranked mode, you get a 30 second countdown once you get your first kill for each life. When it hits zero, you explode.
Capturing a Hardpoint grants a movement speed boost, and it also sets your timer to 30 seconds. Go on kill sprees to earn up to four additional buffs, including improved weapon handling, aim down sight speed, slide speed, and a larger explosion upon death. Your timer extends with eliminations and Hardpoint captures, and it stays paused while on your team’s Hardpoint. The first team to reach 200 points, or the most points before time expires, wins. This is a pretty chaotic objective mode with all the players exploding and the constant sound of booms. I really don’t play a lot of Hardpoint, but I love Cranked and the chaos the mode creates, so I’m kind of digging Die Hardpoint.
While I’m excited for this ‘80s themed event for multiplayer and Warzone, I’m even more excited that Zombies finally got some much-needed attention. Treyarch presented the large-scale Outbreak mode for Season Two (instead of a standard Zombies survival map), but afterwards the mode as a whole felt stale throughout much of last season. Today’s update brings several reasons to jump back into Cold War’s Zombies.
Black Ops Cold War’s DLC weapons are now available to obtain from Zombies’ mystery boxes and as rewards from the Trials feature. There’s also a major weapon tuning pass to make the entire weapon pool more powerful and viable for later rounds. Most weapons received significant buffs to their critical damage multipliers, and many weapons got additional adjustments to their upgraded “Pack-a-Punched” versions, such as changes to damage and stock ammo count. This means you actually have choices for weapons instead of just having to rely on overpowered shotguns or wonder weapons to get the job done.
The main Easter egg quest for Outbreak has been unlocked, so players can now unravel the secrets within the large-scale Zombies experience. Treyarch also revealed that the events of Outbreak’s Easter egg will continue the Cold War Zombies “Dark Aether” narrative and set up the story for Season 4’s upcoming map.
Also, fishing is now a thing, because even in the zombie apocalypse it’s important to take some downtime. A fishing feature has been added to Outbreak mode, which lets you find a fishing rod and attempt to reel in some goods. Fishing is pretty simple and straightforward: Just look for bodies of water on the different maps, and you’ll find dead fishermen with a fishing pole. The poles only get three uses each before disappearing. I only tried this in the lower rounds, which may have determined the quality of my catches, but I only got small items like Essence (points currency), common salvage, and a cruise missile scorestreak.
Overall, Season Three is still hitting marks missed by the previous seasons within Black Ops Cold War. It’s great to see map changes and events for Warzone, and Zombies really needed today’s update to pull players back in. I hope this momentum carries over into Season Four, which should arrive some time in June.