If you’ve played any of Treyarch’s Zombies modes, you’re familiar with Dempsey, Nikolai, Takeo, and Richtofen, characters that garnered in-depth backstories over a span of four Treyarch developed Call of Duty titles. But the four characters of Infinite Warfare are nothing more than bad stereotypes with equally bad one-liners. They have names I never bother to remember, and unless Infinity Ward continues to add depth to the characters, I may never actually care about any of them.


“Shaolin Shuffle” at least shows they’re trying. Infinity Ward has added character bios so you can learn more about them; I’ve yet to unlock these bios, but there’s a Trophy listed as such: “Book Worm: In Shaolin Shuffle, find and collect all bios for AJ, Andre, Poindexter, and Sally.” I hope there’s some good stuff in there: I’ve had a ton of fun playing Infinity Ward’s Zombies so far, but I’m a sucker for a good story. Give me some mystery, more puzzles to solve with friends, and characters who are more than Breakfast Club stereotypes.

Another complaint about the first two maps was the lack of complex Easter eggs. Again, Treyarch set the bar high with each of its Zombies maps, each of which contained a series of complex steps to find hidden pieces of the adventure, which often tied into the next chapters in the story.


But with Infinite Warfare, reaching the “Zombies in Spaceland” alien boss fight was pretty easy if you worked fast enough, and “Rave in the Redwoods” took the community only around six hours to solve. Some of Treyarch’s secrets took the combined power of the Internet, working in tandem, as long as five days to figure out. Personally, I can still feel the defeat of getting to the final step of one of its puzzles just to screw it up and lose several hours of my life.

Some hope: As of this writing, Shaolin Shuffle’s main Easter egg has not been solved. Even obtaining the sought-after Pack-a-Punch machine that lets you upgrade your weapons requires more time and steps than previously seen in the last two Zombies maps.


Did Infinity Ward amp up the complexity to appease the highly critical Zombies community? This certainly feels like a more Treyarch-ish Zombies experience dropped into the wacky, fun Infinite Warfare environment, and a good sign for future developments.

S.E. Doster (@sedoster) is an author, artist, and competitive Call of Duty fanatic who enjoys quoting Buffy the Vampire Slayer.