Today we are taking a look at Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombie Chronicles, the latest and final DLC for the popular shooter. Throughout this review, we are going to be touching upon a few key points, primarily the content on offer and the value of what is offered as it aligns with the price tag. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Zombie Chronicles wraps up the planned DLC for the 2015 iteration of Call of Duty, Black Ops III. Upon starting up the game, it’s immediately evident that the add-on content includes a ton of in-game bonuses. This fifth piece of DLC includes 20 Vials of Liquid Divinium, two all-new Whimsical GobbleGums, and exclusive Zombies Pack-a-Punch weapon camos. Those who pre-ordered on PS4 were also treated to a Dynamic Theme.
I will be the first to say that I was late to the party with Black Ops III and the original zombies maps it included. Needless to say, there was some ground to be gained on understanding the power-packed bubblegum, vials and Newton’s Cookbook. The core revolves around crafting in-game “gum” that acts like a perk to aid advancement to higher rounds. The boost from bonuses provided with the DLC helps ease into the mechanics.
Diving into the meat of the content, new additions include maps from previous Treyarch entries. Nacht der Untoten, Verruckt, and Shi No Numa from Call of Duty: World at War have made a return with visual updates. These three original maps are classics. From Call of Duty: Black Ops, we get a personal favorite, Kino Der Toten. Other standout classics like Ascension, Shangri-la, and Moon are also present. Lastly, Call of Duty: Black Ops II‘s Origins finishes off the list. To see all of the aforementioned maps remastered with the inclusion of new perks, upgradable weapons, and an overall polish packs a heavy, nostalgic punch. It’s surprising how the vibe of everything can be noticeably altered through enhanced audio, sharper graphics, and infinitely better lighting. The Black Ops III weapons that carried over are a pleasant surprise, too, even if they are kind of an afterthought.
Something that might not be talked about much with this new DLC is how the game physically feels to play. This isn’t in reference to frame rate or graphical fidelity. Those aspects are exceptional. This pertains to the controller upgrade, specifically on the PS4. The controller on the PS3 in comparison to the PS4 had less girth and is, in my opinion, so much less ergonomic. While trying to run high rounds or complete the easter eggs in Zombie Chronicles, the controller upgrade alone provided a world of difference in terms of overall experience. This may be an unusual point to make, and I can’t attest to the difference with the Xbox One controller, but it was a prominent enough shift in how the gameplay felt that it seemed worth mentioning.
The price of this package isn’t terrible. You are looking at a $29.99 entry price that grants access to 8 maps. This may not be the greatest experience created for the zombies mode to date, but it is well worth the price of admission if you miss playing the older maps. I’d like to point out that owners of the Xbox One might feel a little different when it comes to Zombie Chronicles. With Microsoft’s system sporting backwards compatibility, paying full price for a rerun of existing maps might not be the preferred course of action for some. There are those that may find an equal amount of joy from simply dusting off their Xbox 360 copies. Obviously this will come down to personal preference.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombie Chronicles is a polished product and that much is clear upon diving into the game. Updated perks, crisper content, and new servers all come together to flesh out the final DLC. One of the only complaints I can manage is that Zombie Chronicles would make an excellent standalone experience. However, that’s just wishful thinking. Overall, this tried and true mode is as addictive as ever and it is sure to hold the attention of players as they reminisce of Call of Duty moments of days past.
This DLC is a must-have for anyone with an interest in fighting the undead, whether you are a long-time fan of Nazi Zombies or a newcomer. Zombie Chronicles breaths new life into the undead-filled survival mode for which Call of Duty has been know for years. Everything is as you remember it, only far prettier and with a sense of tighter controls. Do yourself a favor and check out the end of an era before Call of Duty: WWII drastically changes up the formula.
8.5 GobbleGums Out Of 10
Release Date: May 16th, 2017 (PS4) / June 15th, 2017 (PC, Xbox One)
Available Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Disclosure: Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombie Chronicles Was Provided By The Publisher For Coverage Purposes