The Ray Gun is one of CoD's most iconic wonder weapons, but where did it come from and how has it changed for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?
Zombies are back in Call of Duty:Black Ops Cold War, continuing a tradition of the Treyarch sub-franchise dating all the way back to Call of Duty: World at War. The survival mode has been one of the series most popular features, and one of the highlights of the studios run with the games. However, its not just iconic undead enemies that fans see return.
The Ray Gun is one of the Call of Dutys most iconic wonder weapons, appearing in every chapter of Treyarchs Aether storyline so far. With Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War continuing the timeline and making some new changes to the long-running weapon, heres the strange history of Ray Gun in the Treyarch Call of Duty games and how it's directly related to the creation of the zombies themselves.
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Although the events of the Call of Duty zombie games take place in their own timeline, that timeline is relatively consistent and has some unique aspects of its backstory. In the story, the origins of the Ray Gun on Earth can be traced back to Doctor Ludvig Maxis, a doctor who formed a research group known as Group 935. Maxis formed the group after discovering Element 115 also known as Moscovium or Divinium in 1931.
The discovery of Element 115 led to extreme advances in military technology spearheaded by Maxis, and would eventually lead to the creation of the zombies themselves when the group began experimenting with reviving the dead. By 1939, two members of the group named Richtofen and Schuster had successfully teleported a walnut. As Group 935 began to attract more and more interest from the Nazi Party, thepair began to work without Maxis' knowledge.In an experiment gone wrong, Richtofen accidentally teleported himself to the moon, where he discovered the Moon Pyramid Device and had his personality altered by a being known as the Shadowman, aninhuman creature corrupted by the Dark Aether.
The Ray Gun was invented by Maxis in 1942 using the discoveries of Group 935. That same year, the research group also helped create and deploy dragons. Maxis would later be betrayed by Richtofen and teleported to a realm known as the Crazy Place. From there, Maxis was able to merge his soul with technology and command his daughter to kill the remaining scientists in Group 935.
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The original Ray Gun was first introduced in Call of Duty: World at War, and quickly became a fan-favorite for the new game mode. The Ray Gun wasable to kill zombies in a single shot until itwas down to its last 4 charges, though the shots themselveswere slower than some of the other guns in the game. Not only did the Ray Gun have one-shot kill, but the original Ray Gun caused splash damage which could take down multiple enemies at once, though players were also at risk of being downed by it.
The real downside of the Ray Gun, however, came in its final 4 shots 18 to 22 for the original or 22 to 25 if the Pack-a-Punch machine had been used. In these final shots the deadliness of the Ray Gun was reduced dramatically, turning most zombies it hit into crawlers which still needed finishing off. Players could also find the Ray Gun in the campaign, as a CoD Easter egg in Little Resistance, the second mission in World at War. If found, it can destroy a tank in just two shots.
The Ray Gun returned in Black Ops. Though it remained one of the best weapons in the game for killing zombies, this was balanced out in part by the fact that each Ray Gun only gained the player 50 points, making it one of the worst weapons in the game for point farming. It was in this game that players could find the documents pointing to the Ray Guns creation by Dr. Ludvig Maxis, which also revealed that it was based on a design originally stolen from Imperial Japan. This document also revealed the exact source of the Ray Guns Power Element 115 combined with cold fusion tech.
The Ray Gun would return in Black Ops 2 with reduced player splash damage and a higher chance of being found in a random box than in previous games. Though the Ray Gun would receive some visual changes in Black Ops 3, it stuck close to this design aside from the charges being loaded one by one. Black Ops 4 would continue this trend, making the reloading animation slower than before as another penalty.
When Russian troops got ahold of some of the Group 935 technology during the German invasion in World War 2, they were able to create zombies and weapons of their own. This included new CoD zombie types like the Russian Mangler Soldier seen in Black Ops 3, but also the GKZ-45 Mk3 wonder weapon, which was a dual-wield weapon introduced in Black Ops 3 and formed of two weapons, the GKZ-45 and the Ray Gun Mark 3. The Ray Gun Mark 3 had a few changes from earlier designs, shooting more precise rays which did not hurt zombies or fellow players with splash damage. Like other version of the Ray Gun, the Mark 3s biggest limitation would come in its final few shots.
Now,the Ray Gun is back in Black Ops Cold War, and is even more dangerous than in previous games. TheRay Gun can now be upgraded until it holds over 40 charges using Pack-a-Punch level 3, and still kills zombies in just one shot up for those first 40. The Ray Gun is one of the most powerful weapons in zombies and among the strangest weapons in the Treyarch zombies story, and many fansre glad to see it return packing an even nastier punch than it did when it first appeared in World at War in 2008.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold Waris available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
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