Call Of Duty Zombies has appeared in every Treyarch entry since World At War, and for a side mode, it gained a ton of popularity over the years. The mode has its own long and intricate story underneath the single round-based survival gameplay.
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The story is heavily driven by the characters we play as, of which are given the name of a "crew." Each crew consists of four characters that we play as on certain maps. Many of these crews are beloved for a variety of reasons, but others would be better if they just never spoke a word, like the original Nacht Der Untoten marines.
The newest crew introduced, Requiem is the name of the strike team featured in Black Ops Cold War. Rather than having a dedicated four characters for the mode, Cold War has us playing as the Operators available in the game.
While it's nice to have more freedom to who we're playing as, the trade-off is that the characters don't have much personality outside of generic lines. The only characters with any personality are the agents on the intercom, andeven then a lot of them are rather bland and generic.
Victis (also sometimes referred to as the "TranZit Crew") is one of the worst crews the series has seen. All of the characters are incredibly annoying, and it's hard to find anything fun about them.
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It doesn't help that they've been put on some of the worst maps in the series, making it even harder to find incentive to find something good about them. They don't have much depth either and are mostly just pawns for the grander overarching story. The characters have no chemistry with each other, including the two that are supposed to be in a relationship.
The Dead Of The Night Crew doesn't have an official name, and frankly, there's little reason for it to. The characters on the map aren't necessarily bad, but there's just nothing memorable about them.
It's telling when the only line most people remember from the map is "My dearest Scarlet" which was spoken by a character you don't even interact with. Since the Dead Of The Night Crew is a one-off one, they don't have any room to grow into a proper crew. The map isn't exactly beloved either, making it harder to enjoy the characters it has to offer.
The Chaos storyline was the new story that Black Ops 4 introduced, though only had three maps to its name. The story wasn't very well-received, and many preferred seeing more Aether maps instead. As such, the Chaos crew doesn't get much love.
The biggest issue with the Chaos crew is that a lot of the characters feel more of the same. None of them feel too fresh and feel more like retrains of previous characters we've already seen. The characters are likable enough, though not to the same scale as other crews in the series.
Call Of The Dead was the first time the Zombies mode utilized a celebrity cast to act as a "guest crew." In Call Of The Dead, the celebrities played themselves with Danny Trejo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michael Rooker, and Robert Englund acting as the crew,and George Romero playing the boss zombie of the map.
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It's a great decision too. The Call Of The Dead crew is an absolute delight. Since they're playing themselves, they make fun references to various pieces they worked on, and have a surprising amount of chemistry despite the broad range the four provide.
Another celebrity cast, albeit only in voice, Shadows Of Evil while poorly received on its launch, has become one of the most popular maps ever. Thanks to the story of the map and the celebrity talent, it makes for an incredibly memorable crew despite only appearing on one map.
While the crew doesn't interact with each other too much, the Shadows Of Evil crew all stand out fantastically on their own. Every character is corrupt in some way and plays fantastically into the story. Not to mention it's hard to not enjoy Jeff Goldblum (voice of Nero) while killing the zombie horde.
The Five crew is probably one of the most unique ones, consisting of John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro, and Robert McNamara. The cast of Five is what brings the map together. It's such an unorthodox concept and cast that it's hard not to enjoy their banter while fighting through the undead in the Pentagon.
Each character stands out on their own, and bounce off of each other fantastically. There are so many memorable lines from the Zombies mode that stem from Five, such as the always classic line "Sounds like someone's breaking in!"
The original Zombies crew, Ultimis was the first time we had characters with personality introduced on Shi No Numa, making their exit in Tag Der Toten after being away for Black Ops 2 and 3. Ultimis is when Zombies started to find its identity and bolstered the mode up to new heights.
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The characters all fit into archetypes, and all bounced off each other incredibly well. The banter of Ultimis is what drove them to the heights they reached in terms of Zombies crews. They drove the first act of the overall Aether story and helped lay the groundwork for what Zombies would become.
Mob Of The Dead to many is what saved Black Ops 2's Zombies mode, and the mode all together after the flops of the previous maps. A part of the reason is just how well written the Mobsters you play as were. They were all voiced by famous celebrities in the gangster genre, and it shows with how well their performance is.
Mob Of The Dead plays out like a true mobster movie, and that's what makes the characters so good. They're not friends, but co-workers who are all after the same goal. They work together because they need to, and it helps drive the narrative to such incredible heights that they all have a lasting impact despite only having one major appearance.
Introduced in the finale of Black Ops 2's Origins, the Primis crew was when Zombies became what it is. It was a soft reboot to the story, giving it, and the characters much more depth than their Ultimis days. Primis gave the characters we already knew and love a lot more personality, and it let Zombies reach new heights.
The biggest notes Primis hit is when each character has to kill their Ultimis counterparts during Black Ops 3. No longer were the characters one dimension but fun, but they felt like full-fledged characters with conflicting feelings throughout their journey. They were complicated, and it let the Aether storyline conclude with the grand impact it deserved.
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Johnny Garcia is a long time gamer and writer based in sunny California. Having worked many odd jobs, including article writing, he is now a list writer for TheGamer.com. Having grown up around video games and being raised on them, his knowledge of video games is as high as it can be. Aside from video games, he also has an avid interest in trading card games, namely Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gathering.
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero