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Review

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 Zombies Chronicles Review

  • First Released Nov 5, 2015
    released
  • Reviewed May 20, 2017
  • PS4

Packs a punch.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Treyarch's Zombies is the one that started it all, and the beloved mode has evolved a lot over the years and with different Call of Duty developers. For Black Ops 3, Zombies Chronicles offers eight remastered maps from World at War through Black Ops 2 with improved graphics, audio, and Black Ops 3's Zombies features. It's a greatest hits collection with enough variety to bring in new and veteran Zombies players alike, and it makes it worth revisiting Zombies at its roots.

Chronicles has a strong foundation in its map selection--it includes smaller, more manageable maps like World at War's Nacht der Untoten alongside more complex, story-centric maps like Black Ops' Ascension. If you're new to Zombies, you can hone strategies on the simpler maps, and if you've been a fan of Treyarch's Zombies for a while, at least one of your favorites is here. There's also good variety in map structure and the strategies they each call for, from the more open Shi no Numa to the small, easily-overrun rooms of Verruckt.

These maps are now better than ever thanks to the fantastic technical improvements. Atmospheric enhancements, from eerie screeches to subtle lighting changes, supplement the more straightforward graphics upgrade, and they make the same gripping, stay-up-all-night zombies rounds you remember feel fresh and modern. The most noticeable change, especially in the heat of the moment, is the enhanced audio--the horrible death rattle of a gunned-down zombie and the unearthly howling of the Hellhounds are grating in the best way. The guttural snarls behind you feel more urgent, and that translates to greater tension even on maps you played to death the first time around.

Years-old strategies need a bit of tweaking thanks to the introduction of Black Ops 3's Zombies features, and which further help in keeping the classic maps from feeling stale. Gobblegum and its various perks, for example, are optional, but depending on what you get, you might play a map differently compared to the way you remember. The change-up works well for groups that have a mix of new and returning players, too, since it gives newcomers an opportunity to be a bit more involved in the plan instead of just following someone who's already routed the map.

The Black Ops 3 features also work for newer players on their own, particularly those who started with Treyarch's most recent game. If you don't have the nostalgia going into Chronicles, small things like Gobblegum help to modernize the older, less-involved maps without overshadowing what made them favorites to begin with.

Atmospheric enhancements make the same gripping, stay-up-all-night zombies rounds you remember feel fresh and modern.

Chronicles also includes Black Ops 3 weapons, but they make very little difference in how you strategize--they're really just there to keep the collection in line with Treyarch's latest. It is nice to pick up the Kuda early on if you spent any time at all with Black Ops 3's multiplayer and want something a bit more familiar until you can get to the Mystery Box, but you'll still end up crossing your fingers and hoping for the Ray Gun anyway. Of course, that Ray Gun is as satisfying to fire as ever--it's just disappointing that the weapon additions are mostly fluff.

Zombies Chronicles takes a good combination of maps and upgrades them with great attention to detail. Newer Zombies features keep the collection modern, but its greatest strength is in the lighting and audio upgrades, which make the Zombies experience that many fans obsessed over before feel creepier, more tense, and more exhilarating than ever.

Back To Top
The Good
Map selection works for newcomers and veterans
Enhanced audio and lighting adds tension
Small upgrades go a long way toward making old maps feel fresh
The Bad
Black Ops 3 weapons don't add much
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

About the Author

Kallie has played a lot of Zombies over the years with her younger brother and has really good Mystery Box luck. A complimentary code was provided by Activision.
38 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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AloeVera4

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Meh!

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Poidad

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Edited By Poidad

So is this a stand alone or DLC?

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ZeEzO

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And 6 months to a year down the road they'll release the maps of buried, mobb of the dead and all the others that weren't released with chronicles and sell you those remastered versions for another 40$(Canadiian) and people will buy it thus justifying anti cosumer pratices.

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Itzsfo0

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@ZeEzO: oh well

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Kuja-Hin

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I love to play the zombies mode. The black ops ones are the best ones. The main game? Not so much...

I really, really wish it was a standalone game...

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Gmixx003

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I've been playing this non stop.. been playing COD online since WaW.. stopped at BO3.. started playing zombies at BO3 never cared or tried to before.. became hooked.. I somehow still have BO3 disc.. I get to play all the old maps I never had interest in.. infinite and advanced warfare are/were garbage.. this shows the original developer Treyarch still supports their game almost 2 years later.. bo3 has basically gone from being online multiplayer to strictly a zombies game.. hopefully they release more maps that are new for Bo3.. there's now 14 maps you can play zombies on.. love it.. if you don't have any interest in zombies.. then you don't download it.. if u sold your bo3 or traded it in.. you can pick one up on eBay for prolly like 15$.. I think treyarch will support this until their next COD release next September and i think it will be heavily focused on zombies as it should.. let sledgehammer and infinity ward male the stereotypical COD games and let Treyarch go off in a different path

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doccobb

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Yea i dont see myself rebuying blops 3 to buy this on top of itall.Would totally get this if it was standalone

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kachal

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On PS4, I can not find a normal MP/Zombie match in non-DLC maps, why should I pay 30 bucks for this solo expansion? Probably even I manage to find teammates once and twice, still I can't play all the maps in co-op. The sole reason for this expansion is milking the game furthermore.

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GamerOuTLaWzz

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@kachal: I have yet to buy any of the DLCs, all Ive been playing for thepast 3 weeks are Shadows of Evil and Der Eisendrache that was include in the free DLC 1 that came with my copy of Bops3 and I NEVER have any trouble finding games for either maps.

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SuperKlyph

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Edited By SuperKlyph

@kachal: That's weird. I played the launch map a lot this week and never had any trouble finding a game.

I really don't understand your post at all. How is this a solo expansion? You absolutely can play them all in coop.

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Alex_Pilgrim

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What ever happened to L4D 3? It's been eight years since the last one and there wasn't much support given to part 2.

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BigGamerDude

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@alex_pilgrim: mate its been almost a decade since half life 2 you really think valve is gonna make left 4 dead 3 before that?

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SuperKlyph

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@alex_pilgrim: That sure would be nice.

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BonzaiBillie_99

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This game is ass. All CoD zombie modes are. Just play Left 4 Dead. That is the quintessential zombie coop experience.

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SuperKlyph

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@bonzaibillie_99: They aren't the same. Even if they were, there's room for more than one.

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darksouls

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@bonzaibillie_99: I disagree personally, I've had a lot more fun in Zombies than in any Left 4 Dead game. I have far more hours in Zombies as well. This game is bad but not the Zombies imo.

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Rikardo91

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@bonzaibillie_99: Thank you!

Finally somebody that agrees with me. L4D and L4D2 are easily the best Coop/"Competitive" zombie FPS's imo. No other game is like these which is a shame.

I still play L4D2 on Steam. :)

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Maximus909

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Edited By Maximus909

@Rikardo91: Love LFD1 & 2!! I kept my Xbox 360 for those games specifically.

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runstalker

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Edited By runstalker

@Rikardo91: For pure gunplay, great classes, and raw zombie/mutant carnage in a co-op shooter, it's hard to beat Killing Floor 2 right now.

But the Left 4 Dead campaigns still provide that layer of storyline, character, and superb level design that keeps them classy, and indeed, classics of co-op.

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BonzaiBillie_99

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@Rikardo91: me too!

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SuperKlyph

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Tranzit:-(

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m4a5

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Edited By m4a5

Sounds like fun. But as long as it's DLC and not standalone, I don't think I'll bother to throw money at it any time soon (considering how little the base game goes down in price over the years cause eff you Activision).

Just got WaW on sale for $10, so that bit of zombies will hold me over lol (over 9 years old and they still want $20 on Steam? CoD:BO's base price is still $40 and that one is over 7 years old!)

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dirthurts

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Edited By dirthurts

@m4a5: That was my original question, "is it standalone?".

Well, being it's DLC I'll not touch it. I have very little interest in the rest of the game.

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darksouls

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This DLC is awesome. Zombies is the one good thing about COD imo.

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speedfog

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Not worth it, how is this even an 8?

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BigGamerDude

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i had no idea this was even getting a review

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juiceair

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"Black Ops 3 weapons don't add much"

Could easily replace weapons with DLC in general.

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PlaystationZone

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So reviewing dlc what should come with game in first place.

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LTJohnnyRico

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@playstationzone: You're starting to get the hang of almost making sense now !! However I don't agree with you on this occasion. Personally I think DLC is ok if it provides meaningful experiences and content !

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darksouls

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@playstationzone: Lol, good one.

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BigGamerDude

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@playstationzone: What the ****? No, for once, this is actual DLC.

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darksouls

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@biggamerdude: I dont think its possible to convince this moron of anything lol.

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BigGamerDude

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Edited By BigGamerDude

@darksouls: truly. He's somehow more delusional than 7tizz

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HellnAwaffleCAR

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you know what might be interesting that would set call of duty apart from other games? if they did a game where the main focus was zombies. the campaign is zombies related (like maybe its about protecting your camp simultaneously from the zombie horde and from the competition of nearby settlements for supplies, or bandits) the multiplayer is all about using weapons and attatchments which are both scrounged from pre apocalypse (ranging from hunting rifles to swat or military weapons) and adaptations to the current crisis, kill streaks could have something to do with releasing nearby zombies onto enemies, there could be a small horde that grows every time someone dies to a zombie, and moves around the map. The zombies mode in such a game could include a siege mode of some kind, with a mix of bandits/etc. and zombies as enemies (maybe you could pit the two against each other if youre smart)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 More Info

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  • First Released Nov 5, 2015
    released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 4 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a dark, gritty future where a new breed of Black Ops Soldier emerges and the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the cutting-edge military robotics that define the future of combat.
    6.1
    Average Rating561 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
    Developed by:
    Treyarch, Beenox
    Published by:
    Activision, SCEI, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft Game Studios
    Genre(s):
    3D, Action, First-Person, Shooter
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language