Hands-on with Call of Duty: Black Ops III 'Zombies Chronicles' for Xbox One

"Zombies Chronicles" is coming soon to Call of Duty: Black Ops III, bringing eight remastered Zombies maps to Xbox One. We played a couple of the remastered maps to bring you this detailed preview.

Zombies Chronicles

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombie Chronicles Nacht der Untoten

The upcoming Zombies Chronicles downloadable content (DLC) adds the following Zombies maps to Call of Duty: Black Ops III:

  • Nacht der Untoten (World at War).
  • Verrückt (World at War).
  • Shi No Numa (World at War).
  • Kino Der Toten (Black Ops).
  • Ascension (Black Ops).
  • Shangri-la (Black Ops).
  • Moon (Black Ops).
  • Origins (Black Ops II).

Additionally, players who buy the $29.99 DLC will receive the following items for Zombies mode:

  • 20 Vials of Liquid Divinium.
  • 2 All-New Whimsical GobbleGums.
  • Exclusive Zombies Pack-A-Punch Weapon Camo.

Nacht der Untoten – Night of the Undead

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombie Chronicles Nacht der Untoten

Also known as Abandoned Bunker, Nacht was the very first Zombies map. The cooperative Zombies mode originally existed as a simple Easter egg in Treyarch's Call of Duty: World at War in 2008. It went on to appear (sans swastikas) in the mobile game Call of Duty: Zombies and the original Black Ops. Now it returns with fully-remastered HD visuals in Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

Nacht is a much simpler map than modern Zombies levels. There is no winning here, just surviving as long as possible while trying to earn high scores. Given that the Zombies maps in Infinite Warfare are a little too complex for their own good, it's refreshing to go back to basics with Nacht.

Your team of up to four players starts out on the ground floor of the bunker, which has five points of entry for zombies. Early on, the team will want to keep a close watch on all five entrances and board them up whenever they take damage.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombie Chronicles Nacht der Untoten

Eventually, you'll need to branch out a bit. Nacht has two additional areas that can be unlocked by spending points earned from entry repairs and zombie kills. The first is the Help Room, which leads to a cave that can be barricaded. Or you can head to the Upstairs Room, which contains four windows and two areas designed for sniping at zombies on the ground.

Two of the cooler elements of Nacht der Untoten are the barrels and the ray gun. Outside of the bunker, several explosive barrels dot the ground. These can be shot to destroy multiple zombies at once, just as you'd expect. Explosive barrels don't pop up in future Zombie modes, so they're a blast from the past.

Along the same lines, the powerful sci-fi ray gun can be won from Mystery Boxes in this map. Mystery Boxes always provide a random weapon for a sizable points donation. If you get the ray gun, you basically have it made for a while. It fires in bursts of three and can one-hit kill midgame zombies with ease.

Kino Der Toten – Theater of the Dead

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Kino Der Toten

Only two years after World at War, Treyarch returned to the franchise with Call of Duty: Black Ops. Despite the relatively small period between releases, Kino is a major leap forward from Nacht in terms of scale and complexity. It also made its way to the mobile Zombies game, but otherwise hasn't reappeared in a Call of Duty game until now.

One of the most obvious improvements over Nacht and the original Zombies mode is that players know control named characters with distinct personalities and voice samples. These include Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, Takeo Masaki and Edward Richtofen.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Kino Der Toten

I played as Nikolai and enjoyed his dapper can-do Russian attitude, which makes even repetitive activities like boarding up windows entertaining. Note that you play as these four in all eight Zombies Chronicles maps, but they don't speak in the pre-Black Ops maps.

As for Kino itself, the main attraction is a vast movie theater besieged by the undead. The projector has several different films that can be displayed while players fight. The stage itself holds a teleporter that players can use to visit the projector room and several random locations. Other locations include the second floor, a dressing room, and an alley.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Kino Der Toten

Kino introduces several new enemies, such as crawler zombies that resemble demons and crawl down walls to descend upon players, and hellhounds, flaming zombie dogs that explode upon death. These definitely add to the tension and excitement when they teleport into the theater every few waves.

Despite the huge map and numerous optional objectives and interactive features, Kino doesn't have a win condition. The goal is still to survive as long as possible and earn a high score.

Coming soon to Black Ops III

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Kino Der Toten

If the new versions of Nacht der Untoten and Kino Der Toten are anything to go by, Zombies Chronicles is going to be a must-buy for Call of Duty Zombies fans. Both maps look just as good as the rest of Black Ops III, with high resolution textures and lots of detail. As a whole, this DLC will provide a great history lesson on the evolution of Zombies mode and plenty of challenging zombie killing.

Zombies Chronicles will be the fifth and final DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops III. It's already out on PlayStation 4 (due to that pesky marketing agreement between Activision and Sony) and will come to Xbox One sometime soon – probably late June. Zombie Chronicles will sell for $29.99. We'll have more impressions when it arrives!

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!