Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War players finally know what can be expected from the back half of Season 5, as the roadmap for the midseason update has finally released. The upcoming Numbers event has been detailed, multiplayer will finally be getting demolition, and Judge Dredd is making his way to the in-game store. However, the Zombies content is particularly intriguing.
As has been the case with most of the other Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Seasons, Survival is taking a backseat. Outbreak is once again the star, as Season 5 Reloaded is adding a new region, world event, and game mode for Zombies’ open world experience. Survival is only getting one small addition, confirming what many fans had already assumed; Outbreak is the priority for Treyarch. As such, players should not expect it to disappear once Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War support comes to an end, as it seems destined to play a big role in Zombies’ future.
Comparing Season 5 Reloaded’s Outbreak And Survival Content
As shown in the Season 5 Reloaded roadmap, the amount of Outbreak content dwarfs the Survival additions. For starters, Outbreak is getting a whole new region in the form of Armada. This marks the first time that a single Season has provided two different regions for Outbreak, as the first half of Season 5 saw players fighting through the desert-based locale known as Collateral. With the ships being a major change from the other maps, Armada should provide a nice bit of Variety for Zombies fans.
While Treyarch is keeping details more secretive on the new world event, the Black Chest will come with a special risk attached – though the reward will apparently be worthwhile. On top of these two huge additions to Outbreak’s normal gameplay loop, a new version of the mode will be coming in Season 5 Reloaded. The Survival variant sees players unable to auto-heal, forcing them to eat food that they have scavenged to recover health. On top of this, the HUD will be limited, music will be turned off, and players will only spawn with a 1911 pistol. Overall, the mode sounds like it will be a tougher and more intense take on Outbreak.
As for Call of Duty Zombies fans that prefer Survival, only one real addition is coming this Season. The Rage Inducer can be activated in each map’s spawn room, with a single button press turning all Zombies into sprinters. This allows players to have a more difficult experience from the start, and it should be a great option for those that find the mode to be a bit too easy. This is all that is coming, however, with Season 5 Reloaded being yet another example of the increased focus on Outbreak. Season 2, Season 3, the first half of Season 4, and all of Season 5 have prioritized the open world experience over the one that started it all – and that means something.
Why Outbreak’s Consistent Support Is Such A Big Deal
For as great as Call of Duty Zombies’ Survival maps have been, there is one big limitation that they have. When each map releases, it is complete, as Treyarch fills each location with all sorts of content and easter eggs to uncover. Players search through every nook and cranny once a map launches, finding everything that has been hidden in a short amount of time. This greatly diminishes the excitement of each map, as the hype goes from absurd levels to nonexistent in a matter of days.
Battle royale games and other live service titles have been able to circumvent this issue by updating their maps constantly, adding new features on a regular basis. This keeps players hooked and excited for much longer, leading to a healthier player base. Traditional Zombies Survival cannot do this, however. Each map takes a large amount of time to craft, with Treyarch’s efforts being noticeable in maps like Mauer Der Toten. However, with Survival maps getting old shortly after release, Treyarch shifts its focus to creating a new location after each one debuts.
Outbreak, as shown by its Seasonal support, is a different beast entirely. The game mode has grown in countless ways since it was added, as it is able to be properly supported through the Seasonal format. New world events like the Orda boss fight and Fury Crystals have been added, as have two full main quests. New mechanics like the Omega helicopters, world tier skips, and extra vehicles have been introduced. Fishing came to Outbreak, as have several new regions and objectives. With even extra enemy types like the Disciple able to be added after they appear in a Survival map, Outbreak is constantly evolving and giving players a reason to fight through the Ural Mountains. With Seasonal formats working so well nowadays, the mode caters to that large audience far better than old school Survival maps do.
Why Outbreak Will Likely Return In Call of Duty: Vanguard And Future Games
While it would be a bad move to phase out Survival maps entirely, as most longtime Zombies players greatly prefer that style, there are a lot of new players who have quickly gotten hooked on Outbreak. As such, those players deserve content as well, and based on the past few Seasons, it seems like they will continue to get it. From now on, Call of Duty Zombies fans could be seeing an equal focus on Outbreak and Survival, much like what was seen in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies mode could be the first example of this dual focus.
Not only is Outbreak popular, but it allows Treyarch to directly respond to and address player feedback. If someone dislikes something in a Survival map like Firebase Z, or wants to see a feature added, it is not an option. Traditional maps cannot be updated like Outbreak can, meaning that a round-based map is essentially set in stone once it drops – meaning it is good or bad permanently. However, fans have provided plenty of Outbreak feedback, and much of it has been implemented. The food mechanics and Survival playlist are the latest example of this, as Treyarch is clearly listening to suggestions and experimenting with what Outbreak can be.
With a fan base for Outbreak now existing, and a large one at that, it is unlikely for Treyarch to abandon the mode. Instead, Outbreak will likely continue to evolve as time goes on. Original Outbreak maps could come, giving fans some play spaces that feel overrun by Zombies instead of being direct copies from multiplayer. More side activities can exist in each location, while unique playlists like Outbreak Survival could be introduced. Region-specific Outbreak quests, missions, and small easter eggs could help each location feel more focused, improving the mode further. While Outbreak is not everyone’s cup of tea, many do enjoy it, and the consistent support it has received in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War implies big things for its future appearances.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.