Turned is a new multiplayer game mode that is accessible from the Zombies menu. It’s an unusual twist on the Gun Game, with both cooperative and competitive elements. All four players start out as zombies, which are realized as fast-moving melee-only fighters. The initial goal for all players is to be the first one to find the Cure. That player immediately transforms into a human, at which point it’s on the other, still zombified players to hunt the human down. The zombie that manages to kill the human immediately re-spawns as the human.
Gun Game comes into play for the human characters, swapping out to a new gun with each successful zombie kill. The sequence resets with every spawn too, so it’s always back to whatever the starting gun is each time you go from human to zombie and back to human again. Humans and zombies both can grab various pickups, many of which are pulled from, or are similar to, the same pickups found in Zombies’ survival modes.
Zombie players are very limited in what they can do, but their absurd movement speed – which ramps up significantly when they sprint – makes them hard targets to hit. They can also see the human as an infrared outline at all times, even through obstacles. Players need to work together, relying on their superior numbers to overwhelm the lone human. Especially since the human is vulnerable when in the middle of a weapon swap. Turned matches are exclusive to the Diner map that shipped with Black Ops 2, so it’s a good idea to get a sense of how that space is laid out.
Zombies: Die Rise
Finally, we come to Die Rise. This sprawling Zombies survival map has much more in common with the latter-day DLC maps of Black Ops than it does with Tranzit. Up to four players work their way through three neighboring skyscrapers, all of which are falling apart after a cataclysmic event wiped out most of the life on Earth. This is the most vertical Zombies map yet, with many shortcuts offering quick access from the top levels of each building to the lower levels. There are also various bits of rubble jutting out that offer points for jumping across the span between each building.
The wall weapons selection has been remixed quite a bit, and while you’ll still see familiar items like the M14 and the AK-74u, you’ll also come across a bunch of new ones. The Galvaknuckles return after their Tranzit debut. The burst-fire B23R pistol also returns from Tranzit. Joining these are: the PDW-57 SMG, a bullet-rich option that can be found close to the map’s starting point; the SVU-AS, a sniper rifle located in a room adjacent to the PDW; the AN-94, an assault rifle located at the bottom-most level of one of the buildings. The easiest access is from an open elevator shaft with a series of platforms that you can jump down to.
Die Rise brings back the expected assortment of perks, including Mule Kick from the Black Ops Moon map. There’s also a brand-new perk called Who’s Who, available for 2,000 points. The perk activates once you’re downed by a zombie or a fall, with a ghostly version of yourself spawning immediately. This other you is effectively a regular player; you can shoot zombies, take damage, revive other players, and – most importantly – revive yourself. Your ghostly self is on a timer, and you will die off for good shortly after your original body expires. Once you’re revived, either by your ghost self or another player, you come back with all weapons and perks that you had before you went down, except for Who’s Who, which has to be repurchased.
Die Rise seems to be built for high round play. An abundance of weapons available in close proximity to the starting point means it’s a worthwhile strategy to set up shop for the first four or five rounds as you accumulate points, after which you’re better prepared to explore the rest of the map. From the starting room, pay to open the double doors and then follow the hallway past the elevators to a blocked escalator. Pay to unlock that, and go downstairs to find the PDW on a nearby wall. Facing the PDW, there’s another door to your left that leads to the SVU.
Turning the power on activates all of the elevators, which serve as homes for the randomly placed perk machines. In a lovely twist, there’s no trick to unlocking Pack-A-Punch in Die Rise; it’s simply one of the machines stashed away in the elevators. You can ride in the elevators, but you can also ride on top of them. Just always be aware of what’s above you. If a bell starts to ring, get off of the elevator immediately, as you’re about to be crushed. There are keys that can be collected like any other part; using one at an elevator callbox will bring that elevator to you immediately. The elevators otherwise move of their own accord, following a set routine.Your best early round camping location is to the right of the PDW, in the corner by a window. Simply face the door leading to the SVU and beat the hordes back with your bullets, refilling your PDW whenever necessary. Have someone watch the window behind you and the escalator area, but most of the zombies should be coming from the hallway leading to the SVU door if you’re positioned correctly. Once you’re comfortable with your point total, have everyone go back to the starting spawn room and pile into the rickety, open freight elevator and start jumping in place. The elevator will crash down to a lower floor a few seconds later, leaving your crew only a short distance away from the power room.
Keep an eye out for new buildables as well. The Steam Trample requires four parts, all of which can be found in and around the starting room. The workbench is one floor below; you can get there quickly by turning right at the PDW, walking past the SVU door, and carefully dropping off the ledge in front of you to the level below (the B23R is also found down there). You can then easily take one of the two elevators nearby back up for more parts. The Steam Trample is basically a launchpad that you can place anywhere – both players and zombies can use it, so strategize accordingly.
The other key buildable in Die Rise is the Sliquifier, our new Wonder Weapon. The four pieces and the workbench are all in close proximity to one another, in the same building as the power room. The cobbled-together weapon shoots out purple blobs of goo that kill zombies quickly while also “infecting” other nearby zombies (leading to chain reaction multi-kills). These goo balls also slick up the ground near their point of impact for 10-15 seconds; walk into one and you’ll slide across it quickly. Zombies, on the other hand, are temporarily immobilized as they try to maintain their footing.
The Sliquifier becomes available in the Mystery Box after it’s been built, though it can’t be Pack-A-Punched. This may or may not be a glitch, but all four players can grab a Sliquifier at the same time if it’s timed right. Gather everyone around the workbench as the last piece is placed and press X when the prompt appears (move closer to the bench if it doesn’t) to grab the gun.
Finally, we come to the easter egg. Each new Zombies map brings a sprawling easter egg that offers a little something extra on top of the general survival goal. It’s always a community effort, and the full path (two paths, really) remains unsolved at the moment. The SVU-AS sniper rifle is significant, as is the new Who’s Who perk. Take note of the two dragon statues by the door leading out of the main spawn and the fact that they seem to be holding an item that isn’t there. Also take note of the larger dragon statues on the rooftop near the radio tower. You’ll find parts up there for a navcard bench just like the one from Tranzit. Pay careful attention to the floor and the tops of the elevators; look for golden symbols.
If you want to keep up with the progress of the easter egg efforts, check out the forums at CallofDuty.com, CallofDutyZombies.com, Se7enSins.com, or any number of other fansites. Even better, get involved and offer to help solve the puzzle. Just make sure you have a working headset and a tolerance for people telling you what to do. Also be sure to listen to the in-game voiceovers from Maxis and Richtofen; those bits of dialogue offer the most telling hints for each step in the puzzle.