Mass-energy equivalence, secret tests, crash-landing perks.
Survive in the iconic Nuketown, where the past and the future come together
Nuketown Zombies is set during the events of Moon, and after the end of the multiplayer level from the original Black Ops game. A group of radiation scientists are investigating the Nuketown remains and discover soldiers that have been revived by Element 115 from a nearby Nevada base. The zombie soldiers attack the radiation scientists and turn them, and after receiving a distress signal, the base in Nevada sends in CIA and CDC agents to investigate. Upon arrival in Nuketown the agents lose communication with Hangar 18 and become stranded…setting the stage for Nuketown Zombies.
On a week when Nuketown 2025 was announced as a pre-order bonus for Black Ops 2, it was only right that we take a look back at the story of Nuketown.
Nuketown takes place in a nuclear test site designed to simulate a typical American neighborhood. The map itself started out as an "unofficial" project for Level Designer Adam Hoggatt, who took the idea and had a working design up and running in only two days. It was quickly a favorite among the Black Ops developers.
Nuketown would ultimately play a crucial role in the development of the game, inspiring a level of creativity that would show up time and time again in Black Ops multiplayer. The map's randomly spawning mannequins and iconic end-of-match nuke sequence led to interactive features found on other maps, such as Launch's rocket liftoff and Kowloon's zip-line.
Just as it played with the developers, Nuketown became a fan-favorite in Call of Duty®: Black Ops almost immediately after the game's release. Small and simple, yet lending itself to a variety of playstyles, the map featured the type of fast-paced action that Call of Duty® fans from around the world have come to love. The numbers don't lie, Nuketown has become the most played multiplayer map in Black Ops history.
Nuketown wasn’t built in a day
Actually, it was built in two. Nuketown was a happy accident and was never officially planned. According to Dan Bunting, Vahn saw Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull one night and came in the next day saying “We need to do a map like this!” So the team looked at old nuclear test footage -- “we watched movies of towers been blown to smithereens and it was really inspiring.” The map was rapidly prototyped in two days while the creative fires were burning, and quickly became an official map. Dan said Nuketown’s evolution taught Treyarch a good lesson: “Ideas generate other ideas, and sometimes you have to let someone not do what they’re supposed to do.”
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull