We reach Black Ops 3 and the player is really thrown into the deep end with this one. Shadows of Evil brings in four new playable characters are introduced in this map, Treyarch attracted some big guns to voice this one; Ron Perlman, Heather Graham, Neal McDonough, and Jeff ‘fucking’ Goldblum! So you know this one is going to be good. Now this one starts the story afresh, as the main story line kinda got solved at the end of Black Ops II. That’s right less Richtofen and Maxis, but instead the Shadowman gets to fuck with you.
A new buildable appears in the form of the Rocket Shield, this is the Mk II Zombie Shield and is built by finding 3 parts, the Rocket Shield acts in the same manner as the Zombie Shield but is equipped with a headlight and can thrust the player forward knocking over and killing zombies in their path.
The Widow’s Wine is the new Perk-a-Cola, the Widow’s Wine is a 3-in-1, if a Zombie hits a player with the Perk then it will release a web that traps and damages nearby zombies for a short period, grenades will become Widow’s Wine Grenades and act like a Semtex (with any zombie not killed caught in a web), a knife melee will cause more damage and will slow zombies down.
GobbleGum is introduced to the series for the first time, GobbleGum is basically a customisable bonus machine, the player can choose a selection of 5 Gumballs to insert into the machine (before playing) and a random bonuses and abilities (such as longer bleed out times or invisible to zombies for a short period) is dispensed to the player. The more you play and the higher level you become the more GobbleGum perks you can obtain and the better they become.
The new enemies move away from the Zombie theme and head in a more demented The Mist meets Cthulhu direction. We start with the Parasite; a flying, glowing, spitting bug that acts as the map’s special enemy (like Hell Hounds) appearing on certain waves, they also appear randomly from Harvest pods and when the head of our next enemy is blown off. The Margwa, this is straight out of a Cloverfield nightmare, once every so often the player will be unfortunate enough (or during the Easter Eggs frequently) faced with this spikey, tentacled, three headed foe with an alternate attack that rips through shields and downs players in one. To kill the Margwa fire must be concentrated on the open mouthed head (only then will it take damage), eventually that head will explode (releasing a Parasite). However this only pisses off the Margwa, so to kill the bastard you need to remove all three heads, a Margwa heart will be dropped upon killing the first Margwa.
The last new enemy is the Insanity Element, which is basically a tentacled, screaming, glowing, exploding testicle. They act similar to the R.A.P.S killstreak in Multiplayer; they drop from the sky, roll towards the player and will blow up in close proximity to you. They will also appear alongside the Parasites after the first Special Enemy round.
New Wonder Weapons for this map are the Lil’ Arnie, Apothicon, and the Bootlegger is a nifty addition too. Lil’ Arnie is a tactical grenade in the form of an Octopus-y/Squidy-y thing in a Jar, seriously guys, why all the tentacles? It is obtained in the Mystery Box and once thrown the Squid will grow and use the tentacles to kill zombies and parasites that are attracted to it. The Apothicon is of course a tentacle looking weapon that fires a purple portal to suck up nearby zombies. It is built by collecting three parts; A Margwa Heart, found after killing the first Margwa, Xenomatter, a random drop from Parasites or Insanity Elements, and another bloody Tentacle, randomly harvested from a Pod. The Bootlegger is similar to the Sten weapon but has higher damage and faster reload speeds, however it has a low ammo capacity and a slow fire rate.
A new addition to the Pack-a-Punch is that the player can upgrade the weapon a second time and this will cause the weapon to gain one of 5 perks; Thunder Wall (random bullets will mimic the Thunder Gun effect and hit the Zombies with a air wave), Blast Furnace (a Zombie hit with this will explode and possibly chain to other zombies, causing zombie fireworks), speaking of which Fireworks (a Zombie hit with this perk will spawn a cluster of fireworks killing other zombies, causing zombie fireworks, I used that joke too early), Turned (causes affected Zombies to become allies and attack the other Zombies), Dead Wire (a shocking perk that causes electricity to chain zombies).
And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the Easter Egg. With the conclusion of the Richtofen and Maxis this Easter Egg marks the start of a new story. Will it be another epic tale or simply a one off short story? Who knows?…well I do and so does everyone else who’s completed it. It follows the The Beginning of the End achievement/trophy and is also know as Apocalypse Averted.
-To complete this there must be four players, all four rituals need to be completed and one player must have the Summoning Key.
-To collect the Summoning Key all the player needs to do is go into Beast Mode in the starting area and destroy the glowing and chained crate on the back of the Truck, go back into human form, head over to the Truck and collect the Key.
-To complete the Rituals the players will need to collect 4 items and place them (with the Summoning Key) in 4 different Ritual Room (they are set up to represent each playable character, for example the Boxer’s Ritual Room is in a boxing gym).
-The first Item is the Golden Fountain Pen, head into the main square by opening the gate from the Spawn area, then head into beast mode to turn on the crane in the centre which drops a box containing the Pen.
-For the Belt go to the Waterfront District (near the Mystery Box spawn) and, in Beast Mode, grapple up between the buildings to smash the box off a ledge.
-The Cop Badge is located in the Canal, the breakable box should be visible behind a grate on the wall, so enter beast mode and further along the Canal should be a Void opening with an electrical box inside, shock the electrical box, head back to where the grate was (it should now be open) break the box and in human form pick up the Badge.
-The Hairpiece is located in the Footlight District, grapple to the top of the Black Burlesque building, when you drop down turn around and there should be an electric box, shock that and look left, next to the Downtown sign is another grapple point, use that to move over to that building, move down the stairs at the front and hop onto the ledge with the glowing box, knock the box down, return to human form and collect the Hairpiece.
-The locations of the 4 Ritual Rooms are as follows; near where you collected the Golden Fountain Pen there is a grapple point (seen in Beast Mode) up to a set of Fire Escape Stairs, head up there and into the Ritual Room (Nero’s Lair), run through the Room and across the rooftop until you reach an electrical box shocking this will open the gate behind where the player spawns.
-Next Room is located near the Belt, head to the Docks and find a door that can be hit in Beast Mode (opening the door), this accesses the second Ritual Room (The Boxer’s Gym).
-For the third room grapple to the top of the Ruby Rabbit, once inside head to the bottom floor and shock the electrical box (opening the staircase), use the stairs and enter the Ruby Rabbit where the third Ritual Room is located.
-The final Ritual Room is located in the Black Burlesque, to open the doors you need to grapple up to the top of the Black Burlesque, after the drop turn around and shock the electrical box. To complete each ritual go to the Altar in the middle of each room and place the necessary items (the Summoning Key and one of the four collected items), this spawns ghostly Gatekeepers (just avoid them until or kill them until the ritual is complete, the more people in the room the faster the process is), once the Ritual is complete a Gateworm should now appear on the Altar, pick it up and repeat this for each Ritual Room.
-Around the map there are three Rift areas (found in Beast Mode), they are located in the Canal area, the Footlight District and the Waterfront District (I found one before I knew about the Easter Egg existed, it was followed by many screams of terror). Open up a Rift, by hitting it (naturally), and enter the portal, this takes you into a new area of the Map where several Gatekeepers spawn. At the back of the room is a wall with 5 glowing symbols on the wall, this wall will crumble (if not go over and press the action button on the wall) revealing a second, creepier room. In that room there are four pedestals to place the Gateworms (after placing each Worm a part of the room will be fixed allowing the player to wall run to the other side of the room), once all four Worms have been place the Shadowman will appear. After he rambles on for a bit he leaves and there will be a glowing portal behind him, this is the Pack-a-Punch Machine. You have also completed all the rituals, time to continue with the Easter Egg!
-Head back through the Rift Portal and head to the Train system. You will need to be very observant for this step as there are 3 different symbols hidden as you ride the Train (the location of each symbol is marked as a “?” on the Train map). Each symbol is inside a building seen through open windows. Start at the Waterfront and head towards the Footlight District, looking out the window above the Bootlegger wall-buy you should find two of the symbols (make a note of them). After it reaches the Footlight District take the Train to the Canal District and look out the opposite window (opposite the Bootlegger) to see the final symbol. The symbols are randomised for each game so it’s best to go look. Go back through the Rift into the underground section and enter Beast Mode, on the wall underneath the walkway (opposite the entrance to the Ritual Room) there should be a bricked up archway. In Beast mode 9 symbols will appear on the wall, shock the symbols and the wall should crumble revealing a shrine of 4 Eggs and Swords. Each player needs to pick up an Egg to complete the step.
-Now you need to charge the Eggs, yes that’s right charge your Egg. There are four Octopus/Cthulhu looking statues hidden in boxes that can be broken in Beast Mode. Each player must charge their Egg in each statue by placing the Egg in the statue and killing zombies (around 12 zombies per Statue). Each player can only charge their own Egg, you will know if your Egg is charged in that statue as Zombie souls will no longer fly towards the statue. The 4 statues are located in the following locations;
-In the Footlights, below the spawning perk
-In the Canal, next to the Ruby Rabbit behind some stair
-In the Waterfront, in the room next to the spawning perk
-In the Underground area, near the Egg’s Shrine
-Once you have charged your Egg in each of the Statues you can return the Egg to the Shrine and collect the Apothicon Sword, the next step is to upgrade the Swords. Each player will need to go to their own Ritual Room that corresponds with their character (the Boxer needs to go to the Boxing gym and so on), there will be a spooky ass ghost on each shrine that gives the player another Egg, the Arch-Ovum. Each player needs to collect the Egg, once done the players will need to find four large Ritual Circles around the map, found at; back of the Black Burlesque entrance, near the Ruby Rabbit entrance, at the Boxing Gym entrance, next to the Spawn area. Each player will need to charge the Egg (again) in each of the four circles, the player can only use one circle per round (all four players can use separate circles each round). To charge the Egg, the player must place it on the circle, which spawns 1-3 Margwas when the player has killed all Margwas then the Egg is charged and the player can move to another circle. Once each player has completed all Ritual Circles then they must return to their respective Ritual Rooms (same place you got the Egg) to pick up and upgraded version of the Sword. Once each player has the Keeper Sword the next step can begin
-Now time to player a messed up version of Capture the Flag. Head into Nero’s Lair (the Ritual Room nearest the Spawn area), there will be empty jars on the bookshelf, holding the action button on each will cause a book to levitate from the floor and will cause a flag to spawn in the Underground area. A player must collect the flag and return to the main map, you will now notice bolts of purple lightening /sparks on the ground, there are two of these per District (8 in total). The flag carrier must place the flag on one of the spots defend it against an infinite wave of Insanity Elements and Parasites, every now and then the Shadowman also appears to cast a spell to destroy the flag, if he takes enough damage he will disappear. After a while the flag will chime, it is done, so move it to the next spot and repeat the process, after it has been completed on the second spot of that District, take the flag back to the nearest Ritual Room and the Keeper Spirit will take the energy from it. Repeat this process for each District and place one flag in each of the Ritual Rooms, and you can only do this once per round.
-Finally you will need to take on the Shadowman. Head into the Underground Ritual Room and you will find 4 Keeper Spirits above each of the Gateworms. Each player needs to use the action button on one of the Keepers to awake them. Once the players enter this section they cannot exit the room, so be prepared as many zombies and Margwas spawn. The Shadowman will be in a shield in the centre of the room, after awaking the Keepers his shield will break (each time his shield break a Margwa spawns) concentrate all fire on him as he randomly darts and teleports around the room, eventually he will hover over the Summoning Table near the broken wall entrance, once he is over it a player will need to hold the action button next to the table in order to capture him. Be quick otherwise he will reset into the middle of the room.
-Now the Shadowman will turn into a giant Gateworm and disappear. So head back to the main map. The player will now notice they get infected (a purple/red outline will appear on your screen) to cleanse this walk into any of the white wisps around the map. One player needs to remain in human form and three need to be in Beast Mode, the players now have infinite Beast mode, the time bar now acts as a health bar, it only decreases when damage is taken. Have the three Beasts at each of the train stations, in the ceiling will be a small electrical box that when zapped turns the track blue. Each Beast will need to zap the generator box turning the track blue, the Human player will need to call the train to any of the stations. This will kill the giant Gateworm (now in the meeting point of all three tracks in the Square near the Spawn point) the three Beasts need to rush down to the Square and zap the three Gatekeepers now in the area, this will cause them to shoot a red beam into the sky, killing the large beast covering the sky. A Gatekeeper will reward you with the Summoning Key, which is taken by Richtofen who jumps out of a Portal, grabs it and goes back into the Portal. Jesus Richtofen, we just spent an entire two games on you, it’s someone else’s turn for once.
-Congratulations, you are done! All perks had at the end of the Easter Egg will be permanent for the remainder of the game, even if downed and killed.
Whilst studying the concept of multiple timelines, Richtofen comes across a force called The Apothicons, an ancient evil who can control the dead and move between dimensions using Element 115. With that being Richtofen’s overall goal from the beginning he took a keen interest in this and having formed a bond with Samantha and Eddie from the Origins timeline he seeks to protect them from the Ancient Evil.
After much digging Richtofen comes across the Kronorium. Which is a book that explains and contains information around alternate dimensions and universes, and the history of evil creatures and artifacts. But what grabs Richtofen’s attention is the mentioning of the Summoning Key, a mysterious artefact created by a group called the Keepers, which can manipulate the powers of the Aether. At this point The Shadowman comes back into play after a long period of being dormant. He poses as Mr Rapt and enlists the help of a reporter in recovering some artefacts from across the World. The reporter returns with these artefacts, including the Summoning Key. This is how the Key ends up in Morg City.
The four playable characters in Morg City are simply individuals who live in this dimension trying to defeat the Apothicon Keepers. They have each been taken into a slightly warped version of their reality by the Shadowman and tricked into performing tasks for him. The reason they can do these tasks is because each one has committed murder, with the Shadowman influencing their decisions to kill, therefore they are able to perform Apothicon rituals and return Morg city to normality. The Shadow Man is an advocate of the Apothicons, he tricks the 4 into killing someone close to them during the rituals section of the Easter Egg, which causes the giant tentacle thing to consume the sky. The Keepers are technically the good guys and call upon other Apothicon creatures to help fight, after you realise the error of your ways you join forces with the Keepers to fight the Shadowman. Once defeated the Shadowman is trapped inside the Summoning Key by the Keepers.
After all is said an done in Morg City the Keepers present the 4 characters with the Summoning Key. Richtofen, after following the Shadowman, arrives in this dimension, steals the Key and leaves, causing this dimension to be destroyed by the Apothicons.