This week saw the glorious return of Nuketown to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. A patch for Black Ops 4 from Treyarch – which I had a hell of a time downloading and installing due to its size – was pushed out to PlayStation 4 consoles on Tuesday, Nov. 13. As I previously suggested with Nuketown’s announcement, Treyarch did, in fact, update the servers to include a purely Nuketown playlist. I’ve pretty much lived in this playlist for the majority of the week.
Fans of the Black Ops series are all too familiar with the popular map. Although, previously its aesthetic was akin to a United States Cold War-era nuclear test site. Now, it has been revamped with the flip side of that historical arms race with Soviet-themed décor. Despite the change in appearance, the map still maintains the same exact layout as before with a cul-de-sac featuring two homes on opposite sides and a couple vehicles in the middle. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Adding the new design, however, freshens up the map a bit after several previous releases.
So, what exactly can you play on the Nuketown playlist? Team Deathmatch (TDM), Kill Confirmed, Domination, and Hardpoint are all in the rotation. Because of this map’s close quarters, the action is much more rapid and chaotic. Obviously, it is this characteristic that lends itself to the map’s appeal with fans.
If you’re fresh-faced and wide-eyed to the world of Call of Duty or even just the Black Ops series with Black Ops 4, then Nuketown isn’t something you’ll be familiar with. If you intend to give the Nuketown playlist a go, then there are a few things you should know to help you tip the scales in your favor.
Skilled Call of Duty players will exploit all angles of this map, from the open windows in the houses to the gaps between vehicles in the center of the map. Usually, treading through the center of the map is a death sentence unless you know how to handle yourself. Therefore, many players tend to hug the borders of the left and right sides of the map as they assault the opposing side, causing more confrontation in those areas as well. However, there are more defensive options on the sides of the map, versus having to watch your tail from all directions in the center. The best way to play this map is with defensive tactics. Because of its close-quarters nature, you’re bound to run into the enemy at every stop. So, keep that in mind as we run through the different game modes and some helpful strategies for each.
Everything boils down to spawn points with these modes. As one team beats back another team toward their general spawning area, the team being defeated starts spawning on other areas around the map where players are mostly absent. Unlike in Domination or Hardpoint where you have a general idea of where the opposition is coming from, you have to constantly watch your six in TDM and Kill Confirmed. I’ve turned my back on an area only for a player to spawn a few yards from me and take me out instantly. There is no telling where the other team will come from. That makes the value of the UAV scorestreak much higher here (provided someone else on the other team isn’t equipped to constantly shoot them down).
For Nuketown, Domination usually becomes a battle over site B. Both teams typically claim their respective side of the map (sites A or C) from the start, and due to the layout are pretty capable at retaining those sites. Site B is right in the middle of the map. I’m, of course, speaking in generalities as this can always go a different way depending on skill levels and coordination of individual teams.
There are limited options for cover, including a car and some boxes. So, ideally, teams will work together to assault and defend the site. No matter whether you come from the north or the south, you will have to cover yourself from the front, the side, and from above. Those second-story windows will prove to be a nuisance as players regularly take hold up in these locations to collect a string of kills. Rarely has anyone ever captured B all on his/her own; a team really is necessary. So make sure you try to sync up with the moment your other teammates are heading for the site if you don’t have mics to coordinate the effort.
Ruin’s “Hulk Smash!” ability (as I like to call it) and Grapple Gun aid greatly in clearing out an area or zipping to one fast. Likewise, both of Battery’s explosive capabilities help for quickly clearing groups of enemies as well. Otherwise, there’s not really a “best” specialist for the job; just make sure you’re outfitted with the gear you are most comfortable with. This isn’t exactly a map where you want to “try out” unfamiliar weapons or gear unless you’re looking for either punishment or a challenge.
This is, perhaps, my favorite mode to play on the Nuketown map. The positions rotate from the open lots on either side of the cul-de-sac to the base floors of both houses. The open areas in the cul-de-sac prove much more difficult to capture and guard.
Torque is perfect for this mode as his defensive capabilities really help defend hardpoints. Set up barbed wire in entryways of the homes or between the cars and borders of the outside lots. When a barricade is available, don’t just set it up in a doorway. Set it up to the side of the doorway so that the radiation it’s emitting is pointing perpendicular to players flowing in. Why should you do this? Well, for one it is much more difficult to destroy if it’s inside the house instead of sitting in an entryway where players can take it out from a distance. And two, players don’t see it (unless they have the perk to highlight it) and will get caught up in the radiation field when entering the house and die.
Firebreak also makes for another great choice in this mode. For players that are held up inside a house with all the aforementioned defenses, Firebreak can stand on the outside of the house against the wall and pop out that radioactive core of his to roast everyone inside. This occurred to me on multiple occasions where I’d start burning and catch fire from inside the house. Then, when I saw the kill cam, there Firebreak was sitting against the side of the house with his exposed radioactive weapon.
Nuketown is an absolute blast. Many can agree that it is a Call of Duty treasure. If you haven’t played the map before, you’re in for a real treat. Like anything in video games, don’t take it too seriously. You’re likely to have ups and downs just like I’ve experienced. If you’ve been deeply engaged in this playlist, we’d like to hear from you. Let us know your experiences or best tips you might have for newcomers in the comments below!
Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night. Somewhere in between all of that, I’m a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too. If a game is all about action, there’s a safe bet I’m playing it. I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin’ on the ol’ Atari and haven’t stopped since.