The Evolution of Nuketown

Black Ops 3

I’ve written a bunch here about the importance of map design in FPS games. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is no different. And Treyarch has one of the best designed maps in the franchise as a whole with Nuketown. It’s become the trademark Treyarch map – now that it’s appeared in every Black Ops game. While the basic layout and design hasn’t changed over the three variants, the details that make each map feel unique from each other are what really make the map as strong as it is. Treyarch has done a tremendous job of taking the updates in each game and making the new additions to Nuketown work with them. In the original, the mobility option comes from diving – so, you’ll see pieces of cover that are perfect to hero dive over. In Nuketown 2025, the scorestreaks and weapon balance was a lot different, and while diving was still the mobility option, it became a lot easier to defend the houses and really turned games more into map control and less about crazy action. Now though, with wall running and thrust jumps and slides, the map has again shifted and is way more about moving around and flanking and creating different sight lines.

Call of Duty Nuketown

Yes, if you’re playing Domination, there’s a pretty infamous head-glitch spot that really I think was a bad placement. But in general the game is less about holding down a house or side of the map and a lot more about controlling the middle and knowing your movement routes. Wallrunning can get you out of the side halls alive, and help you get around hard charging teams. The second floor windows are a lot easier to get into – no more mantling on a couple different pieces of decoration, you just thrust jump right in. That makes holding that second floor a lot more risky that it was in Black Ops II. That’s really what makes the map really special – it’s evolved with each iteration and each time it still remains one of the strongest maps in shooters in general. With the chaos moshpit playlist basically being Nuketown all the time, it comes up really often – and I am not sick of it at all. It’s a map that is pretty much perfect for completing any challenges in the game. It’s where I finished my Glitch double kills for Prophet. I finished my KSG gold camo on it as well.

Infinity Ward is putting out the Call of Duty this year – that’s just how the rotation is shaking out, which means we’re unlikely to see a Modern Warfare anniversary. In truth, we’re probably in for a Ghosts 2 this year – which I only bring up because Ghosts didn’t really have a signature map in it, despite the fact that Infinity Ward had a signature map with the Modern Warfare games – Crash. When we actually see the map list, that’s when we’ll learn if Infinity Ward thought any map in Ghosts was worth bringing forward. While it might not be Nuketown, it could still be a pretty damn solid map.

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