For years, Call of Duty Zombies has used hidden documents and radios to advance its story, and the next iteration of the mode should strive to reward those who keep up with the collectibles. Since Der Riese, players have been able to find blueprints or audio recordings that provide insight into characters and tease future plot points or locations. While new avenues of storytelling like main quests and cinematics have given Treyarch more opportunities to expand its Zombies narratives, it is unlikely that collectibles will ever stop being utilized.
With Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Treyarch added more intel than ever before, as hundreds of documents and recordings were spread throughout the survival maps and Outbreak locations. Though finding this lore is its own reward for those invested in the Call of Duty Zombies story, players get little else for keeping up with all the intel. With the next version of Zombies, Treyarch needs to provide more than Calling Cards for those who find all the collectibles, as it was no easy task in Black Ops Cold War.
How To Make Intel Hunts in Call of Duty Zombies Rewarding
Though Calling Cards are not necessarily a poor reward, only one can be used at a time, and they are hardly as exciting as more major cosmetics. Fortunately, ever since the Call of Duty series began releasing weapon blueprints and Operator skins, developers have a terrific option for exciting rewards. While locking an entire weapon or Operator behind intel collection would be too much, a special skin could be obtained by gathering everything in a map. These outfits or weapon designs could even be designed to match each map’s aesthetic, with a jungle map providing players with a gun that is covered in vines once they find all the intel.
Another way to reward players for collecting intel is XP tokens. For every 10 pieces of Zombies intel a player finds, a 30-minute Double XP or Double Weapon XP token could be granted, with those that find all the collectibles in a map getting an extra one-hour XP token. Though these rewards would obviously be less interesting than flashy Operator skins or fancy weapon blueprints, they would still be another nice bonus for collectors.
Intel-related Call of Duty Trophies and achievements are another viable option. One of the biggest drawbacks of the post-launch Zombies maps in Treyarch’s latest modes is that they do not come with extra Trophy sets, something that was guaranteed with every DLC map from World at War through Black Ops 4. Breaking this tradition with Firebase Z was an odd change, as fans loved having extra challenges to work on with each new map. Not only should Trophies return for every post-launch map in Call of Duty 2024, but Treyarch should also strive to add a “collect all intel” Trophy for all the maps.
However, the best possible reward for collecting all the intel in a map would be a more interesting piece of intel. At the end of the day, most Call of Duty Zombies players that are looking for radios and documents are doing so because they want to experience the story. For those that collect every document in a map, Treyarch should provide a juicy piece of story content that teases a big twist, an upcoming Wonder Weapon, or even the next map. With Call of Duty’s seasonal approach meaning that new intel is added over time, Treyarch can ensure that collectible hunters only get access to a big teaser once the studio is ready to hype up its next release. The initial search for intel could be more exciting, too, as players could race to be the first to find the teaser.
Whether it comes in the form of more exciting cosmetics, XP boosts, Trophies, or a bonus piece of intel, Treyarch can deliver better rewards for collectible hunters with the next version of Call of Duty Zombies. Given how much effort goes into writing and acting out the moments in the mode’s intel, it only makes sense for more players to see and appreciate that work. Right now, Calling Cards are not enough encouragement, as players have little reason to not just watch an intel compilation video online. Fortunately, all Treyarch has to do to get more people engaged in the hunt for Call of Duty Zombies’ collectibles is give them some better incentives, and there are many options available.