Call of Duty: Black Ops 2‘s TranZit was a notoriously unpopular zombies experience when it launched in 2012. But listen to me: now may be the best time to reintroduce the card.
black Ops 2 serves Treyarch’s third installment of Zombies Mode, with TranZit featuring an ambitious new take on Survival Mode. Instead of just a map on which you could survive endless waves of the undead, TranZit was a compilation of maps.
TranZit put you in a match of up to four players, and while it worked like a normal zombies survival map for the most part, your starting area was very small and resources were extremely limited. Essentially, you were left at a bus stop and were able to stop the zombies for as many waves as possible or hop on a scary bus to travel to another area. It was difficult to stop the zombies by just staying rooted at the bus station, so you were encouraged to get on the bus to look for substantial perks and better weapons.
While the need to travel fueled exploration, it was also one of TranZit’s main problems. Everything you need for your normal zombies experience – powerful weapons, perks, Pack-A-Punch machine, craftables, and electricity – was spread out across the different areas along the bus route. The bus made a loop of five stops allowing you to visit Farm, Diner, Town, and Power Station, and then drove back to the bus station. TranZit’s bus driver, a robot named TEDD, wasn’t waiting for anyone. It was very easy to get stuck in one place or break up with your teammates if you couldn’t get back to the bus before it went to the next location.
You could walk down the street instead of taking the bus, but it was foggy and dangerous. In the thick fog of TranZit hid unforgiving creatures called Denizens who jumped on you and slashed you with their claws. These small, ferocious creatures could easily surprise and kill you. Even the Joggernog perk, which grants a sizeable health bonus, couldn’t help you against the denizens. You also haven’t been rewarded for killing the creatures, which means they won’t drop items or power-ups to help you. They were more of a warning to just stay on the damn bus.
Ultimately, it was a card that felt both annoying and blank for its size when traveling. Each area of the map had something you needed like a benefit or part for a craftable item, but overall the map locations were dull and bare.
Upgrading weapons was also a nuisance. Each Zombies card often has its own unique way to turn on or unlock the Pack-A-Punch machine, and TranZit had one of the worst methods. A portable wind turbine was required to power it, which was a very fragile, manufacturable item in the game. Zombies could easily attack and destroy the turbines, which means you’ll need to get a new one first before you can access a powered Pack-A-Punch machine.
Despite the negative aspects, there were some tempting factors at TranZit. The storyline quest for TranZit offered players a choice that hadn’t existed before. You could choose to help two different characters in the story to ultimately get different endings to the TranZit narrative. This paved the way for more story paths in black Ops 2Buried and Die Rise’s DLC cards.
TranZit also had a nice throwback Easter egg. You can visit the original zombies map Night of the Undead from 2008 2008 Call of Duty: The World at War. You just had to know where to deviate from the bus route and then find your way through a foggy cornfield full of citizens.
There was even a nice bank feature that allowed you to deposit some of your points for later use or sharing. The points stayed on the bench even after the game ended, so you wouldn’t go broke the next game. This is a great feature for yourself or teammates who have had problems, so anyone who has lost their perks or weapons can easily recover.
Flashforward too Black Ops Cold War, Where Outbreak was a really successful mode. Outbreak is also a large-scale zombies mode with a compilation of different maps. Instead of traveling by bus, you wait through a portal to reach the next area. And similar to TranZit, the huge maps are also geared towards exploration. I’m glad Treyarch hasn’t given up on his ambitions to go beyond just single card experiences. Outbreak shows that something like TranZit could find more community love in 2021, with Outbreak spawning new Zombies fans who will appreciate a remastered TranZit experience, provided some adjustments are made to make traveling less stressful.
TranZit’s annoying fog was due to hardware limitations: the PS3 and Xbox 360 were nearing the end of their lifecycle, and developers were open about the limitations of zombies in the past. The fog wasn’t just supposed to create a creepy atmosphere; it took up less area of the map to be rendered. With the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, TranZit could now be remastered without fog and denizens, making a lot more of the card playable and entertaining.
Plus, it would be nice to bring the cast back too and leave the community to them. TranZit introduced a brand new cast of “Victis” storyline characters with Misty, Marlton, Stuhlinger and Russman. TranZit’s Victis cast is still an important part of the overall Zombies tale, and this would be a great time to introduce their debut card to newbies.
Despite the original’s lack of popularity, there are some really well-done fan remasters of TranZit that seem to spark some interest in a possible return of the mode in the future. VerK0, a custom zombies card designer, is currently Revision of TranZit in Black Ops 3. The perk machines and other decor have been updated to better match stylistically Black Ops Cold Warto make the map shine without the obstacles of fog, lava, or residents. The card is also discontinued during the day. It’s cloudy but you can really appreciate the surroundings.
Seeing all of these fan-revised versions of TranZit created and played with no fog or lava suggests that there is some fan interest in the map. Since Treyarch would not be restricted by hardware restrictions this time, TranZit could be nice in 2021.
Also, some of the assets have already been reworked for both Blackout and a zombies-themed multiplayer map Black Ops 4. We have a remastered diner location, TEDD, the bus and all updated character models. Leaks and rumors have long indicated that TranZit has been completely remastered, but nothing has been officially announced and rumors should always be treated with caution.
Even if Treyarch hadn’t released it as a fully remastered standalone, TranZit would also be a great addition to Outbreak that casual gamers or new players can easily jump into. The objectives are pretty simple, and the rounds don’t start with every zombie on the map rushing towards you right away. Outbreak’s map destinations and world events could really help fill TranZit with more sights and activities.
I’m not sure TranZit’s original dark and somber style matches the vivid maps of Outbreak, all of which are set in the Urals, but it could become more cohesive with some lighting changes, much like the atmospheric changes in the remastered version of VerK0. TranZit had a few flaws, but maybe the card was simply ahead of its time. Black Ops Cold War could give him the redemption it needs.