How Nuketown has changed over the years

Liam Mackay

Call of Duty revealed that classic map Nuketown will be coming to Black Ops Cold War on November 24.

Nuketown has been in every iteration of the Black Ops franchise and Cold War will be no different. It will feature a brand new version of Nuketown called Nuketown ’84. We’re taking a look at how the classic map has evolved throughout the years.

Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)

Nuketown

Where it started. This small map started as a project by level designer Adam Hoggatt. It wasn’t intended to be in the full game but after playtests, it quickly became a favorite among the developers.

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Inspired by the 2008 movie Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, the map is designed to be a nuclear testing facility modeled after 1950s suburban America.

Nuketown is a small map, capitalizing on the popularity of Shipment in CoD 4: Modern Warfare (2007) and Rust in Modern Warfare 2 (2009). With its yellow school bus in the center and picket-fenced gardens, it instantly became one of CoD’s most memorable maps.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012)

Nuketown 2025

Nuketown returned in the next installment of the Black Ops franchise. With the exact same layout, this updated version brought Nuketown to the 21st century.

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Nuketown 2025 came as a pre-order bonus with Black Ops 2 but could also be purchased as DLC. This version of Nuketown swapped the classic 1950s look for a blend of retro 60s with Black Ops 2’s futuristic aesthetic.

This updated version fixed the spawn issues from the original Nuketown, leading to many believing this to be the best iteration.

Nuketown Zombies

Nuketown was also included in Black Ops 2’s Zombies mode. It was basically the original Nuketown map designed for Zombies.

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This version of Nuketown is the aftermath of the nuclear bomb that goes off at the end of every Nuketown round.

In this version, the map has been damaged by the Nuclear Bomb and smoke and ash blotting out the sun. Zombies spawn in all the usual ways but the Pack-A-Punch and Perk-A-Cola machines spawn after killing certain numbers of zombies.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (2012)

Nukehouse

This is a version of Nuketown most will be unfamiliar with. Activision released a stripped-back version of Black Ops for the PS Vita called Black Ops Declassified. The single-player took place between the original Black Ops and Black Ops 2 and also included multiplayer.

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A smaller version of Nuketown which only featured the yellow house and the truck on the street was included. This map was extremely small with players often spawning right next to each other.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015)

Nuk3town

Black Ops 3 recreated Nuketown in a science-fiction style. With bright colors, futuristic cars, and digital confetti rising from the buses, this was a very different looking Nuketown. The layout of the map stayed much the same, however.

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This map wasn’t available for the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 as this game released during the transition between console generation.

Apart from the aesthetic changes, this version also had high walls to take advantage of ‘wall-running’ which was part of Call of Duty’s movement system at the time.

There were also Easter Eggs included in Nuk3town such as shooting mannequins in a certain sequence which would start a zombie-esque outbreak.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018)

Nuketown 2018

Nuketown 2018 received a mixed reception. This version took on a Soviet aesthetic, being set in the winter with a muted color palette. Although less of a change compared to Nuk3town, players were underwhelmed by the map’s design.

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The specialist abilities such as the Grapple Gun drastically altered the flow of the map. Players felt that Nuketown 2018 played too differently to the original.

An addition some liked was the RC-XD tunnel system, in which the remote car could be driven beneath the map past missile silos, and come out the other side.

Nuketown Island (Blackout)

Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode Blackout featured many classic Black Ops maps. Nuketown was included in a location of the map called Nuketown Island.

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Nuketown Island includes the whole town that Nuketown is part of, taking heavy inspiration from the classic Nuketown map as well as Nuketown Zombies. The area is heavily damaged similar to how it is in Nuketown Zombies and contains the original cul-de-sac from Nuketown.

Brand new to Nuketown, the area has a nuclear bunker and tunnel system underneath that players can access.

Call of Duty Mobile (2019)

Call of Duty Mobile contains classic maps from both the Black Ops and Modern Warfare franchises and Nuketown is no exception.

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This brought it back to the very original Nuketown map we had in Call of Duty Black Ops. Although played on mobile devices, the map plays much the same as it did in the very first Black Ops.

With Nuketown returning in Black Ops Cold War, expect it to have a 1980s theme.

About The Author

Liam is CharlieIntel's Editor who focuses on Call of Duty but also plays lots of fantasy RPGs or anything else in his massive gaming backlog. After graduating in Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, Liam freelanced in games journalism before joining CharlieIntel in November 2020. You can contact Liam at [email protected].