Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies’ Shi No Numa Reborn is a Reminder of What Could Have Been

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Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies’ remake of Shi No Numa is a huge step in the right direction and a clear reminder of what could have been.

It is no secret that Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies has struggled greatly since it made its debut, with fans quickly rejecting the attempt to move away from a round-based style. While the mode steadily improved by adding in expected Zombies features like Wonder Weapons, Easter eggs, and Pack-A-Punch camos, it has not been able to win back most players. However, Season 4’s round-based map is finally bringing about some positive discussion regarding Vanguard’s co-op mode.

Shi No Numa Reborn may not be as exciting as a brand-new map, but it has still proven to be far more preferable than recent releases since it feels like what fans know and love. A proper Survival experience, the mode plays a lot like a Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies map, with the only major differences being its perk system and the Vanguard engine. With so much positive feedback about the map, it is clear proof that Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies could have succeeded if it had round-based content from the beginning.

Shi No Numa Reborn is Exactly What Zombies Fans Have Been Wanting

Fans that were pushing for Call of Duty Zombies to return to its roots got exactly what they were hoping for with the release of Shi No Numa Reborn, as the map works on many levels. For starters, it addresses complaints about the original Shi No Numa, like a lack of room to train the undead, water that overly hinders movement, and no Pack-A-Punch machine. While the remake’s swampy areas still slows players down, the movement is much faster and more balanced. Further, the map’s one new area offers another training spot and a Pack-A-Punch machine, significantly improving upon the original Shi No Numa’s gameplay.

Shi No Numa Reborn also addresses complaints like a lack of Easter Eggs. Not only is there a main quest to complete, something Shi No Numa never had, but there are side quests as well. The phone for the Easter egg song “The One” has returned, a bunny-focused quest like those found in Black Ops Cold War can be completed, and the Wunderwaffe DG-2 can be crafted via a quest. Speaking of the Wunderwaffe, it feels better to use than it ever has in the past.

In many ways, Shi No Numa is a return to form for Call of Duty Zombies, which is exactly what the mode needed. Treyarch has always tried to innovate within Zombies, trying out new things so that the experience never gets stale. While this is commendable, not every experiment pays off, and the core gameplay of Zombies should never be completely abandoned like it was at the start of Vanguard. The positive reaction to Shi No Numa should be a message to Treyarch that fans will always want round-based combat, though it is also a sad reminder that Vanguard Zombies could have been so much more.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Should Have Had Round-Based Content From The Get-Go

Given how pleased fans are with Shi No Numa, it is easy to imagine Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies being significantly more popular if Der Anfang and Terra Maledicta were also round-based maps. While the round-based objective was a decent gesture, it was not enough to make the maps enjoyable for longtime fans, leading to the controversy that could have been avoided if the Survival style was present from day one. Both maps featured some interesting lore, but because the community did not enjoy playing them, this story was largely ignored.

The tragic thing about Shi No Numa Reborn is that it will always be an example of what could have been. With only one Season left for Call of Duty: Vanguard, there is only time for one more Zombies map to come to the game, with said map confirmed to be set in Egypt. Even if this Egypt map is a hit, there will only be two round-based maps in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies, meaning that many may not bother to return to the mode years down the line like they do for the Call of Duty: Black Ops titles. While Shi No Numa Reborn is better late than never, its high quality makes its release bittersweet, as it is hard not to think about what Vanguard Zombies could have been if all maps boasted a Survival style.

Call of Duty: Vanguard is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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