One of the coolest things about the last few Zombies map releases was Treyarch's willingness to play with the formula just a bit. While gameplay hasn't strayed far from the core concept, the new maps allowed for new wrinkles. One included a super-charged George Romero stalking you through the entire map, while another introduced Indiana Jones
-styled booby traps. "Moon" continues the trend, this time toying with the level's gravity.
"Moon" takes place in two places: A hanger in Area 51 and, after a quick trip through a teleport pad, a moon base. Once on the moon, you'll first need to run for the nearest spacesuit, allowing you to survive in the low gravity, low oxygen environment. While in the interior locations, "Moon" plays much like other maps. Zombies pour into the area from designated locations and you try to survive each wave. However, everything is turned on its head when you head outside. Actually, you'll want to spend as much time in the map's outer areas as possible. First, they're absolutely cool (I love the muffled sound), but your space suit offers an advantage. Zombies movie a little slower outside and some will even fly away given the right bit of motivation. The advantage isn't as noticeable in lower rounds, but once the groups come, you'll want every advantage possible.
The other maps don't take as much of a leap as "Moon," though the nostalgia trip is a fun one. Each of the four maps offers a different environment as well as some unique environmental challenges to tackle. Of the four, "Shi No Numa" is the more interesting. Rather than toss endless waves of zombies, you'll also have to face down a boss character - the Hellhound - in a special round. There's also a randomly spawning Mystery Box, adding another reason to constantly explore your environment.
"Verruckt" offers a larger area to explore along with a number of traps to help you out, such as the electric trap (which also pops up in the "Kino der Toten" map). The map's size offers more places to run and hide, but also presents more opportunities to get lost in the labyrinthine halls. "Der Riese" introduces a machine that can upgrade your gun as well as teleporters.
Finally, "Nacht der Untoten" boils the entire experience down to its most basic form. Although not as fancy as other maps, it is a great example of a well-designed play mode. You are constantly pushed forward, given lots of options and forced to live with your decisions.