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Wait, did those Black Ops 6 teasers just reference Vanguard Zombies?

We try not to think about Vanguard Zombies often, but the new Black Ops 6 teaser seems to be calling back to this Call of Duty low point.

Black Ops 6 teaser: An image of a Zombie from Call of Duty Vanguard and the Brandenburg Gate in Germany.

Out of all the Call of Duty studios, Treyarch always delivers the best hunt for clues when it comes to its Black Ops series. Black Ops 6 teasers are continuing to emerge following the launch of a mysterious new website on May 22, but what we didn’t expect to see is what appears to be a call back to the worst period in Call of Duty Zombies history. Yes, for some reason, it looks like Treyarch could be referencing Call of Duty Vanguard.

Following on from the first Black Ops 6 teaser footage, a new clip depicts various monuments around the world with the phrase ‘The Truth Lies’ crudely spray-painted across them in different languages. A brief flash of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, shows the former city gate covered with the phrase’s German translation: “Die Wahrheit Lügt.” Now, while it might just seem like an innocent translation of the FPS game’s marketing tagline, we have to remember this is Treyarch we’re talking about.

Treyarch is the grandmaster of callbacks, easter eggs, and secrets in the entirety of Call of Duty history, and it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to say this is a small nod to the Dark Aether storyline – would it? For those of you that skipped over Vanguard’s ill-fated iteration of the beloved multiplayer game mode, Die Wahrheit also refers to its main enemy faction that was first mentioned through intel collectibles and the Die Maschine ‘Seal The Deal’ quest in Black Ops Cold War.

Call of Duty Black Ops 6: An image of the Die Wahrheit Lugt teaser and the Die Wahrheit logo from Vanguard Zombies.

This faction was briefly aligned with Lord Kortifex, a brutal Elder God from the Dark Ether itself, who sought revenge against all those who opposed him.

With MW3 Zombies keeping the Dark Aether storyline alive, for better or worse, there’s always a chance that it could reference the demise of Lord Kortifex in a much grander way down the line. After all, no-one ever really stays dead in this franchise. Sadly, nothing strikes the feeling of fear and disappointment into my heart like remembering Call of Duty Vanguard Zombies, one of the lowest points in history for the franchise.

Although its attempts to innovate upon Black Ops Cold War’s Outbreak mode were noble, it just failed to capture any of the magic that Zombies had shown in the past. The addition of round-based gameplay came too late in Vanguard’s content cycle, and it just felt half-baked overall. While those days are behind us both now, Treyarch seemingly isn’t closing the book on that chapter yet.

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In other gaming news, this new Halo Infinite mode is a love letter to COD Zombies’ history, and rival shooter The Finals is beginning to set the stage for Season 3 with mysterious clues.