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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies is getting its first free week on Jan. 14

Black Ops Cold War zombies
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies is getting a free access week across all platforms starting on Thursday, though you'll have even more to play if you're on PlayStation.

This will be the first time the long running Call of Duty mode will get its own standalone free access event, and it includes up to three events: Die Maschine, Cranked Zombies, and Onslaught (but only for PS4 and PS5 players). The event will run until January 21, and whatever you earn or unlock will stick with you if you decide to purchase Black Ops Cold War after the free week is over.

If you're new to Call of Duty Zombies (or haven't played for a few cycles), you'll want to start with Die Maschine. It begins as an homage to the original World at War map, but it's also an introduction to the new mechanics and lore of the Black Ops Cold War era of undead slaying. Cranked Zombies takes place on the same map but adds the extra challenge of the Cranked Timer: once the first Zombie falls, each player will self-destruct if they don't reset their timer by killing another zombie. The timer gets shorter and shorter the further you get, so forget about turtling.

The PlayStation-exclusive Onslaught mode sends you to maps from Black Ops Cold War's competitive multiplayer mode. Kill enough waves of zombies and you'll fill the Dark Aether Orb, letting you move on to the next location. Watch out for Elite zombies, which are extra powerful and can also award you exclusive weapon blueprints if you slaughter enough of them.

See what else is coming to the game with our updated rundown of the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War patch notes. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.