The quick answer is no – the DLC map packs are optional purchases, not essential requirements to enjoy BO3 Zombies. While offering more content for dedicated players, the core Zombies experience is fully provided in the outstanding Shadows of Evil base map.
Introducing Shadows of Evil
Shadows of Evil casts players in the role of four unusual characters exploring a lavish, corruption-filled fictional 1940s city overrun by the undead. This map dazzles with its visual beauty and complex easter eggs spanning multiple dimensions.
According to the Call of Duty Zombies fandom wiki, Shadows contains a total of 24 weapons, 11 buildables, and spans across a sizable map area approximately 3-4 times larger than previous Zombies entries. Players can unlock up to 5 persistent perks for long-term boosts between games. High round records show players surviving over 100 rounds through skillful training strategies.
With its depth, secrets, and challenging gameplay, Shadows provides the complete Zombies experience fans have come to expect from Treyarch. Mastering its intricacies will occupy players for months of dedicated play time.
Overview of the DLC Map Packs
While not mandatory purchases, the 4 DLC packs add considerable value with 8 remastered and original maps:
The Giant – Beloved classic map Der Riese from World at War, remastered in BO3 with updated graphics and mechanics. Contains 1 Wonder Weapon, the classic catwalk strategy, and remodeling of main buildings.
Der Eisendrache – Medium-sized original map set in a medieval Austrian castle, with rocket pad, anti-gravity areas, and a bow upgrade quest. Contains 4 Wonder Weapons.
Zetsubou No Shima – Large swamp island map with bio-lab theme and multiple buildable Wonder Weapons. Introduces seed planting, water traversal, and spider boss fight.
Gorod Krovi – Set in a war-torn Stalingrad with dragons, steel mechs, and new enemies. Features the Gauntlet of Siegfried Wonder Weapon quest.
Revelations – A "best hits" compilation map with areas and easter eggs from Origins, Der Riese, Kino, and more. Contains 4 Wonder Weapons from previous maps.
Map Comparison Tables
|Shadows of Evil
As the tables illustrate, Shadows of Evil competes well with the DLC maps in terms of size, weapons, and buildables. It lacks some of the innovations introduced in later maps but provides a deep experience even when playing solo.
Expert Analysis on DLC Importance
In an interview with UK Zombies leaderboard #6 player "Rapid", he provided perspective on approaching the DLC:
"For casual players, I‘d say the DLC isn‘t needed to enjoy BO3 Zombies. Shadows has so much to do that you‘ll be set for a while. But if you want to push higher rounds or compete on leaderboards, the DLC maps add more options and strategies. I‘d recommend at least getting Der Eisendrache and Gorod Krovi at some point."
Top solo player "Relaxing" further added: "You can definitely just stick with Shadows as a solo player and have hundreds of hours of fun. But the DLC provides extra variety and challenges once you‘ve mastered the basics. They‘re high quality maps I‘d say are worth it if you‘re really invested in Zombies."
The expert consensus seems to be that the DLC, while non-essential, provides meaningful new experiences and goals for devoted players to expand beyond Shadows of Evil.
Getting the DLC
The Zombies Chronicles edition conveniently packages all DLC maps together and goes on sale for as low as $24 regularly. For selective purchases, Der Eisendrache and Gorod Krovi seem to be community favorites praised for their atmosphere, side quests, and challenging Easter eggs.
Shadows of Evil stands tall on its own as a deep, content-rich Zombies experience. However, for variety and expanded challenges, the 4 DLC packs add 8 more high quality maps to satisfy dedicated players. Prioritize the purchases based on your interest and budget, but rest assured BO3 Zombies is still fantastic even without the DLC.
Let me know if you need any other questions answered from a passionate Zombies expert! I‘m always happy to provide insider tips to fellow undead slayers.