So far, Treyarch has had a bit of a hard time attracting fans to the Dark Aether story. The often abused concept of Russia versus America, which was seen in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, was not for everyone, and although the creatures of the Dark Ether of Call of Duty: Vanguard are interesting, the gameplay in this mode was so unpopular that few people paid attention to the narrative. However, the release of the first Call of Duty: Vanguard card, based on rounds, got fans talking again.
While many are excited to see the traditional survival map in Call of Duty: Vanguard, others are stunned by the big plot twist in Shi No Numa Reborn. In one of the radios of the map, Gabriel Kraft mentions Scarlett Rhodes’ father Alistair. If that’s not enough, a Guardian Artifact appears at the end of the quest, a key item from the history of Chaos. For several reasons, Treyarch’s decision to link the story of Chaos and the story of the Dark Ether together changes the rules of the game and can attract fans to both plots.
Chaos Story was a separate game before Call of Duty: Vanguard
Anyone familiar with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies remembers that the narrative of Chaos is completely separate from the timeline of the Ether. This was understandable, since there were other rules in the Chaos universe. For example, Prima Materia was a replacement for 115, while the history of Chaos as a whole was heavily focused on mythology. Treyarch also didn’t hold back with this aspect of his new narrative, as players struggled with Odin’s gaze and learned that Medusa was the main villain of the narrative.
Exactly how Treyarch plans to justify this different tone and mythological focus in the Dark Aether universe is completely unclear. Perhaps figures like Medusa can be transformed into Dark Ether entities, or perhaps Treyarch can rediscover the concept of the multiverse. While this has certainly confused the Aether narrative a bit, other universes could be a good way to explain these differences in the story. While there’s always a chance it’s just another version of Alistair Rhodes, very similar to how Eddie differs from Richthofen, the sudden decision to bring back items such as Guardian artifacts seems more deliberate.
Treyarch May Finally Shut Down Chaos Story Fans
While it may be difficult to canonize a story about Chaos, the very fact that this is actually happening is impressive. This narrative allowed Treyarch to do things that are simply not possible in a more mundane story like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and battles with mythological creatures like werewolves were a good change of pace. Unique locations like Ancient Greece were fun, and weapons like the Original Hands were fun. Thanks to the return of the history of Chaos, more unique maps could be seen again.
However, the real reason why this shocking use of Chaos elements is promising is that fans can finally close something down. Judging by past leaks, two more maps for Chaos Story were to be released, so Ancient Evil showed a cliffhanger. However, these final maps never appeared, as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies was generally unpopular, and Treyarch needed to redirect its resources to focus on developing Black Ops Cold War. This left the Show and Bruno in control, Scarlett’s fate hanging in the air, Alistair seemed dead, and Diego was left alone.
While fans shouldn’t expect to be running the Chaos Team again, especially in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies, Treyarch could lay the groundwork for their potential comeback. After all, there are rumors of a separate Call of Duty Zombies game, and it could be the perfect place to finally complete the story of Chaos. At least fans could find out what happened to the Chaos Team from hidden radio stations and documents, getting a proper ending to a story that never seemed like it. Although it is strange to combine the story of Chaos and the narrative of the Dark Ether, it is better than leaving the first unfinished.
Call of Duty: Vanguard is already available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.