- "Dimensional gateways opening around the globe. An undead horde threatening all of humanity. A new Cold War threat emerging from the shadows. Investigate the abandoned Nazi facility at the heart of it all."
- — Mission Briefing
Die Maschine takes place in an abandoned Nazi research facility for a particle-colliding experiment responsible for opening a rift into the Dark Aether known as "Projekt Endstation" in Morasko, Poland.
The map features the return of classic Perk-a-Colas such as Juggernog and Speed Cola, as well as introducing a brand-new perk called Elemental Pop. It also features a brand new wonder weapon known as the Decompressive Isotopic Estrangement Machine, and the return of the Ray Gun.
This map is also an expanded reimagining of Nacht der Untoten, featuring the original bunker ruins as a centerpiece of the map. The Dark Aether can also be entered in Die Maschine, where it appears as a dark mirror of the map with a few bonus features.
With Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War featuring an expanded offering on how the standard Zombies formula can be tackled, Die Maschine introduces the ability to start with a unique Loadout, allowing for a singular, customized weapon to begin the game with. Alongside is the introduction of the Weapon Rarity and Random Attachments for purchased weapons.
A young woman walks towards a phone booth in East Berlin. The year is 1983. She enters the phone booth, and dials to a man at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The man answers and implores the young woman with a question.
Grigori Weaver: What have you done?
Samantha Maxis: Did you get the package?
Weaver: We've lost two teams since you went dark. Old war footage is the last thing on my mind right now.
Weaver looks over to a VHS tape sitting on the table.
Sam: Watch it. Watch the tape. Then tell me I'm wrong.
Weaver inserts the tape into a VHS player, as footage of a Soviet fireteam marching in an unknown location plays.
Weaver: How did you get a hold of this?
The Soviet troops walk inside of a building.
Sam: A friend in the KGB. A late friend.
Weaver: Germans have Russian friends?
Sam: Yeah... some of us do.
The Soviets notice a sign on the wall stating "Projekt Endstation" as they continue onward. The shot on the tape transitions to a Geiger counter going off as the troops motion for everyone else to come closer. They continue onward, approaching a giant machine with a dark, purple essence surrounding it as groans can be heard.
Weaver: What the hell is that?
The Soviet troops turn to their left as they hear the groans getting louder.
Sam: That... is why you needed to see the tape. Die Maschine.
A Soviet soldier approaches a figure in a Nazi uniform whilst holding a pistol in hand. The Soviet places his hand on the figure's shoulder, as the figure turns around, revealing itself to be a Zombie while proceeding to attack and kill the Soviet. More Zombies begin to attack the soldiers as the cameraman begins to back away.
Weaver: What the fuck?
The slaughter continues as the cameraman pulls out a pistol and begins to fire at the Zombie before running out of ammo and being charged at by a Zombie. The camera drops to the ground, the lens cracking as Weaver looks at the footage in awe.
Sam: Stay with me, Weaver. The next part was shot one week later.
The next scene plays, with a larger group of Soviets surveying the area, gathering supplies and investigating. The scene transitions to two Soviets hauling and throwing the corpse of a Zombie onto an even larger pile of corpses.
Weaver: It's a clean-up crew.
The Soviets set the pile of dead bodies on fire, the scene then cutting to a Soviet officer rewarding a soldier in a gas-mask with a medal, shaking his hand as the two look at the camera.
Weaver: Poor bastard.
The man in the gas mask prepares his rifle as he goes into the building. The doors close behind him as the others seal off the door.
Weaver: They tried to bury it.
Sam: Und it stayed buried. Until two weeks ago. Now, it's happening again. Have you heard of the Omega Group?
Sam looks through the windows in the phone booth to make sure she isn't being watched.
Weaver: You have to turn yourself in. The CIA can protect you. I can protect you.
Sam: I can't do that, Weaver. The Omega Group have plans for the outbreak zones. I have to stay in the field.
Weaver: Sam, please!
Sam: I'm sorry. This is the only way.
Sam hangs up the phone as Weaver leans back in his chair disappointed. Sam leaves the phone booth, walking away as a nearby parked car follows.
Story Easter Eggs
- Main article: Seal the Deal
The main quest for Die Maschine is Seal the Deal, which involves Requiem closing the rift opened at the Projekt Endstation facility.
Musical Easter Eggs
- In the Living Room, in the broken refrigerator located to the right of the sofa.
- In the Particle Accelerator, in the area beneath the Pack-a-Punch machine to the furthest right next to a blood splattered tower, on top of a machine.
- In the Medical Bay, on the shelf right of the pill cabinets, opposite to the computer terminal.
Misc. Easter Eggs
- If the player reaches Round 45 and enters the Dark Aether, a creature will be able to be seen walking through the forest, knocking down trees as it goes along. The player's screen will shake slightly as the creature walks. If the player enters Dark Aether, and stays in the particle room for 115 seconds/zombie kills. The player will hear stomping above, and then must wait till it stops to claim the free max ammo dropped in pond.
- Once the Pack-a-Punch is built, five blue orbs will spawn around the Particle Accelerator room. Once all five of these are shot, the player will be forced into the Dark Aether. Near the Pack-a-Punch, there will be a group of zombies dancing, with 4 of them holding a crate upon their shoulders. Once the player exits the Dark Aether, the crate being held by the 4 zombies will spawn near them, where it can then be opened for varying rewards. The monitor on the side cycles between the colours of the players icons utilized for the Trials machine. Opening it will also always grant a free can of Juggernog. This easter egg is a reference to the Coffin Dance
- While in the Dark Aether, if the player shoots 4 buttons in the window behind Speed Cola at the Medical Bay, a massive skeletal hand will appear from one of the doors in the window, reaching out to grab something. If the player is able to get the hand to grab and kill 15 zombies spawning from the window, the player will then receive a free upgrade from their equipped weapon, turning it into a Legendary weapon.
- If the player enters the Dark Aether and shoots 5 floating zombies across the map, a free scorestreak will spawn. If the player stands under the final zombie, they will also get a jumpscare.
- The same jumpscare featured in the free scorestreak easter egg can also sometimes be triggered if the player gets the Ray Gun from the Mystery Box.
- If the player shoot 3 satellites located outside of the map with a weapon having Dead Wire making them point toward Nacht Der Untoten, 1500 Zombie Essences will spawn at the Penthouse and the code "345834825" will be repeated.
- Main article: Die Maschine/Intel
There are 80 pieces intel available in Die Maschine. 59 of which were made available in the initial release of the map with the remaining 21 being introduced after the release of Season One.
- As Die Maschine starts as the introductory level for most for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies new formula, the Weapon Rarity system works as such and can be tweaked via the Arsenal. However the Ultra Rarity is exclusive to Wonder Weapons.
- New crafting system utilising Salvage allowing for the crafting of Lethals, Tacticals and Scorestreaks.
- The acquisition of Tactical and Lethal equipment alongside other helpful items by killing zombies.
- Return of Trials in a format similar to the one seen in Ancient Evil.
- Juggernog, Stamin-Up and Quick Revive are being powered by generators, allowing for them to be purchased regardless if the power has been restored to the map.
- Two new enemies in the form of Heavy Zombies and the Megaton, including the split form.
- During the opening cinematic, the phone number that Sam dials spells out "Maxis".
- The easter egg featuring four zombies dancing with a reward crate on their shoulders is a reference to the internet meme "Coffin Dance".
- The message "CZARNOBOG'S WRATH IS COMING" written on the Wing at the Crash Site is a reference to a Slavic god of darkness known as Chernobog, which is sometimes stylized as Czarnobog.