- "The men and I had fought through the most bitter of winters on the Eastern Front, but we were no strangers to the cold. Even now, the blood in my veins chills when I think back to the events of that day...far, far from home..."
- — Viktor Reznov
Project Nova is a single player flashback level that details the events which lead up to Viktor Reznov's incarceration in Vorkuta.
The level starts out with Reznov talking to Mason about his father at Stalingrad in Vorkuta. He explains that his father was a musician during the German occupation who was killed by Nazis who found him to be a symbol of defiance. He furthermore says that collaborating with any Nazi is a "betrayal against all of Mother Russia." He then says that Dragovich and Kravchenko were not hindered by such crimes. He then flashes back to the day he was betrayed.
Reznov looks off a snowy cliff with Dimitri Petrenko and Nevski. The group then trudges down the cliff where they meet a younger Dragovich and Kravchenko. Reznov receives his orders to capture Dr. Friedrich Steiner alive, and that he will be shot if he disobeys that order. He and his crew move out on a snow-truck. After a short time, Petrenko asks Reznov why he doesn't trust the two Dragovich and Kravchenko, to which Reznov will say that at Stalingrad, Dragovich left him outnumbered and never sent reinforcements. He then tells Dimitri that the two men are opportunists, and are not to be trusted. Reznov takes great care to raise his voice when talking of Dragovich and Kravchenko, as their snow truck is right next to his. Reznov returns to Vorkuta and tells Mason that Petrenko was the bravest man he ever knew, and that his heroic feat at Berlin should have made him a hero, but Stalin had little need for heroes.
Reznov flashes back to the mission, where Reznov and his men begin to fight for Steiner. Opposition here is fairly weak, and the player will be armed with a PPSh-41 and a Mosin-Nagant with RGD-33 grenades to deal with them. Russian comrades will burn down buildings to kill all Germans inside. Some Germans will attempt to surrender, but Reznov has no sympathy and tells his soldiers to kill them all anyway. After searching a few buildings for Steiner, the player will be given smoke grenades to mark target for mortars. Here Germans will be standing on bridges with MG42s and Panzerschrecks so it is smart to throw smoke grenades on these structures and to pick up a Scoped Mosin-Nagant to eliminate these soldiers, and when you have cleared out some of the earlier buildings and get close to them, to pick up an STG-44, which at this closer range, being an assault rifle, will be very effective for suppressing enemy firing positions, so the player and his comrades can maneuver into the buildings and flank them. This is the most effective tactic for getting you past this area. Eventually, Reznov will fight your way through stiff opposition to Steiner who will insult you and tell you to take him to Dragovich. We now cut to Reznov telling Mason he should have killed Steiner then and there, but his belief in orders stopped this.
Reznov skips ahead in his flashback to outside a Nazi ship where Kravchenko will be executing POWs. Steiner will talk to Dragovich about how the Germans are sworn to protect the Reich, which includes destroying the ship, but Dragovich says to Steiner that there would be no problems. Now Reznov brings his men into the ship while the Dragovitch and Steiner discuss the genius Project Nova and how Washington D.C. and Moscow were to meet a horrible end by the hand of the Fuhrer using V-2 Rockets tipped with Nova-6. However, Berlin had already fell to the Soviets and the SS failed to destroy the Nova-6. The Russian squad and German scientist then reach the last reserve of the gas.
Reznov then says that the victory was short lived, for Dragovich wanted to see the effects of the gas first hand. He then orders Reznov, Nevski, and Tvelin to be thrown in one gas chamber, and Petrenko, Viharev, and Belov to be thrown in another. The latter is to be gassed first. Dragovich unleashes his weapon on Petrenko's chamber, killing everyone inside. Dimitri and his men suffer an agonizing death; caged like animals instead of dying for their country according to Reznov. Before Reznov's chamber can be condemned, British commandos break in to the ship and fire a rocket into the chamber, opening it for Reznov and his men. The soldiers begin to fight their way out, battling through both their traitorous comrades and the British in a two-way battle, watching in horror at the same time as both rogue Russian and British forces futilely fight against each other for Nova-6. Reznov will eventually arm an explosive to a main support beam. The player will be given three minutes to escape the ship. Tvelin is killed at some point during the combat at the end of this towards the end of this mission, but Reznov manages to escape with Nevski having destroyed the gas containers, containing Nova-6.
- The MP-44 is a very useful weapon in this level, due its great effect at medium-long range, and its high firepower. Many players prefer to trade the Mosin-Nagant with the MP-44, unless they pick up the scoped mosin to kill the enemies at longer ranges with more ease.
- Keep the PPSH-41 as there will be some close quarter combat.
- Be careful when using Mortar Strikes, for if the player stands too close, they will be instantly killed due to high explosive damage.
- By using mortar strikes, it is possible to destroy the bridge, where the player encounters the first enemy mounted MG-42.
- Keep your eyes open for flashbang grenades, as these will replenish your Smoke Grenades used to call in Mortar Strikes. The flashbangs will usually glow yellow, unless your reserve is full.
- Be aware of the position of exploding barrels, as they may help killing nearby enemies but they may also explode when hit by enemy fire.
Save for the MP-40 (Which appears in the Zombies map Kino der Toten and Call of the Dead) and the STG-44 (Which appears in the zombie maps Verrückt, Shi No Numa and Der Riese), all weapons used in this level do not appear anywhere else in this entire game.
Found In Level
The following weapons can be found with and without attachments. The Tokarev TT-33 can be found without a Flashlight can be obtained from the British commandos as they pull it out in Last Stand.
- Many of the weapons in this mission share the same firing sound as other weapons. These include the Kiparis and the PPSh-41, the Mosin Nagant and the Dragunov, and many others.
- This is the first level to take place in the Arctic Circle.
- Many of the WWII weapons in this level are reused models from World at War with updated graphics.
- This is the first time that the player both fights with and fights against his own faction in the same mission.
- This is also the first time in the series where the British are enemies.
- The execution scene where Kravchenko is shooting the surrendering Germans and runs out of ammo when he gets to the last German is likely a reference to a similar scene in the film The Pianist.
- Before entering Steiner's building, if the player looks off to the right, they can see several Germans walking casually towards the ship. If they are shot, it would be shown that they were actually walking on air as they fall when killed. Also, if using the "Noclip" cheat it's possble to see that they're perfectly coordinated and armed with MP-40s, and will completely ignore the player, even if they're killed.
- The SAS cannot immediately be killed while they are sliding on the deck of the ship. However, once they exit the animation and are on their feet they will instantly die if the player shot them while they were sliding.
- According to a map found in one of the buildings, the base seems to be at Baffin Island in North Canada. If this map is accurate, than this is the first level in the entire Call of Duty series to be set in Canada.
- The gun pick-up symbols in this level seem far more elaborate than in any other part of the game.
- When the player gets to the first fight, jump onto the building with the Nazi Flag waving on top and in front of it by jumping from the slope onto the building, look to the right, and the player should see V2 Rockets .
- When looking at Steiner holding the Mosin-Nagant before entering the ship, he is holding it as if it had a pistol grip and not the normal way it would be held.
- If a British soldier is put in last stand, he will pull out a Tokarev.
- Papers about the Ray Gun can be seen on the ground.
- This is a third time where player is in a flashback mission as the first time was in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare where missions "All Ghillied Up" and the second in "One Shot, One Kill"., although Black Ops is technically all flashbacks.
- Even if Tvelin makes it to the rope, he will not rappel down it, even if all enemies are eliminated.
- In the Chamber where Reznov watches Dimitri Petrenko die from exposure to Nova Gas, there is a sign directly behind where the player gains control. It is a triangular warning sign that is printed in English, even though the ship itself is German.
- While walking through the ship, there is a German who hung himself in a corridor. He can be knocked down by meleeing him or shooting the rope with the Tokarev.
- Steiner's character model is made with a Walther stuck to his right hand, even when he later holds a Mosin-Nagant rifle.
- In the Wii version of this level, when walking up to the door to the room where Steiner is, the door will not open with a dead Nazi soldier coming down the other side. Instead, it will just directly go to the cutscene.
- This is one of few missons in the Call of Duty series where the player plays as their commanding officer, with the first being "All Ghillied Up" and "One Shot, One Kill" from Call of Duty 4 (where you are Captain Price), and "The Enemy Of My Enemy", "Just Like Old Times" and "Endgame" from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (where you are "Soap" MacTavish").
- It is possible to see Reznov's breath at the bottom of the screen.
- When Dimitri Petrenko ask Reznov about events in Stalingrad,you will see Dragovich truck far more behind the players truck,even if the players truck the first to go.
- It's impossible to destroy the bridge that connect to Steiner office.
- At the first battle,Dragovich will tell the player to advance.If the player follow Dragovich and Kravchenko,they will run to nowhere outside the boundaries.