The Call of Duty franchise and I have an interesting relationship. I had my first introduction with the series back in 2009 with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and I got hooked. As a huge believer of video game narratives, I loved the story that the Modern Warfare series had to tell, and I continued to show that love to not just the Modern Warfare series, but also with the Black Ops series as well. However after Black Ops II, Call of Duty and I fell apart. The subsequent entries in the whole franchise showed a lack of a compelling narrative. This is where Sledgehammer Games came in though with the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which attempted to tell an engaging story: but, for me it just never took off.
Flash-forward to this year and the same studio has announced that it is working on a Call of Duty game set in World War II for the first time since 2008, Call of Duty: WWII. Right from the start it sounds (potentially) amazing with a realistic and grounded story mode, and a multiplayer that engages the community in order to replicate the camaraderie found in World War II.
The one thing that was been nagging me though was what might happen with the game’s “Zombies” mode: I’m happy to say that after the recent reveal of Call of Duty: WWII‘s Nazi Zombies mode, I feel like most of my worries have lifted. That being said, I still have a few concerns.
For those that are unaware, or are too young to have even played them, Zombies mode was first introduced in Treyarch’s Call of Duty: World at War and was, essentially, a Horde mode: players were tasked with fighting against endless rounds of zombies. While the mode had some story to it, it was often-times hidden behind complicated easter eggs. One of the more interesting things about this mode is that Nazi Zombies seems to be doing the complete opposite of that, in that you won’t have to spend hours toying away at an easter egg just to advance the plot. Now, we know that the mode will feature easter eggs: in fact, according to Sledgehammer Games’ Michael Condrey, they will be some of the hardest that the mode has ever had. But, as long as they are not required to understand the story, then I think they are acceptable.
In addition to that, the Nazi Zombies mode will also have a stellar cast. Just the casting of David Tennant alone piqued my interest, but to have Elodie Yung, Katheryn Winnick, Udo Kier, and Ving Rhames be a part of it as well is just icing on the cake. All of these people are absolutely phenomenal actors and actresses, and I’m sure that each of them will bring their own twist to their characters. On the gameplay side of things, I’m also glad to see the return of Zombies mode staples like Perks and Wonder Weapons.
Another fact that should, at the very least, intrigue some players is how Sledgehammer is heavily marketing the fact that this will be a horror experience. Unlike Treyarch’s Zombies modes in the past – which were more action heavy – and Infinity Ward’s Zombies which leaned on the campy side of things, this seems like a truly terrifying experience, and it should. Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey – who are both co-founders of Sledgehammer Games – were the Executive Producer and Senior Development Director respectively of Dead Space, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest modern horror games ever created, myself included. If Sledgehammer is able to replicate even a sliver of the tension found in Dead Space then, in my mind, they have succeeded.
Here are where my concerns lie. Mainly, I hope that this isn’t just a replica of the mode that Treyarch innovated on. The basic structure of this mode is fine, but one of the things I would love to see is the inclusion of objectives. Maybe in one round, the objective would be to bring an object from point A to point B. Another could have players tasked with holding down a section of the map for certain amount of time. All these little things could allow Sledgehamer’s mode to stand on its own more than it already has. I hope they do something that makes me say “I want to play Call of Duty: WWII’s Nazi Zombies mode” and not someone else’s Horde mode. That being said, after the reveal this week, I feel like Nazi Zombies is shaping up to be one hell of an experience.
I also hope that Sledgehammer Games does something to set themselves apart from not just the over-saturated amount of Horde mode-type experiences out there, but from the zombie genre in general. A lot of zombie movies and games these days rely heavily on gore, and while Nazi Zombies looks like it will have that to a certain extent, I hope Sledgehammer uses it sparingly, and in a way that its use has purpose.
Aside from these two things, my trepidation about this mode has greatly decreased after this week’s reveal. It seems like Sledgehammer Games is doing everything they can to make sure that Nazi Zombies is enjoyable. I for one am incredibly excited to get my hands on Call of Duty: WWII in a month when the beta releases, and when it fully releases on November 3rd, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. I hope to see you all online.
Here’s the main thing I want to know: what do you guys think about it? Are you excited, concerned, or are you not sure yet of what to expect from Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty: WWII? Leave your comments down below and let us know!