While not every Call of Duty player is a fan of Zombies, the mode has certainly come a long way since its initial introduction in World At War, challenging players to survive throngs of the undead while unlocking new areas, weapons and other goodies. Infinity Ward decided to tackle the mode for the first time with its latest game, Infinite Warfare, and has chosen quite the era for it to take place in – the 80’s.
Titled Zombies In Spaceland, the mode challenges players to fill one of four roles – the Valley girl, the rap dude, the nerd or the Michael J. Fox-like jock – as they battle hordes of the undead in what appears to be a large theme park, complete with exhibits and even a roller coaster. The mode is vintage 80’s in design, looking like something out of Knott’s Berry Farm and featuring familiarity with each of the characters. For instance, the rap dude looks like he invaded LL Cool J’s closet, right down to the gold chain.
For good measure, Infinity Ward added plenty of ambience to capture the 80’s theme. Players at one point will come across a DJ that’s none other than David Hasselhoff, cranking out the hits as you grind away at the undead forces that come at you. This includes a number of 80’s songs – and you haven’t lived until you’ve destroyed members of the undead to Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”. (Sing it with us now!)
Of course, the traditional zombie rules still apply. You’ll start off in a small portion of the stage, initially killing off the first deadites and accumulating cash. As you begin to stockpile, you can purchase more goods, including advanced weaponry and new parts of the park that begin to open up. It’s vital that you work together with your team to keep certain parts of the map closed up, reboarding them so that zombies don’t begin to overwhelm your team. The more stuff you purchase, the more the park really begins to open up.
Some of the weapons are better than others, but a good portion of them have plenty of ammo. Still, you want to make sure your shots count, as it costs you money to refill on ammunition. You can melee strike as well, but it’s not really that effective, as zombies remain a viable threat. For that matter, there are some that even explode if you get too close to them, doing major damage to your character as a result. Keep your distance, and don’t forget to buy ammunition when you really need it.
The park itself is huge, giving you lots of room to run around and interact with stuff. You can purchase tickets to gain access to cool abilities, and even take a ride on a roller coaster, where you’re challenged to shoot so many zombies during the ride in an effort to win even more stuff for your character. Infinity Ward did an outstanding job designing the level, complete with animatronic characters (who, sadly, can’t help you) and plenty of themed areas for the park to explore, including a fun little winter world that makes it simple to see zombies coming from a mile away.
What’s more, Infinity Ward has also introduced a card perk system. As you get better over the course of each round, you’ll gain access to perks that will really lend you a hand once activated, including zombies that automatically burn if they touch you, headshots “insta-killing” enemies with little strain, and a nuclear attack that destroys all the enemies within the area – helpful if you suddenly become surrounded. This is a wonderful system that will hopefully find traction in future Call of Duty games to come. Plus, the “burning card” effect is quite neat to look at.
Although Zombies In Spaceland is a bit jarring in comparison to the more futuristic stuff in Infinite Warfare (what with the 80’s and all), it’s a fun addition to the game that’s likely to get a lot more traction than other Zombies modes in Call of Duty games. I thoroughly enjoyed what I played so far, and look forward to jumping back in time once more when the final game hits on November 4th.
In the meantime, do what Frankie Goes To Hollywood suggests, and “relax”.