Five reasons why Call of Duty: WWII’s Zombies mode is worth playing
Earlier this month, Call of Duty: WWII launched, bringing the series full circle back to its roots after forays into more modern and futuristic theaters of war. As much as the series has been able to quickly adapt to new settings and new time periods, its specific gameplay elements haven’t been so quick to change, especially where the co-op Zombies mode is concerned.
However, as slow as it has been, the Zombies experience has evolved over time, and Call of Duty: WWII’s Nazi Zombies mode shows perhaps the most drastic evolution of all. Below are five reasons why, even if you’ve been burnt out on Zombies in past Call of Duty games, Nazi Zombies is worth checking out.
A serious and scary tone
There were a lot of things I liked about last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, but the overtly goofy tone of its Zombies mode wasn’t one of them. Fortunately, Nazi Zombies provides the exact tone I do enjoy: one which takes itself seriously (for the most part) and is also legitimately scary. Sure, you’ve still got David Tennet throwing out quips here and there, but you won’t find any of Infinite Warfare’s breakdancing zombies or comedy-slanted voice cast.
One could say that Nazi Zombies feels a little too dark at times what with its “jump scare zombies” (zombies which will suddenly spawn right in front of you at random) and its heavy emphasis on body horror, but given the choice between goofy and dark, I’d much rather my Zombies experience be more the latter than the former. If you’re of a like mind, you’ll definitely enjoy Nazi Zombies‘ more serious narrative.
A more forgiving difficulty
In previous versions of the Zombies mode experience, the difficulty tended to ratchet up quickly. While even less-skilled players could get through the early zombie waves with relative ease, only those who had the dedication, time, and skill to really hone their zombie-slaying craft could consistently make it to the later rounds, especially once the round counter advanced past 20. Such is not the case with Call of Duty: WWII’s Nazi Zombies.
Not only do players now have an actual health gauge they can monitor, but the zombies themselves don’t hit has hard (at least during the earlier rounds) and there are more systems in place for players to reliably up their survivability such as the new class-specific powers and an easy-to-use armor system that protects players from otherwise lethal zombie strikes. To give you an idea of just how much Nazi Zombies has scaled back the intensity, my very first Nazi Zombies match wound up being just me and one other player and we still wound up making it to round 27.
While Nazi Zombies’ difficulty has been noticeably scaled back when compared to other Zombies modes, that doesn’t mean that those who are looking for a serious challenge should pass it over. In addition to the usual zombie-slaying, Nazi Zombies’ first map, The Final Reich, contains plenty of structured objectives to follow (more on them later), some plainly shown, and others hidden away.
It’s those hidden objectives that more adventurous players will want to sniff out and complete, since doing so allows you to unlock a variety of hidden rewards such as new playable characters and even a hidden bonus Zombies map (I won’t say more due to spoilers).
Those who long for a return to the good old days when a game’s most coveted rewards had to be unlocked through gameplay rather than simply buying a DLC pack will absolutely want to give Nazi Zombies a try. The mode strikes a good balance between being accessible enough for newer players yet deep enough that more hardcore fans can invest in it over the long term – and that’s all just with the first Zombies map. Four more maps will be added over time via Call of Duty: WWII’s four DLC map packs.
Clear objectives to follow
As I mentioned before, mowing down zombies can certainly be fun on its own, but after a while it can also start to feel stale and repetitive. In the past, Zombies maps have had more defined objectives to complete and secrets to unearth, but they were usually hidden from plain sight, only revealed by meeting a specific set of criteria which the average player might not even be aware of unless they looked up a guide online. Fortunately, Nazi Zombies once again proves that it can offer the best of both worlds by containing both a ‘main questline’ so to speak and a bunch of hidden easter eggs as well.
The Final Reich’s main questline and its list of goals is laid out to the player plainly, but it’s also up to the players to figure out how exactly to complete each objective. Following the main questline can certainly provide a decent challenge, especially if you wait until later rounds to try and complete it, but a competent team of players, even random online strangers, can easily finish it up if they all know what to do and where to go. Plus, along with the main questline, there are various other hidden goals and easter eggs to uncover, allowing fans of the classic Zombies setup to scratch that old familiar itch.
A playable prologue
Honestly, I’m kind of surprised it took this long for something like this to make it into a Call of Duty Zombies experience, but hey, better late than never. In Call of Duty: WWII’s Nazi Zombies, players start out by working their way through a separate ‘Prologue’ map which is –custom-tailored to be a solo experience.
The Prologue map helps to familiarize players with the minor differences that separate Nazi Zombies from previous Zombies modes and also provide them with a brief challenge as they defend a farmhouse from encroaching zombies so that they can save up enough in-game currency to escape and finish the map.
The Prologue map serves as an excellent way to bring new and veteran Zombies players alike into the fold, and I personally hope it serves as a precursor to more single-player-focused Zombies experiences in the future, since I believe they could serve as a solid pairing with the more standard team-focused maps.