If the rumors circulating the internet have some validity to them, this is what a potential stand-alone Call of Duty Zombies experience could look like, even if the game has not been announced yet.
A few weeks ago, Tom Henderson – noted Call of Duty leaker and gaming insider – stated that a separate Call of Duty Zombies project is in “early development.”
Though there has been no announcement from any of the Call of Duty developers – which makes sense, all things considered – creating a stand-alone Zombies game would be the next logical step. By all accounts, the Zombies mode has been one of the most popular additions to the Call of Duty formula, as evidenced by its ability to last more than a decade and span numerous iterations.
First, it was Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty: World at War, and then it was a branching storyline in the Black Ops series of games starting from the original Call of Duty: Black Ops. Along the way, there were even space Zombies and other Zombies in Infinite Warfare and WWII, respectively. As a whole, Zombies as an enemy is very malleable and would suit a variety of scenarios, which makes it easy to create an entire Call of Duty experience and narrative around them.
But what would a stand-alone game about Call of Duty Zombies look like?
For starters, it would probably be similar to what recent Call of Duty titles look like: a three-tiered menu screen, with the option to play Warzone, the most recent Call of Duty title and a selection of modes for the game itself. Although this setup is not the most visually appealing to look at, it is a sensible choice since Activision is trying to market all its products in a way that is not too egregious.
Additionally, the gameplay could be a mix of former and current Zombies game modes: the tried-and-true horde mode to see how far players get – with the optional story easter egg – and an open-world map with various objectives to complete, a la “Outbreak.” Having two options allows players to choose whether or not they want to play classic Zombies with the horde mode or experience what the mode could be in the future with the open-world offering.
As I have previously mentioned, the open-world map could allow players to join other players in servers, so they may complete objectives and rank up together. Although that may be a great addition, that is neither here nor there.
Function-wise, it would tie in to the current Call of Duty title and Warzone in some way. Currently, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (BOCW) does this, with players being able to carry over weapons, prestige progress, skins and so on with Modern Warfare (2019) and Warzone.
What’s more, Warzone recently introduced Zombies to the map, which was teased with the Trials Machine from BOCW being found in various locations around Verdansk. It is heavily implied that Zombies will overrun the original Verdansk map, at which point a nuke will be dropped and destroy it forever.
Once the destruction of Verdansk is finalized, that would pave the way for the stand-alone Zombies game to be integrated into the next iteration of Warzone. In that same vein, for this game to entice players, there will have to be a lot of content in the form of maps, weapons and so on. With the integration of Warzone, BOCW and whatever the next main Call of Duty title is, it could provide an experience that potentially lasts years, especially since it appears that Activision is angling to have more cross-collaboration between different Call of Duty games.
That said, it is unknown which developer is taking the lead for this project. It would not be surprising to see Treyarch take the lead role with Sledgehammer and Infinity Ward acting as support studios for this game, considering the former’s history with Zombies. However, it would also make sense if the latter two developers are heading the project as they have experience with Zombies themselves, with Treyarch acting as support, especially since BOCW is still in the middle of its lifecycle.
All that in mind, it is important to note that everything is just speculation at this point. Until further announcements have been made, take everything with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, it is fun to speculate, and even if none of the above makes it into the final product, at least there will be a new experience to try.
Here’s to new Zombies experiences.