Zombies has been one of the staple modes in the Call of Duty franchise, pitting four players against waves of the undead to test their survival skills and teamwork. The mode has seen players battle zombies in the ruins of World War 2 Germany, on a mysterious moon base, and in a different dimension with stories leaning into absurdity. Sledgehammer will be bringing Zombies back in Call of Duty: Vanguard, and the studio has given players a taste of what’s to come.
Call of Duty: Zombies was first introduced in 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War from developer Treyarch as a cooperative mini-game pitting four players against endless waves of zombies. It became a regular mode in Treyarch’s subsequent Call of Duty games with various narratives, the most prevalent telling the story of a ragtag team of World War 2 soldiers trying to stop the zombie apocalypse. Sledgehammer Games also dabbled with Zombies in its own Call of Duty games, making Infinity Ward the only series developer to not feature the mode in its own Call of Duty entries.
Sledgehammer offered a first look at what players can expect from Call of Duty: Vanguard on the official Call of Duty Twitter account with a short teaser ahead of the official trailer’s release. As with the rest of the game, it will be set in World War 2 and will serve as the next chapter in the Dark Aether storyline which began in 2020’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. It also appears to play into the occult, which has long been associated with Hitler’s Nazi party in pop culture.
A remix of Billie Eilish’s 2019 hit song bury a friend provides the haunting background music to further draw players in.
As mentioned, the Dark Aether began in Black Ops Cold War as a loose continuation of the Aether storyline which ran through the previous Black Ops games’ Zombies mode. It saw the covert team Requiem battle the Soviet Union’s Omega Group and the zombie plague its experiments unleashed on the world. One of the earliest reveals was the Soviet’s experiments were originally undertaken by the Nazis in their desperation to halt the Allies and win World War 2.
This could serve as the setup for the next chapter of the Dark Aether storyline, which has not shied away from using popular science fiction tropes like alternate dimensions and time travel. Add to this possibility the fact Samantha Maxis, a key character in the Aether and Dark Aether story who disappeared at the end of Cold War‘s zombies story, could reappear and players may be in for one of the wildest storylines yet.
Call of Duty: Vanguard is scheduled to release November 5, 2021, on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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