VGU Talks – The Concept of a Stand-Alone Call of Duty Zombies Game
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is now out on both current and previous generation consoles and has brought back with it an updated zombie experience. Ever since World at War, we have enjoyed this game mode for all it has provided. That being an interesting story, funny characters, outrageous weapons and upgrades as well as the zombies themselves and the maps they horde. There is a lot here in the COD Zombies universe and I truly believe that now is the time to contemplate making a stand-alone title for the series.
Now of course, Treyarch have come out in an interview earlier this year about their thoughts on a zombies only COD game. Jason Blundell, director for campaign and zombies for Blops 3, stated that the game has to be catered to a lot of people and that the zombies mode we love is simply one piece of the puzzle that makes the whole thing work. As much as the interview gave insight as to the risks of making a stand-alone title and the possible disconnect with fans of the series, I believe that Blundell shouldn’t be too afraid with the concept. Today I give you guys my concept for a Call of Duty: Zombies game, where we cater for every audience possible as well as the die-hards of the game mode.
First off we need a campaign with a story that can entice players and give them a reason to play the game solo. Well, we already have a great narrative brought on from the mode in previous years. Start the story with you tracking down the Nazis in old school Call of Duty fashion only to stumble upon a secret testing site where they are trying to create super soliders. Only to discover that these are no longer soldiers, but zombies as you now have to deal with this threat once and for all. You can base the story here, but then expand it to many different scenarios in an Eternal Darkness style narrative. This means you can go to Aztec ruins and have zombies horde you whilst you try to uncover treasure. Have zombies on movie sets where you are just simply making a normal zombie film but things go crazy. Even take the action into space and unleash them on unsuspecting astronauts as they try to salvage a wrecked ship in the far future. By doing this you can keep the game fresh but at the same time link it to all the maps and updates that the mode has had in the series. Keeping the narrative flowing as it progresses with fun characters, celebrity appearances and new zombie variants depending on the setting.
Next we have Co-Op, one of the most fundamental parts of the zombies game mode that needs to carry across into the stand-alone. Simply adding this in with the campaign will suffice, but we want to be more next-gen, we need to take it to the next level. How do we do this? We simply bring back the classic zombies mode as an addition to the campaign. Now you can do the single player of both modes or the multiplayer of both modes to keep you entertained. The zombies mode this time however needs to adapt a bit more. So we add in some maps from the old school zombies modes of the past games and update them to add more challenges, puzzles and ways to deal with the waves of undead. We also add in some new maps from different time periods, locations and themes to add more to the standard set ups. Think about slaying these bad guys in Victorian London, in a western fort shootout or during a galactic invasion by aliens. Doesn’t that sound outrageous? Yes most likely. But that is what the series is great at doing, bringing the outright crazy and turning it into something insanely fun.
We could stop here and ship the game out to those who love zombies for how it is, a cooperative experience. But wait, there’s more we can add to make this even better. Of course one of Call of Duty’s biggest selling points is its multiplayer. A competitive environment that has started to make an impact on the esports stage. Why can’t we add in a competitive multiplayer element to this stand-alone game? Let’s have a standard set up first with a team based objectives such as team death match and capture the flag. But make these normal scenarios more dynamic by adding in waves of zombies and demons that can appear to make your time more chaotic, as well as give a chance for less experienced players to rack up kills and earn some good EXP. Then we start adding in some new match types such as ‘Feed The Machine’. This concept has a team of players go against another team as they try to push their horde of zombies down lanes in order to feed their enemies reactor. Feed it enough undead and watch it explode! Not just does this create a new game mode but you can also make it funny by adding in jabs at the MOBA genre and even some slight elements such as buying bottles of Juggernog and purchasing temporary upgrades for your loadout.
This is simply a basic concept of a zombies stand-alone game but I hope you get the idea that I am running with here. Last but not least however is the concern of this idea making money. Will it make back its development costs or would it be a wasted effort? Well let’s look at it this way. We live in an age now where everyone knows what Call of Duty is whether they be a gamer or not. We have the games sure but we also have T-Shirts, hats, mugs, esports tournaments, wallpapers, bed sheets you name it. The franchise has become a world name and coupled with the franchise is the zombies experience. This one game mode has become so popular in years that Treyarch have been upgrading, advertising and emphasising the undead kill fest more and more. With its popularity only getting bigger with every new addition, this stand-alone zombies experience would only be an instant money maker for the companies involved and bring more players into the COD scene with something a little different from the norm.
So what are your thoughts on a stand-alone Call of Duty Zombies game? Do you like my concept or do you have your own ideas to add in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.