Thursday, 26 March 2015

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014) - Exo Zombies Mode First Impressions

With the release of the first DLC map pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare came a new game mode; Exo Zombies. For someone who adores the zombie modes of Black Ops and Black Ops II this was music to my ears.

There came the reveal that zombies would be appearing at the end of the fun Exo-Survival mode in the game. Get to round 10 on map Riot and a bio-weapon hits the stage which results in your character getting knocked out. When you get control again the prison level is over run with sprinting zombies, with your exo-suit shut down (the device that lets you boost in the air) you have to survive the endless hordes until your suit comes back online. The short sequence ends with you making it to the helipad where a cool cut scene shows you trying to make your escape.
If you complete this level whilst online you get access to zombie skins for your avatar and gradually unlock bits of zombie gear which is basically bloodied versions of normal clothes.

I finally got to play Exo-Zombies last night. You play as one of four characters who have the voice and likeness of a famous actor. These four are Kahn (Bill Paxton), Lilith (Rose McGowan), Oz (John Malkovich), and finally and by far the most exciting is Decker (Jon Bernthal who of course was the amazing Shane in The Walking Dead). There is one map you can play in so far; Outbreak which is set in an Atlas base.

The mode starts off with quite a long exciting intro sequence that shows the Atlas facility getting over run by zombies, and ends with a copter carrying the four characters crashing. Outbreak is quite a maze like level. There is an open area and then lots of stairways and corridors. Just like the zombie modes before you get points for killing the undead which are then used to open up new areas of the level and to buy better weapons. The game is split into rounds with each round featuring more zombies and making them tougher.

Exo-Zombies has its own take on the limited perks you can get off downed enemies. Mostly these are the same as before but with different names, for example the nuke that kills all active zombies is now call a 'bio-bomb'. There are also power ups that double your points gained, gives you one hit kills, and activates the levels security measures. Like in Exo-Survival every now and again you get air drops which feature items such as a personal attack drone, a sentry gun, cloaking and even a points boost.

Along with the small courtyard you start in there is the morgue full of bodies, office type areas, and the Exo-suit room where you gain access to the boost abilities that gives. Once you have your suit you can get power ups for them that are pretty much identical to what the vending machines in Black Ops provided. There are cash machines that randomly provide you with points, upgrade points for your weapons that are essential to save up for. My favourite part of the level is a garbage disposal chute that cheekily transports you back to the start of the level.

On the zombie front there are some nice additions. Zombies in general start off slow and shambling but speed up each round, I imagine eventually they would be running at you, undead have Exo-suits themselves and so can jump huge distances to get you . Some rounds feature just zombie dogs, while later on special zombies types appear. This new zombie types include electrified zombies who disable your suit abilities if they get too near, and green glowing zombies who if they touch you infect you. If your infected you have a short time to get to a decontamination point should you not get there in time your character dies for good and turns into an enemy zombie (sadly not a player controlled one). Zombie fall apart in awesome fashion (very easy to shoot off their legs), especially when in one hit kill mode there arms, legs and head all fly off with blood everywhere.

I was not sure if Exo-Zombies would be a good mode, I had avoided reading anything about it until after I played it. At the moment with just the one map it feels slightly light on content, but I am pretty certain with each of the four DLC map packs there will be at least one new zombie level. Fingers crossed one of the DLC map packs is exclusively zombie maps as it is great fun already so more maps can only make it better. I will leave it there for now, I have geeked out quite a bit. More impressions as the new maps come out!

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