Activision confirmed in April that it would take the franchise back to its roots with the next installment. Call of Duty: WW2 is due to arrive on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 3, 2017, with development being led by Sledgehammer Games. Although the setting will be familiar and historical for the first time in a long while, various elements long-time fans have come to expect certainly aren’t being scrapped for the sake of realism. For instance, zombies are returning.
In an extended Q&A with Sledgehammer Games, the PlayStation.Blog spoke with Jon Horsley, Senior Director of Product Development at Activision. The topic was zombies, which were revealed in a trailer at SDCC.
“Call of Duty WWII’s Zombies mode is grounded in a gritty, horrifying setting based on World War II, and we take things to terrifying new levels,” Horsley told PlayStation.Blog. “The approach is, of course, rooted in [the studio’s] horror background, so it was a lot of fun to develop this new experience. Our goal was to make this the most terrifying Zombies experience we’ve ever created…”
Horsley explained the game takes place in a Bavarian village in Germany, near the end of World War II. Like most Bavarian villages you might have visited recently, this one features “bloody sewers, evil laboratories, and ancient tombs” with dark secrets. The interview focused on a saw blade, a tool everyone knows is used for more than just trees when it appears in a video game.
“There are a variety of structures built by the enemy to subdue and constrain the undead,” Horsley noted. “A resourceful player can turn the tables and use their engines of death against them. And saw blades are just the beginning; there are numerous ways to trap and kill your enemies. The environment can be a great ally if you know how to leverage it…”
According to Horsley, the mode is being built in a way that will challenge players on multiple skill levels, with a lot of secrets lurking beneath the surface if players are brave enough to discover them. Part of that will surely be made possible by the zombies, which come in multiple varieties.
“Interestingly, these zombies retain some of the discipline and purpose of the soldiers they once were,” Horsley said. “Each zombie type fills a specialized role as well: there are flaming zombies and running zombies, for example, and they will give you serious problems if you get cornered. It will take a ton of strategy and teamwork to survive the varied undead soldiers in this mode.”
Finally, there also will be the usual perks. Some are permanent, but others last only temporarily. Horsely promises they will be “presented in a new and interesting way that makes them feel like part of this terrifying world.” If you were hoping to spend a day with zombies at the beach, in other words, you might be better served by a Dead Island game.
Besides digging into what we can expect from zombies in the game, Sony separately revealed a Limited Edition Call of Duty: WWII PlayStation 4 bundle you can buy this holiday season. It will retail for $299.99 USD and launches on November 3, 2017 alongside the featured game. If you’ve been thinking you might like to pick up a console and the game, that looks like the way to go.