A Nazi-blasting video game without zombies is like peanut butter without chocolate. Sure, you can enjoy each individually, but there’s something magical when you put the two together.
Zombies have been a Call of Duty staple for several games now. This time around, we’re following a group of soldiers tasked with recovering priceless works of art stolen by the Nazis. Think Monuments Men, but with slightly less star power. The star power that’s here, though, is actually pretty impressive. David Tennant, Ving Rhames, Katheryn Winnick, and Elodie Yung head up the cast of characters who find themselves pulled into the terror of a small German village where some unsavory experimentation has been going on.
We’ve danced the Nazi zombie dance before, but it’s nice to have a bit more of a narrative tying the waves of baddies together. And wave after wave of action is what you can expect.
You can join up with random strangers online, or host a local game with friends, with each player taking on one of the main cast. If it’s your first time playing, you’ll be directed to the prologue, where you get filled in on the backstory and learn the ropes. “The ropes,” in this case, means getting accustomed to a never-ending swarm of zombies and learning about
Jolts. Jolts are the currency you’ll use to purchase guns and armor and other upgrades from boxes around the battlefield. You’ll earn Jolts by killing zombies, and you’ll have a chance to earn more if you use your melee weapon to very (very) gorily kill your prey.
Underneath the fancy voice acting and buckets of gore is a pretty standard wave shooter, with zombies crawling out of the woodwork — often literally. Coordinating with your teammates is key to survival. Finding yourself trapped in a sewer, surrounded by foes, with nothing to rely on but two or three strangers on the internet is stressful, but pretty enjoyable.
That being said, if you’re not a fan of repetition, or at least not tolerant of it, you’ll want to look elsewhere. It’s a wave shooter, and by definition you’re going to find yourself trapped in a location mowing down the undead. There’s a decent amount of level variety, though, and finding ways to advance through each area is fun. Turning on generators to power gates, setting off explosions to clear areas of zombies, using super abilities to allow yourself to shoot nonstop without needing to reload, it all adds up to a great experience.
Call of Duty: WWII would be a solid game with just its campaign and its standard multiplayer; the addition of the zombie mode is the icing on the cake. The action is intense, and the gameplay loop is enticing. It’s worth taking for a spin, even if you’re not big into horror.