Game Rant goes hands-on with the new Zombies in Spaceland mode for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to see what new tricks an '80s theme park setting can offer.
Over the years the Zombies mode in Call of Duty has changed quite a bit, but mostly in its theme and main setup. The gameplay, however, has featured a similar veneer for a while now, and by and large that has satisfied the Zombies fan base. For Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Zombies in Spaceland mode the tried and true is well on display, but the wrapping around the mode should also have fans excited.
As the name implies, Zombies in Spaceland takes the wave-based mode to a theme park setting. However, the futuristic time period that permeates the rest of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has been traded for the classic ‘80s, although there is plenty of future tech around to play with.
Setting the mode in the ‘80s gives Zombies in Spaceland a distinct feel and helps it stand out from the rest of the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare package. Future zombies have already been done before, so developer Infinity Ward wanted to deliver something that has a more playful sensibility, and by and large it works.
To be fair, a lot of what Zombies in Spaceland has on offer should be familiar to any who have played the Zombies modes before. Players start out in a relatively confined space and can explore new areas as they survive waves of zombies and earn money. As the team progresses they will also gain access to stronger and stronger weapons, including a few component parts that will eventually form more devastating weaponry. Since our demo was so short we couldn’t spot any major Zombies Easter Eggs, but it’s hard to imagine this theme park isn’t hiding at least a few secrets.
Even during our short time with the mode it was clear that Infinity Ward want to make great use of the ‘80s time period and the theme park setting. Scattered throughout Spaceland are numerous theme park games that either reward money or tickets, and tickets can be used to purchase more useful items. As well, the tougher enemies in Zombies in Spaceland feature theme park stalwarts like clowns that explode and a giant brute wearing an oversized crown.
There are also clever traps scatted around the park that can help players clear out large groups of zombies quickly. The one that stood out the most was a massive crocodile mouth that would chomp down if too much pressure was put on its tongue. However, that same trap can also turn against the player, so it’s important to keep one’s head on a swivel.
It’s worth mentioning that Zombies in Spaceland is another personality driven-experience, much the Shadows of Evil mode from last year's Black Ops 3. Players will take on one of four characters that are voiced by famous comedians like Seth Green and Jay Pharaoh. There’s also an ever-present DJ played by David Hasselhoff for some much-needed musical variety.
At this point, most have made up their minds about the Zombies modes in Call of Duty. Some love it and scour every new map for clues and secret recipes, while others put their focus on the campaign or multiplayer. But for the former group, Zombies in Spaceland appears to be another solid iteration on the mode, offering new fun twists and a really interesting setting. It also serves as a nice counterpoint to the future warfare throughout the rest of this year’s Call of Duty.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare releases November 4, 2016 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.