[Update: It's official! Watch the COD Ghosts Extinction mode trailer here!]
One of the most talked about and marketed gameplay elements of Call of Duty: World at War was the inclusion of a co-op zombies mode. The four-player match let players work together to defend a location against a waves of increasingly difficult zombies as they earn money, purchase better weapons and rebuild barriers.
The mode spawned a mobile app and returned for both of Treyarch's followup games Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 & 2. In the mode one of the most interesting elements was the inclusion of a chest where players could buy a random weapon, the best being an alien ray gun. If the latest speculation and rumors about Call of Duty: Ghosts prove true, than Activision's other COD developer in Infinity Ward may be drawing inspiration from all of these things.
One of the most visually interesting bits about the marketing for Call of Duty: Ghosts so far revolves around the weaponized space station dubbed "Odin" and the spaced-based gameplay it adds. What if that return into Call of Duty space combat (recall: the Moon map for Black Ops Zombie Mode) is teasing something even more dangerous from deeper into space... dangerous like waves of invading aliens (NOT the aliens depicted up top)?
Infinity Ward has struggled to include a cooperative mode in their Call of Duty titles that's as fun or replayable as Treyarch's zombies, with the Spec Ops and Survival modes being limited to two players and confirmed not to be returning Ghosts. For the next game that will change although Infinity Ward is being silent on any reveals and has been since confirming a new mode back in July. The latest Call of Duty: Ghosts Squads trailer reveals what we expect is that new game mode - spotted in a bottom prompt that reads "Play Extinction Online" (0:24 mark, faded on left side of screen). So, there will be a new online mode called "Extinction."
Looking at the leaked Call of Duty: Ghosts achievements list suggests that the new mode will be four-player co-op mode in the same vein as Zombies:
Note the phrases "using a relic," "escape with all four players" and combine everything we know with the imagery of the above achievements. That's either an alien or a monster right? Given the space-based nature of the man-made threat in the Call of Duty: Ghosts campaign, it's a good guess that the next Call of Duty will have players working together to survive against the extinction of our race against an otherworldy enemy force.
Excited? Alien co-op is definitely one way Infinity Ward can innovate on the co-op front.
Now it's time for chief competitors in Electronic Arts and DICE to roll out the dinosaurs in Battlefield 4.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.