It looks like Modern Warfare 3 is aiming for a headshot with its new Spec Ops Survival mode, and in its cross-hairs is Black Ops zombies. With the release of the highly anticipated trailer we see a few new additions and improvements and of course variations of the ever popular wave-based Survival Game, similar to Gears of War’s horde mode and the aforementioned zombies mode. What appears in the trailer is nothing short of awesome, something developer Infinity Ward has a reputation for delivering in mass quantities. Kill streaks, perks, ammo and weapon upgrades, and a built-in ranking system are just a few of the new additions to the already intense gameplay that Call of Duty is known for. Luckily for you guys, I spent the last week breaking down the trailer and here’s what’s in store.
First things first, Call of Duty: Black Ops’ zombies mode is probably the most fun wave-based game mode I’ve ever played. Teleporting, Russian Space Stations, Super Powered Zombie Movie legends, and ray guns; it had everything you could ask for from a first-person shooter. But for all its novelty, it seemed like the maps were thrown together haphazardly and it became almost impossible to get decently far. Unless you’re an fps savant, you could have a decent amount of fun, but you end up only playing short games. And with bosses that have practically unlimited health, on top of endless waves of zombies, it is a challenge that becomes impossible. While a challenge is a good thing most of the time, it gets boring. Instead of honing your skill, you end up frustrated and defeated, which if you’re me means you either rage quit or throw your controller across the room, or both. With all that being said, it looks like the fine folks at Infinity Ward wanna’ give you one heck of a challenge, but it looks like a more balanced and rewarding experience.
Starting with some awesome action sequences, we see some of the gameplay to be expected. What you notice first is the crisp, clean graphics. That 60 frames-per-second comes through no matter what you play on. The heads-up display is also a little more streamlined and out of the way to optimize gameplay. We get a preview of the armories that you unlock in game. In it you are able to buy weapons like shotguns, assault rifles, and light machine guns. What will probably be the best addition to the game is the ability to buy ammo on the fly. After a few more scenes of gameplay and dudes getting mowed down we see the equipment armory. This one is interesting because of what you can buy. Not only can you get the normal grenade reloads that always come in handy, but you’re able to purchase Claymore’s, C4, auto turrets (sentry gun), and the one I’m most excited for: Auto Grenade Launcher turret (YEAH I KNOW RIGHT?!). A little later in the video we see the killstreak armory featuring one of the coolest new additions, a delta squad and a riot shield team, as well as the ever-present harrier strike. They don’t show it in the killstreak list on the video but you see them throw out a purple flare that calls in an AC130 to shoot its arsenal in the designated spot.
All this awesome hardware isn’t just for show, the A.I. controlled enemies are ruthless. Like most wave-based modes they get stronger and more numerous as it progresses, and MW3 throws a couple curve-balls at you. Suicide bombers and attack dogs strapped with C4 are just a few of the new antagonists, as well as helicopters and harriers that come in throughout the game that you have to shoot down while being attacked by enemies. And if that wasn’t enough, the juggernaut is making it’s comeback from Modern Warefare 2, B*TCH! Ahem – sorry, got carried away. Anyway, the extremely hard to take down, bomb-proof juggernauts get sent in at certain levels, and boy do they look intense. So much so that they show a juggernaut being taken down by the players calling in an AC130 strike. Awesome, I know! It looks like the later rounds in this mode are going to be ridiculously fun. The antagonists may not be undead, but by the time you’re done with a few rounds they’ll definitely have moved a step closer to being zombies.
While this game mode isn’t anything new, and we’ve been able to enjoy a lot of variations on the game, it looks like it’s getting the Infinity Ward stamp. Fast-paced, close-quarters gameplay, online matchmaking, a separate leveling system that awards as you play, and that’s just what we could see in the trailer. There is a lot to be excited for; now we just have to wait. On a final note, if you are waiting for an awesome multi-player preview, the last five seconds show what looks to be a totally streamlined heads-up display, a new weapon, killstreak counter, colored overhead map, and what looks like one of the coolest traps ever: a black puck is thrown up into the air when a enemy is in it’s vicinity and what looks like an AC130 shoots the puck and blows it up, killing whoever is in it’s killzone. Again, I know right?!?! Hope to see you guys online at midnight, and stay tuned for the multi-player preview.