Pin It
Favorite

Call of Duty: Black Ops 

Already a solid shooter, Call of Duty branches out into artistry with “Zombies.”

click to enlarge Das ist thriller diller nacht.
  • Das ist thriller diller nacht.

There are lots of ways to approach the latest Call of Duty. I choose the option marked “Zombies.”

“Zombies” is a stand-alone game mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops that showcases the series’ shooting mechanics to fine effect. It’s built right into the game. I skipped over the single player and the standard multiplayer. I’m sure Black Ops’ storyline and settings are great. But all I played was “Zombies.”

I played “Zombies” the way it was meant to be played: co-op multiplayer. Duck and I are stuck together in a bombed-out entrance hall of a Nazi hotel, office building — some fancy place for fascist bigwigs, now undead. The electricity is out and the boarded-up windows can barely keep out the lurching, grasping, swarming SS, SA and whatever else the Nazis left behind to un-die.

Duck and I keep running across our dark besieged zombie shelter, checking the sturdiness of our blockades. The zombies’ arms come squirming between any boards we nail across busted-up windows. We crisscross the room, plugging undead leaks. And, usually, after a lull when everything feels snug and secure, they come again. Crowds of zombies tear away the boards we’ve used to barricade our windows. They push through the destroyed doorways. Undead are squeezed out by some of the best warsimulation technology in the world.

The attacks are ferocious, and they feel accurate. Accurate weaponry makes close-quarters combat intense and dangerous. Long-range rifles take on the quirks of their international manufacturers. A good sniper rifle might have a predictably off-center aim. Or a powerhouse gun might require hoarding rare ammunition. The Call of Duty franchise stages its action in fairly accurate models of space. It’s what gives the series’ war scenes such comprehensible scale. The same software that allows players to inhabit every imaginable war-torn landscape is used in “Zombies” to evoke the claustrophobia of being under siege.

While Duck hammers some boards onto the downstairs window, a glowing SS officer or whatever — I don’t ask — grabs me from behind. At first I try to back up a step and shoot him. But I’ve forgotten to load my rifle. And then there’s another zombie behind me. Where are they coming from? Duck!

He snipes them away. They die in a circle around me, crumpling down where they stand like withering petals. We quickly board up the window. We blast another incoming wave of zombies with shotguns. We snipe from behind barriers of battered furniture. We need bigger weapons. Mounted guns loom if we can only turn on the power. Suddenly, a zombie trembles with blue electricity.

It’s war. Against Nazi zombies!

THE GOOD: “Zombie” comes with the latest iteration of a little game called Call of Duty: Black Ops. Think of it as a really great mainstream freebie.

THE BAD: “Zombies” is a creative gameplay addition to a franchise that sometimes feels like a streamlined, high-powered and entirely predictable combat simulator.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Already a sleek, solid shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops branches out into artistry with “Zombies.”

Tags: ,

  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • Closing the Book
  • Closing the Book

    Peter Jackson bids farewell to his hobbits with one last, great movie
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • The One Who Knocks
  • The One Who Knocks

    Why an Australian indie called The Babadook became one of 2014's creepiest films
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Let My People Go Big
  • Let My People Go Big

    Exodus: Gods and Kings fails when it tries to humanize its spectacle
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Christmas at the Bing

Christmas at the Bing @ Bing Crosby Theater

Sun., Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

or

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Fresh Spin

    A local record shop is reincarnated under a new owner, giving this generation a taste of vinyl
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Review


© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation