Call of Duty zombie has had an interesting few years to say the least. As the beloved Aether story came to an end, Treyarch attempted to introduce the Chaos story to fans, though many were unwilling to move on. After the mythology-focused universe failed, Treyarch introduced the Dark Aether narrative, a continuation of the Aether story with familiar figures like Eddie and Samantha Maxis.
While the grounded nature of the Dark Aether story works, and fans have accepted it due to the Aether story being fully complete and its continued use of beloved characters, it could be nice to see Treyarch experiment again. While it may have been divisive, the Chaos Story allowed Call of Duty Zombies to introduce new creatures and weaponry based on mythology. A fantasy-focused mode could open up gameplay possibilities in a similar way, allowing gamers to experience a different type of gameplay.
How a Fantasy-Focused CoD Zombies Mode Could Work
One way to instantly establish a fantasy-focused Zombies mode as something different is by using skeletons instead of undead corpses. This likely would not take too much extra effort on Treyarch’s end, as the developer already allowed players to fight some skeletons through an easter egg on Der Eisendrache. These enemies still took the same amount of damage and attacked like regular Zombies, but their visual design was different. The dragons from Gorod Krovi would also make perfect sense in a fantasy-focused Zombies mode.
When it comes to the weapons players could wield, guns could still be present. not only have Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands used guns well in a fantasy setting, but the use of modern technology in IX did not damage the experience. Alongside these weapons, Treyarch could introduce proper melee weapons, going beyond the bowie knife and basic knife seen in most maps. Further, unlike the unlockable melee weapons from maps like Revelations, these could have their own damage stats alongside light and heavy attacks to add a bit of depth.
Through the use of a scientist figure like Richtofen or an alchemist like Shaw, Treyarch could give players access to spells. These could function like Field Upgrades or could be a special equipment item like Monkey Bombs. Being able to burn, melt, freeze, or electrocute groups of Zombies while also wielding a Wonder Weapon that has its own effect could be incredibly cool. Like with perks and field upgrades in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold Warupgrade tiers could see players unlocking new stages of spells, with things like AoE attacks being added on.
Treyarch could also learn from past mistakes and connect a fantasy-focused Zombies mode to a storyline fans love as opposed to starting fresh like it did with the Chaos story. A fantasy-focused Zombies mode could lean into the Great War from the Aether universe, allowing gamers to control the Primis crew once again. Treyarch could fill in the gaps of the storyline, covering the war that took place from 1294 to the first day of 1300. This would allow players to wield Origins’ environmental staves once again alongside a deep melee system and spellcasting.
While Call of Duty 2023 seems poised to continue the Dark Aether story and build off Eddie’s appearance in Forsaken, it would be nice to see Treyarch take a risk and explore some more unique settings. A major issue fans have with the latest Zombies modes is that the maps lack personality, something that the Chaos Story locations had plenty of. A similar shakeup to the setting and gameplay formula could be exactly what Zombies needs to win back lapsed fans. Call of Duty zombie has survived by constantly evolving and trying new things, and a mode that leans more into fantasy than sci-fi could be refreshing.
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