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Nazi Zombies
fredag, december 5, 2008, 2:34
Filed under: General Blogging, Hobbies & Activities

H*LY SHIT! (Or ”HOLY S*IT”, your call 😉 )

Allow me to get a tad bit nerdy today, and I’ll explain the reason for my reaction.

I’ve always been a great fan of the videogame series Call of Duty (CoD). And very recently the latest installment in the series was released in Europe: Call of Duty – World at War.

For those who don’t know, this is a first person shooter, meaning you run around a map and shoot at the enemy (of course there’s more to it than that, but that’s a general description 😛 ). The game is set in the second world war, so the enemy would be Germans and the Japanese.

Even though this might not be the best game in the series (CoD4 was simply amazing), World at War (WaW) is a great game. As with all the CoD games, it has all the key ingredients: a decent story, fast-paced action, adrenaline-kicks, stunning scenes, teamwork (especially with the new co-op game style where you can play through the entire single player campaign with up to three other people, a bit like Serious Sam which has been a hit in this family, as some of you know, though with a more serious focus), etc.

But this is not what I want to talk about in this post. Today I discovered something much unexpected and incredibly fun which made me lose my breath completely. A multiplayer co-op map where the enemy isn’t human. I’m no fan of horror games or anything involving zombies, but since this was so unexpected and since it takes teamwork to be good at (teamwork is for me a huge plus in a game, it makes it so much more social), I really like it. It goes by the slightly disturbing name of ”Nazi-Zombies”.

Nazi-Zombies has nothing at all to do with the rest of the game. It’s a game of its own! It doesn’t fit the serious WWII theme (except for the Nazi-part, of course), and it doesn’t really follow the traditional game style of the CoD series. It works something like this:

Up to four players – your friends or random people online – are barricaded inside a building. The windows and doors are nailed shut, and you’re only armed with a pistol each (to begin with). Suddenly zombies start to tear the barricades down! Your job, of course, is to shoot the zombies through the cracks in the barricades to prevent them from getting in.

At first, things are rather slow. The zombies are very few and even though you only have a pistol they’re easy to fend off. But gradually, with each new wave of zombies, they increase in number, and soon things get very hectic. To start with, there are six (I think) possible entries for the zombies, and since you can be max four people, that means you have to run back and forth a bit to protect all sides.

As you shoot zombies, you also earn points. These can be used for several things, including repairing the barricades as they get damaged, buying new weapons and unlocking new rooms. The latter is quite interesting, in fact: by opening the door to a new room or going upstairs, you get access to more weapons, but at the same time the zombies get more windows and doors to try to get through. There are more entrances to protect, in other words.

So let’s fast forward a bit. Now each of you have a decent weapon (a rifle, machinegun or, if you’re lucky, a futuristic laser gun, for example). You’ve gone to the second room (that’s where you got the cool guns), and even though you were all strangers only 15 minutes ago, you’ve developed a pattern of teamwork: ”Tommy” defends the front door, ”Kenny” is running between the two windows at the far end of the building, and you and ”Andy” are covering their backs by fending off enemies in the second room. But suddenly the zombies are too many for Kenny to shoot down, and they manage to break though one of the windows!

”We’ve got a breach!” Kenny yells through the voice chat (a lot of people use this feature; I don’t even know where my microphone is).

Tommy is forced to abandon his post to assist Kenny, but this only works temporarily, because soon zombies are coming through the now abandoned front door as well. What to do? Retreat to the second room, where you and Andy too are starting to get a bit overrun.

Tommy upgrades his weapon and throws himself on the floor with his new machinegun, aiming towards the entrance to the first room, the one he just left. He picks down some zombies to give Kenny space to enter the room as well.

And it’s only now that things are actually heating up for real. With the first room abandoned, it becomes flooded with zombies who, of course, try to enter the room you’re currently in. But on the bright side, you’re now four people in one room rather than spread out in two separate rooms. Smaller space, easier to protect.

So you manage to carry on for a few more waves of zombies, but then you and Andy, even though Kenny helps out where he can, start to lose control. At the same time, the room next door is so flooded with zombies, every time Andy has to reload and Kenny is busy on our side, a few zombies get through. The result is a wild hunt within the walls of the room, where you jump around to avoid the zombies as you shoot them down to clear the room again, while also trying to keep the barricades by the windows from getting destroyed.

But it doesn’t take long until the zombies who actually do get in are too many. Andy get’s killed by the front door (yes, you do respawn, but it takes a while) leaving the rest of you on your own. Kenny takes over by the front door, but it’s too late. Everyone yells over the voice chat letting the others know where the zombies are coming from, but it doesn’t matter anymore: they’re coming from everywhere! Everyone gives up on protecting the entrances, and now it’s all about staying alive. Panic! Kenny get’s killed, as does Andy. You make a last desperate attempt to avoid the horde of zombies, but you don’t stand a chance. Game Over.

Scores are compared and you thank your newly found friends for a great match. The challenge of the game is of course to survive longer next time, so you start all over again for some more action. And so it continues 😀

Phew! It’s been long since I experienced such thrill in a videogame before.

Now, since my sister and I have been playing games like Serious Sam and Age of Mythology for years, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends or family, we’ve experienced this type of gaming before. People give orders to each other, you have to cooperate and it gets pretty exciting due to the fact that you are, after all, human beings fighting for a common goal. Thus, I figured playing this game over a LAN would be super cool!

But since we only have one copy of the game, things didn’t really work (some games do work with just one copy, but not this one). I’m strongly leaning towards buying another one (we have two copies of Serious Sam for the very same reason), but is it worth 500 kr. (50€) when you want only a small part of the game?

Sure, you can play the regular campaign together with other players as well (like in Serious Sam: the co-op campaign is the same as in single player), but the game style there (you have to hide, duck, etc.) isn’t really what my sister enjoys. She wants more straight-forward action, and Nazi-Zombies gives you that for sure!

It’s been a long time since we had a real match together, and perhaps this game can get us to start again (though preferably you should be more than just two players, or you’ll get overrun quite fast). We’ll see how things turn out, but it would be cool for sure 😀

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