I’ve scanned this Call of Duty: Online trailer for an ounce of self-awareness and haven’t found enough for the scales to register the weight. I’ve strained watching the faces of its behatted player avatars for any sign of a smirk, but read only grim determination.
Call of Duty: Online is doing robot zombies, and has apparently decided to play it straight.
There’s dedication to your fiction, but what precisely are the twin developers of Call of Duty: Online dedicated to? A potted sci-fi universe in which humanity’s domestic drones have returned after fly-tipping? Wherefore the undead’s knack for the uncanny when it’s jumped-up toasters being raised from the dead?
It does make sense, however, that Treyarch’s well-weathered Zombies mode would be a cornerstone of Activision Shanghai and Raven Software’s free-to-play CoD. The Asian market sequel will be the first in the series to expunge single player completely, and the first to run entirely on microtransactions.
Zombies mode has become a staple of co-operative multiplayer since its introduction in World at War in 2008. More recently, it’s become the focal point of map pack marketing campaigns, drawing in Hollywood names like Michael Madsen.
Chinese law dictates that Western studios looking to release a game there must partner with a local company. Call of Duty: Online will be published, marketed and distributed by Tencent Holdings. They’re most notably the owners of Riot Games, significant shareholders in Epic Games, and reportedly the third-biggest internet company in the world.
Their expertise will come in handy in tuning CoD for the Chinese market, which common industry theory suggests is better suited to in-game purchases than £50 one-offs. I don’t know how far true that’ll prove to be - but I do know Crytek’s Warface had a very successful time of it in East Asia before its US and European release.
What of this trailer, though? Can you see anything new in it?
Thanks, PC Gamer.