Highlights Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s Zombie mode being open worlds means it will likely feature an approach that resembles Outbreak, with expansive areas and objectives instead of round-based gameplay. The game could shake things up by allowing players to become the infected themselves, similar to the Dying Light franchise, opening up new gameplay opportunities. Players could control special Zombie types like Mimics while having objectives of their own. Dead players could also respawn as Zombies, similar to how it works in Warzone’s Zombie Royale.
While the campaign and standard multiplayer of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are set to feature a lot of ambitious changes, they pail in comparison to the unique approach that the game’s Zombie mode is set to implement. The way that Zombies will operate in the release is set to be practically unrecognizable to the original formula of the mode, though Treyarch still has control of the Zombies experience’s development.
Zombies in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be the mode’s first appearance within the wider MW franchise, and it is borrowing a lot of its framework from the Outbreak mode seen in 2020’s Black Ops Cold War. This means players should expect expansive open areas littered with objectives as opposed to the standard round-based gameplay of past Zombies. Interestingly, this could open up some opportunities for gameplay that the franchise never managed to get right in the past. In particular, MW3 could take inspiration from the Dying Light franchise by allowing players to become the infected themselves, opening up a whole other frontier of Zombies gameplay.Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s Zombies: Becoming the Infected
The Zombies of Modern Warfare 3 is set to be an unprecedented large-scale experience. For example, the main map of the mode is rumored to be the largest in Zombies history, and it will even allow multiple squads of players to fight alongside each other in-game. In this way, it seems that MW3 Zombies is taking a lot of mechanics from Warzone, and the increased player count of games should give way to adversarial gameplay as well as friendly. What would be particularly interesting, though, is if actual players could control the undead.
It is true that Call of Duty has explored this kind of game mode before with Turned, a mode exclusive to Black Ops 2 Zombies. While this offered fun fast-paced gameplay and allowed players to control zombies, it played more like a standard infection mode without any real nuance or variation. This is where MW3 should look toward Dying Light and its iconic “Be The Zombie” mode, which allowed players to take control of the powerful Night Hunter special infected.
Dying Light’s Be The Zombie gave the infected player objectives such as defending its nests, and MW3’s counterpart could see zombie players have similar objectives to complete before survivors do. This potential mode could also take inspiration from the popular Versus mode of Left 4 Dead, where the infected can choose where they spawn and take on a variety of roles to disorient and pounce on survivors in the most lethal way possible.
This would tie in perfectly to the mini-boss infected types that are set to feature in Modern Warfare 3’s Zombies. Many of these are reoccurring enemy types from Cold War, with MW3 already confirming the return of the Mimic. Having a range of unique special infected to take control of could be an excellent feature in MW3, meaning teams of zombies would have to work together to track survivors through large areas and synchronize their attacks.
If MW3 was to implement this kind of feature, it could either come through a dedicated humans vs zombies playlist, or through a feature that sees a dead teammate come back as a strong infected type in standard gameplay. With Warzone’s Zombie Royale embracing a similar concept, Treyarch could reuse some of the technology to give dead players something to do beyond spectating. It is clear that MW3’s Zombies will have to build upon the Outbreak formula rather than just increasing the scale of its gameplay, and allowing players to become the infected could make the mode one of the most memorable in CoD history.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launches on November 10 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.