Modern Warfare Zombies has been the one part of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III that has received universal claim and praise. It’s not for no reason, either. As I wrote about here for BSO, Zombies is one of the more addicting games I’ve ever played, even with the faults. There’s something about Urzikstan that keeps me dropping in and dumping zombies to the ground with whichever weapon I’ve decided to use to inflict maximum damage. There is a genuine adrenaline rush when you’ve slayed a massive horde of zombies while barely taking a scratch. After years of saying the mode seemed kinda… whatever, I guess, I am officially a convert to the Zombies crowd.
The main thing that keeps me coming back is the positivity within the game itself. When Activision decided to release their extraction shooter version of Call of Duty called DMZ, it became a breeding ground for shadiness and horrible people. You’d see the worst type of people playing DMZ. I had one dude tell me I was safe to exfil with him only for him to have his teammates gun me down and then say “I said I could be friendly, I never said I would be.” Trash people do trashy things just because they can in DMZ. But whatever DMZ does on the negative side gets balanced out with the positivity of Modern Warfare Zombies.
The differences are so stark that I have created an adage that I use on all sorts of forums, message boards, and tweets — “A player in Modern Warfare Zombies will give you the three-plate vest off their back while the DMZ player would shoot their own mother in the back for a two-plate vest and a bottle of aged wine.” If you can find a way to prove that adage wrong, please let me know. I couldn’t come up with one.
It doesn’t matter where I am on the map. When I plead for help, people drive across the map to not only come get me, but a lot of people will invite me to join their team after reviving me. I’ve been down inside the Tier 3 zone surrounded by a Mega Abomination and I’ve still had people come and revive me. While I almost always drop some kind of reward for their troubles, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been turned down trying to reciprocate. They don’t want anything for doing a good thing, they just want to help out. Imagine saying that about any extraction shooter.
When you foster an environment where players can interact with each other but have no motivation to stab one another in the back or steal their items, you’re going to keep a lot more players around. You wanna know why DMZ is on life support? It’s because dudes like Loochy make their living doing contract hunts just to kill people on the map and steal their stuff. People were tired of being downed 250 times in a row by a six-man squad when they dropped in solo to do a regain run. People were tired of doing their contracts, grabbing all the rewards, and then getting downed at exfil because a streamer decided that was the day he wanted to farm the extraction site for easy kills and free loot. That stuff is toxic and it removes any motivation to play that game.
I have nothing wrong with those players, they’re just doing what the game allows and you can’t hate on people for doing that, but you can get frustrated beyond belief and quit playing entirely. You struggle to motivate yourself to drop into Al Mazrah or Ashika Island, etc… when right after you think you’ve succeeded, someone drops you and takes all your hard work while laughing at you and telling you to “get gud” or something else. They’re playing fairly, but it doesn’t make the experience any more desirable.
Zombies is the total opposite of this. People randomly offer to give away Ray Guns or Wunderwaffe to people for no reason. They just come up and offer or drop it on the ground. I’ve given away two different Ray Gun rewards. The excitement from players when you drop them something amazing is always worth it. People are genuinely appreciative for these items and will often try and give you something back. I never take anything because I just want to put good out into the atmosphere. It seems like I’m not the only person who feels this way.
I genuinely hope Modern Warfare Zombies gets more and more content. I live in Urzikstan and truly love playing this game. I don’t care if they had to get rid of DMZ to support it in a major way. The mode is just that good and I want more, more, more. It’s beyond refreshing to have an extraction shooter based around helping other people. Microsoft have a chance to keep this mode as it is and create something truly amazing. Let’s hope they decide to follow the numbers and support this mode in major ways going forward.