Was there any particular reason you guys followed the zombies route? Did you have non-zombie ideas before electing to build on Treyarch’s zombies mode? And if so, what were they?
We prototyped a number of co-op experiences throughout the three year development of Advanced Warfare, and the one that continued to resonate on the development team was the zeitgeist appeal of Zombies. From our work on Dead Space, to our appreciation of zombies in pop culture, and the fan love of Zombies in Call of Duty, we felt it was the right decision to marry the balance of terror and frenetic gameplay with the new movement and mechanics of the EXO in Advanced Warfare.
What truly separates the Sledgehammer Zombies mode from any before it?
Advanced Warfare puts you in the boots of a Tier One soldier of tomorrow, and for the first time, you get all of the tools, technology, new weapons, and new abilities that the EXO provides. It’s everything you love from Call of Duty Zombies, with all the new innovations of the advanced Soldier.
How difficult was it landing the cast? (Or did they simply jump at the chance?)
Call of Duty is a pop culture phenomenon and we’ve been fortunate to draw amazing talent as part of the cast. Kevin Spacey’s involvement certainly gave the game an appeal that transcended entertainment and had a number of Hollywood’s best interested in contributing to the experience. Adding the diverse talents of John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan, and Jon Bernthal to the great story of EXO Zombies was an easy decision for us and they were excited to be part of the growing list of people involved with Call of Duty.
Did you think at all about a Kevin Spacey zombie?
Of course. From co-op to MP, who doesn’t want more of Jonathan Irons?
Is there a guestimated amount of time this new mode adds to the game? How have you approached replayability?
The cool thing about EXO Zombies is that it offers an unlimited amount of playability. At a base level every game is going to offer a new experience based on what the player does and how they react to the creatures and events that are thrown at them. Special enemies and rounds are randomised just enough so players can be *slightly* prepared for what to expect yet not assured in what they will be facing. Reaching a higher round or a higher score on the Leaderboards isn’t the only thing to keep people coming back. There is a great layer of secret things in the map that can be discovered and unlocked through careful gameplay. We definitely want to let people really dig into what the game offers.
How many maps are there for zombies?
The Havoc DLC pack offers the first infection of EXO Zombies for players. The map is called Outbreak for a reason – it’s where everything begins. Expect to see the story of the infection play out through the rest of the Advanced Warfare DLC season.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Havoc DLC will release later this month for all other platforms that aren't Xbox (it's already available on Microsoft's consoles).