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Call of Duty’s Halloween Event ‘The Haunting Of Verdansk’ Is Good

Illustration for article titled iCall of Duty/i’s Halloween Event ‘The Haunting Of Verdansk’ Is Good
Image: Activision

The Haunting of Verdansk is the best Call of Duty seasonal event in a long time, especially if you enjoy the spooky stuff. Today’s update for both Modern Warfare and Warzone brings classic horror-movie villains and terrifying twists to both games.

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From now until November 3, people can play a nighttime version of Warzone’s map, spooky modes, and Halloween-themed cosmetics that feature Billy the Puppet from Saw and Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

In Warzone, players can experience a haunted nighttime version of the Verdansk map. Thermal scopes will likely be heavily used here, and the best counter play is to make sure your custom loadouts are equipped with the “Cold Blooded” perk to avoid thermal detection.

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There are special “Trick or Treat” chests that can be found on the map, which will reward players with cosmetics like weapon charms and gun blueprints. Of course, one must beware when opening these chests, as some contain a spooky trick like a jump scare instead of a cosmetic treat. Trick-or-Treating in Verdansk doesn’t even require you to dress up. The Leatherface mask is optional here.

Nighttime in Verdansk also brings all the haunting vibes. My time at the dam location was filled with spectrals floating all over the area, and some areas have spooky sound effects. There are probably some creepy Easter eggs hidden around the map as well.

Zombies have crawled their way into Warzone, because what’s Halloween without the rise of the undead? In the “Zombie Royale” nighttime mode, players who get killed will return to the match as zombies. The undead players can’t carry any weapons, but they have special abilities that make them a frightening encounter. They’re fast as hell, can perform massive leaps, and have deadly melee attacks and thermal vision.

Being a superpowered zombie sounds like fun, but it’s the last squad standing with a surviving human player that will win the match. Once undead, players still have a chance to get de-zombified. Each dead body will drop one anti-viral syringe. A zombie player can return to their human state and redeploy with their loadout, if they can scavenge two of those syringes.

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I’m not really a fan of Call of Duty’s “infected” style modes. I want to keep my gun and not run around as a corpse, but this mode might be fun for those who already enjoy this particular game type. These Warzone zombies are definitely terrifying with their speed and feral noises. However, there are standard nighttime modes for players like myself who just want to get kills and trick-or-treat without becoming undead. The only downfall is that there isn’t a solo playlist for the nighttime map. As of right now, there are only the options to play as trios or quads. I’d love to see a solo queue added for the event.

Illustration for article titled iCall of Duty/i’s Halloween Event ‘The Haunting Of Verdansk’ Is Good
Image: Activision
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The Halloween spirit also seeps into Modern Warfare’s multiplayer, as the head of a player’s operator will transform into a pumpkin head once they reach three kills without dying. Their head will upgrade to a flaming jack-o-lantern once they reach a 10-kill streak. Domination flag points are now scarecrows, and other visual tweaks can be found in various modes.

This is Warzone’s first seasonal map change, and I’m definitely feeling the Halloween terror being surrounded by all these creepy Saw puppets. I hope we see more events like this in the future as Warzone continues to co-exist with Call of Duty’s upcoming Black Ops: Cold War.

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DISCUSSION

Unless a killstreak involves riding around the map on a tricycle or putting a random player or two into a trap room the Billy skin is really out of place here.