With the arrival of Call of Duty’s Season 2 on February 25, zombies took the story spotlight. Black Ops Cold War got a great Zombies “Outbreak” mode, and Warzone’s Verdansk map got a ship full of the undead. Warzone is slowly being infected by the undead, leading up to a potential new mode or map.
When the Vodianoy cargo ship crashed onto the shores of Verdansk two weeks ago, it was pretty clear that some of the zombies onboard were going to get loose. Yesterday’s update spreads the infection along the southeast portion of the map to Verdansk’s prison location. The zombie infection didn’t spread like most would expect, with the ship remaining an infected zone. Instead, the undead just abandoned the Vodianoy ship, and they’ve now set up camp at the prison.
Zombies can be triggered at the prison the same way as at the Vodianoy shipwreck, by activating a machine to start a zombie-killing event. Killing a specific number of zombies will grant access to a special loot chest with items like high-tier weapons and a gas mask. But it’s very likely that these zombie infestations are about more than just scoring some gear.
There’s a possibility this is just teasing a new Zombies mode for Warzone. But this spread of the undead is being heavily teased by Warzone developers Raven Software and the Call of Duty blog, which makes it easy to assume something big is about to hit Verdansk.
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Part of yesterday’s blog states that “immediate exfil and subsequent fumigation is recommended.” Also, there have been rumors of a “plague” mode coming to Warzone, which would require surviving a zombie outbreak and exfiltration from the map, or else a nuke would end the match.
Some players speculate that this will lead to an uncontrollable outbreak that will end with the entire map of Verdansk getting nuked to contain the spread, thus finally introducing a Cold War era Warzone map. This theory ties in nicely with Warzone’s constant reminder that Verdansk sits on a bunch of nuclear warheads. The nuclear bunkers keep opening their doors and teasing those warheads, so maybe zombies will indeed be the imminent threat that causes all those nukes to detonate.
The Verdansk map never really lived up to its full potential, and landscape updates have been scarce, but I’ve still enjoyed my time there. I have many memories of shenanigans with friends, as Warzone made for a great distraction during unusual times last year. With that said, I’m all for nuking it and starting fresh. A zombie outbreak could be a fun way to send Verdansk packing, but I have my doubts that this event is going to be the satisfying end many are hoping for.
My biggest worry is that all this build up for a Zombies event will slog by at a shambling, corpse-like pace. Last year’s teasers leading up to Warzone’s “Know Your History” live event dragged on for weeks. I was a big fan of getting the community involved with teasers and in-game Easter egg puzzles, but if you drag anything out long enough, it loses some of its excitement.
It’s possible the weekly Warzone updates will infect a different location each time, and this will just be more of the same until we finally reach Season 2’s conclusion. The season is just barely underway, likely to end around the end of April, so we have a long way to go until we reach whatever finale the developers are cooking up.
I’d love to see Raven Software really ramp up this infection process, and give us a full-on Zombies infested map with some interesting modes and twists. Maybe add in some of the big “elite” zombies found in Cold War’s Zombies mode, or include some mini-Easter eggs to solve. We’ll see what happens next.