Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies

Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies is a First Person Shooter game that pits you, a rookie soldier, against hordes of Nazi zombies in a war torn German bunker in World War II. That’s right, you’re fighting dead Nazis, turned into zombies. If you’ve played the zombie bonus mode on Call of Duty: World at War on a console game system, you’ll know what to expect here: plenty of scary, creepy zombies, with WWII era rifles, shotguns, grenades, and flamethrowers.

Currently, COD Zombies has two game levels: a short tutorial, and the Nacht der Untoten (Night of the Undead) level. The tutorial really kicks off the scary action right away, while giving you the basics of the game. You’ve got to fend off wave after wave of stronger, faster zombies. Killing zombies and barricading windows will get you points, which you can spend on new weapons and ammo and removing barriers to access new sections of the bunker. Zombies will take different amounts of damage depending on where you hit them, but headshots are always undead stoppers. If a zombie is within striking distance of you, an icon will appear in the direction of the danger. Seeing this icon usually just causes me to panic and promptly get my brains eaten. The scariest part of this game is that the zombies come from all directions. There are very few places to hide, and you’re weapons are barely adequate until you get the flamethrower. Slay enough zombies, and a bonus will randomly appear. These can be anything from unlimited ammo to nuclear bombs (which causes all enemies to die). You’ll definitely need anything and everything you can get to survive the higher waves. The game also features a healthy achievements set, which really motivated me to try new strategies, i.e. survive for 6 waves without repairing barricades, kill 4 zombies at once with the flamethrower, etc. There’s really quite a bit of replay value considering that there is only one map.

This game is scary! Pure and simple, mess-your-pants scary. In addition to the game music and sound effects are classically creepy, you actually hear the zombies before you see them. They’ll rip off boarded up windows, make guttural moans and random terrifying screams. There’s a radio that you can eventually get to and it plays some rocking, zombie killing beats (you have to shoot it), but other than that the sounds are all special effects and ambient creepiness. The graphics are excellent, with fog effects, impressive gun details, erratic zombie movement, localized damage on the zombies based on where you hit them, etc. Everything is dark gray (or blood red), and spooky. Although there’s no health meter, you’re screen will turn red around the edges when you’ve taken critical damage.

The game also features three different control schemes: touchscreen, tilt, and dual stick. The touchscreen controls possibly make this game scarier than it otherwise would be. It’s unfortunate that FPS games are hard to pull off on the iPhone. Walking is controlled by the left virtual stick, while aiming is controlled by sliding your finger anywhere on the right side of the screen. The zoom and fire virtual buttons are located on the right side of the screen. Reloading is done by tapping the weapon icon in the upper right and you can change weapons by double tapping the weapon icon. Finally, the close combat knife is in the bottom center of the screen, which is very useful for when you’re out of ammo! Since there are no trigger buttons on the iPhone, you’ll either need to stop aiming so you can hit the fire button, or you can try playing with 3 fingers on the screen at once. The dual stick mode works similarly to the touchscreen mode, but it limits aiming to a second virtual stick in the lower right and requires you to tap the right virtual stick to fire. It’s less movement for your thumb, but you’ll have to play around with both schemes to see which one is the least difficult for you. Tilt mode uses the iPhones accelerometer function and feels like you’re fighting off zombies while driving a refrigerator. Try it for the novelty factor (and the extra-disoriented scariness), but when the zombies start moving fast it just becomes a hinderance, and a frustrating one at that.

One of the coolest things about Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies is that it features multiplayer gaming, both local and online (WiFi only, no phone network play). To start, you can either create a new account or link your game to an existing Call of Duty online account. Multiplayer games can have up to four players and make killing zombies much easier since you can watch each others back. You’ll also be able to show off your zombie slaying stats through the online leaderboards. You might experience laggy gameplay depending on your settings and the last time you rebooted your iPhone. There’s a handy troubleshooting and help section online at Overall, zombie games are definitely an acquired taste, but those who are willing to shell out $10 know exactly what they’re getting into. Fans of the genre will definitely love this app.

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