Call of Duty’s Open-World Zombies Experience, Outbreak, Lands Now With Season 2

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s Season 2 is landing right now. While the new update contains numerous new things to explore the game over, perhaps the most interesting is the Outbreak zombies experience. Call of Duty’s zombie modes have generally been self-contained, round-based entities that task players with discovering secrets and solving puzzles while fending off the infinite and ever-more-challenging hordes of undead.

As of today, that’s all about to change. Outbreak gives players a dynamic open-world zombies mode. Not only will you face off against a voracious tide, but world events and exploration are key pillars of Outbreak, allowing you to use vehicles and take advantage of a huge play space to blast back the blight. Outbreak can be enjoyed with a crew or solo.

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“In round-based, zombies are constantly coming to you,” says lead systems and Outbreak designer Kevin Drew.  “This mode, you’re driving that experience, you’re moving through the space, you’re encountering the zombies along the way at your own pace, and you can make decisions there. You can explore, drive around, go find zombies in the world, or things we call world events, go loot. But at the end of the day, you need to go complete the objective and  that’s your carrot on the stick that’s gonna make everyone converge. That’s where we can turn up the difficulty and make that a very focused moment with the tension.”

After completing a main objective, you have an opportunity to catch your breath and complete some upgrades. After that, you can choose to warp to a different, more difficult region to complete another objective or “cash out” of the experience with an exfil. The difficulty in this mode ramps up rapidly if you’re hitting beacons and porting to new regions with jumps in power, so it’s more of an elevator up instead of a stairway. A multitude of different world objectives and events await players in the new mode.

“So I mean, there’s all sorts of different experiments that that the Requiem team is running into in these outbreak zones,” says creative director Corky Lehmkuhl. “So there’s genetic DNA scanning, there’s purified Aetherium that they’re gathering and sending back. So one objective, Aetherium harvest, you see these canisters that kind of pop up. The device is harvesting Aetherium from the atmosphere, and it creates this crystal that Requiem wants to send back to headquarters to study. So you have to get the canister, you put it on your back. And then, of course, zombies are attracted to you. So you have to get to the rocket and deposit it and you have to do that twice. And then you send the rocket launchers up in the air.” 

While there will be intel and lore bits to discover in Outbreak, the big questlines and narrative beats won’t come online until Season 3. For Season 2, it’s all about exploring the new iteration on the zombie core. Expect Treyarch to experiment heavily with Outbreak as the Seasons for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War continue. Of course, Season 2 brings plenty of new content to core multiplayer and Warzone as well, check out the trailer below!

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