“Call of Duty Black Ops 2” – Send in the zombies

Kill it! Kill it with fire!

Zombies.

Next to Nazis, Russians, demons and orcs, zombies are some of the few enemies that the gaming industry never seems to tire of.

Oddly enough, Nazi zombies appear to be an unholy fusion that gamers await with baited breath for at the announcement of a “Call of Duty” title. It’s strange that a game mode that really has nothing to do with the story or the multiplayer style has sold millions of copies for the franchise.

Obviously, the appeal is more than just shooting hordes of the undead. The survival mode that it offers is challenging in itself – repairing your barricades between waves and purchasing better weapons with the money you’ve earned from successful kills.

Perhaps it is the risk/reward ratio that really has people flocking to this particular mode of play.

 It’s not often that gamers get to directly see results from their hard work so soon after an enemy attack unless there is a leveling system. It also shows a player’s skill in direct correlation with their performance because of the rewards that they can spend on protecting their team and arming themselves.

Most multiplayer modes reward a fighter or team after the end of a match. The gradual skill growth is then displayed through items and perks. Player skill is measured in the fighting ability.

In a survival mode, it is measured in progress and effectiveness of weapons and defenses. It is almost unnecessary to show the player’s skill when the rewards right there prove that they’re excellent. Of course, as time gets shorter between the rounds, the skill of a player is much more important and the effectiveness of their defenses and weapons really come into play.

There aren’t many defense-survival games out there. Games where you actually have to build up barriers from the enemy to stem the tide. Most zombie shooters have you traveling from one place to another. There are so few that have you staying in one place and fighting to the last man (or woman) and bullet.

Smile, handsome!

“Dead Island” came close to this, but you never really had a reason to stick around the survivor zones other than restocking and resupplying. There was more movement in there than anything. If “Dead Island” incorporated a game mode like the one in “Call of Duty” against zombies, it might actually add a level of survival to it, so much that you would actually dread the night and value your companions, NPCs or not.

Of course, “CoD: Black Ops 2” is close on the horizon and players are chomping at the bit to kill some more of the undead. Perhaps if we were to see more games employ this mode of gameplay when dealing with  the walking deceased, we’d see a lot more variety and success in fields other than “Resident Evil” or “Left 4 Dead.” It’s not that those games aren’t phenomenal in their own right, but variety is the spice of life.