If you’re a fan of first person shooters then you’ve probably already picked up your copy of Call of Duty: World at War and possibly Gears of War 2. And you’ve probably read or experienced The Horde Mode in Gears of War 2 and/or Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty: World at War. If you haven’t heard of these two modes let me explain a little. The new trend in game modes seems to be the “Survival” game mode, or if we’re talking about Left 4 Dead, that’s just the entire game in general (kind of). Unlike Left 4 Dead, Gears of War 2 and CoD:WaW have these little extras to go along with the actual game. GoW2 has The Horde mode and CoD:WaW has Nazi Zombies. Essentially they are the same idea, but both are unique in their execution. Read on for my take on each game mode.
Horde Mode in Gears of War 2 was the first one to break into the scene and was instantly playable as soon as you popped in the disc. The game consists of fending off wave after wave of enemies with up to 4 players on any multiplayer map in the game. The waves start off easy with a low number of enemies and the enemies are not very strong. As you progress through the waves you get more enemies as well as stronger enemies. When you reach wave 10, the enemies get a certain percentage stronger, but the numbers and types of enemies start over. So wave 11 is basically wave 1, but the enemies are now stronger than they were when you first started. I do like the way the waves work on GoW2 because the enemies are varied on each wave, even if they do start over at 11, 21, 31, 41, but it makes it a little easier to get up to higher waves since you get a little break every 10 waves. Yeah the enemies get stronger, but there are far less of them to start with so it’s easy to barrel through those and with Horde mode consisting of only 50 waves, it’s not extremely difficult to get through all 50. And once you get through all 50, that’s it… what then?
Nazi Zombies is part of Call of Duty: World at War, but unlike Horde Mode on GoW2, you need to play through the entire single player campaign in order to unlock this mode. Yeah it’s a little annoying to have to do this, but the idea behind the Nazi Zombies is that after you’ve brought down the Nazi Regime, they come back from the dead to exact revenge! You and up to 3 other people (4 total) are locked in an old house in the woods when the zombies start to attack. You start in the main section of the house with a pistol and a couple clips of ammo. After killing a few zombies and gaining points you can buy new guns, ammo, board up the windows to slow down the zombies, and even open up different sections of the house. But beware, opening other sections to get different guns comes with it’s disadvantages as there are more windows to guard in the other rooms so the zombies have more ways to get in.
The zombies come in waves similar to GoW2, but also quite differently. Each wave there are more zombies and they are stronger than the previous wave which makes things extremely difficult. There is also no ending to the waves (as far as I’m aware). I had read an article saying that the guys over at Treyarch (the developer) had only made it up to wave 23 before getting killed. I played last night and only managed to get to wave 9 so it’s definitely not easy. Of couse if you go on YouTube and watch the videos you’ll see people doing glitches and managing to get up to ridiculously high numbers, but if you play the right way, it’s damn hard.
So Locusts or Zombies? Personally I prefer the Nazi Zombie mode over the Horde Mode for a few reasons. For 1, I like zombies, but besides that, I like first person shooters more than 3rd person shooters. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Gears of War 2, but I prefer FPS. The fact that the Zombie mode is so much harder than Horde as well as never ending adds to the replay value, I think. I also like the idea behind getting points in order to buy better guns/ammo as well as board up the windows of the house, it actually makes you feel like you’re in this cabin being attacked. In Gears you had to run and get ammo that was spread out throughout the level, which I guess is more realistic than buying it, but there were always enough ammo spread around from locusts that were killed that I never had to venture out of the little hiding spot we would corner ourselves in. Both games have the “revive” feature, so when you’re downed your other teammates can come over and revive you. The only difference is that in Zombies, you get a pistol to try and shoot the zombies with while you’re waiting to be revived. On the later levels though the pistol is like throwing rocks at them, it pretty much does nothing. In Gears you get no weapon when downed, but you can crawl towards your teammates (CoD you’re stationary, but can spin).
So overall I prefer the Nazi Zombies over the Locusts in Horde Mode, but both are great game modes and I hope that more multiplayer/FPS games start adding modes like this in the future. They are definitely a welcome addition to online gaming.