The tale of the R.M.S. Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage has been told by countless documentaries, a blockbuster movie, and even some weird old video games. Somehow, it’s now made its way into a Call of Duty game, of all things. As someone who completely adores the story, drama, and beauty of the doomed ship, I can safely say that Treyarch has created my most eagerly anticipated Zombies scenario yet.
The story begins with a rogue-ish group of four devising and executing a plan to steal an artifact from a safe located in the Titanic’s Millionaires Suite. The plan is foiled by a mysterious hooded figure who then – whoops! – accidentally turns everyone aboard the ship into flesh-eating zombies. Then, of course, the Titanic does what it was always fated to do: it sideswipes an iceberg.
What first caught my eye was the stunning detail and love Treyarch has put into this map. From dinner menus accurately displaying what the passengers ate that infamous night to the Grand Staircase clock being set to the appropriate time when the Titanic struck the iceberg, historical accuracy seems to be getting the love it deserves.
Then, of course, is the zombie-splattering co-op gameplay itself, and that’s where my hardcore Titanic fandom became an asset. I’ve never been able to call out my current location or where I’ve found certain items during my first time jumping into a Zombies map – until now. I could be fighting hordes on the bow and hear a teammate call out that the mystery box had appeared on the Grand Staircase and know exactly where that was and how to get there. I suddenly felt like I was on my home turf, and that this time the zombies were the visitors.
Another thing to note about this map is that, just like the Titanic itself, it is actually pretty big. Not only does it cover the entire deck portion, but there are many below-deck levels to explore as well. Adding to the variety of this map is that since the ship is of course sinking, some of these areas will have you exploring and even fighting zombies underwater. I found that added an extra layer of fear to your standard climbing-through-windows zombies. Also, while not exactly new but very much appreciated, Treyarch has included teleporters to help navigate this large ship with ease – for a price.
Fighting the zombies is pretty standard fare, but with a few slight alterations. Similar to Infinite Warfare’s Zombies in Spaceland Fate and Fortune Card system, you’re given a plethora of elixirs which grant temporary boosts or “get out of jail for free” cards to help escape a dire situation. Along with elixirs, you also get to select one of four special weapons to enter the fight with, and each of which has three upgrade tiers that allow the weapons to power up in new ways. And while I didn’t get a chance to use all of them, the ones I did fight with felt powerful and fun to use. The Scepter of Ra has a powerful melee attack, along with a beam that not only burns zombies but also heals your teammates. The Viper and Dragon offers a devastating combo of explosive shots mixed with a bladed whip. I can’t wait to see how these weapons evolve.
The Titanic has been a topic I have obsessed over since I was a kid. And while watching others explore the ship above and below the sea level is enjoyable, being able to finally freely run around its decks, cabins, and hallways in a modern video game induces a feeling I can’t quite put into words. The Titanic’s beauty and tragedy are all here, and anyone who is even somewhat familiar with the vessel will find themselves right at home. I can’t wait to jump back in and explore and get lost in every inch, even it means I have to shotgun some zombie faces along the way.
Mark Medina is a video producer at IGN, and yes, he really, really loves the Titanic. Discuss it with him on Twitter at @Mark_Medina.