Xbox One Exclusive: At this time no other platforms DLC release date are confirmed. If you haven’t already, go check out our CoD:AW Review to get a feel for where we rank the game overall in the franchise and genre at large. Outbreak is perhaps the most unexpected and now talked about piece of the Havoc DLC, so that’s what this Review will mainly focus around. It is unclear at this time how many new Zombies maps will be released by Sledgehammer Games and High Moon Studios in total – so keep that in mind. That being said, so far their work is impressive.
Outbreak is the first installment in a new mode called Exo Zombies debuting for the first time in the Call of Duty series. This mode combines the Exo Suit abilities of Advanced Warfare while at the same time borrowing a lot of classic gameplay principles from the Zombies modes seen in previous games (World at War, Black Ops, and Black Ops II distinctively). Surprisingly the end result is more fun and enjoyable than expected, even right from the start. Sledgehammer + High Moon take some influence from the co-op survival mode Extinction created in Call of Duty: Ghosts by NeverSoft and grabbed the best of what that mode had to offer in terms of action-based, pick up and play feel. There are a few things that have been dropped from the traditional zombies experience including the need to repair windows. This act of boarding up windows had become a bit overly repetitive in the Zombies series as it were, and now players don’t need to board up windows but can get security such as lasers, turrets, drones, traps, decoys, grenades, as well as many new forms of defense both automated and manual.
The ease of gaining weapon access and upgrading weapons compared to previous Zombies installments is another welcomed change to the formula as Sledgehammer + High Moon’s first excellent entry in the Exo Zombies DLC series begins. Double jumping in the Exo Suit adds another aspect to Zombies as well and players can feel more ready than ever to adapt to it thanks to Destiny. Few games do control set crossovers so well, but the Exo Suit definitely pulls this off.
This game takes more action based team work rather than puzzle based exploration, pitting players up against an ever increasing set of enemies that seem to take graphic design cues from heavyweights in the survival genre like Resident Evil. This is a very appropriate theme and I’m glad Activision gave the green light for something so dark and satisfying from Sledgehammer Games and High Moon Studios. I’ll admit, I initially had reservations as to whether or not they could do an entertaining zombies mode – but they’ve delivered fun gameplay ten fold to answer that challenge.
Air drops with security drones, ammo, camo, credit from ATM’s for running around the map and keeping a perimeter, getting a good gun quickly, upgrading it multiple times with ease, and getting infected then cured or dying are just a few of the experiences you can expect per second as 60 frames per second hit you on the Xbox ONE Call of Duty Zombies experience that is Advanced Warfare Havoc’s Outbreak Exo Zombies map. This is a straight forward approach to Zombies with less jumping through hoops and more getting into the meat of the action with friends. A couple of decent players who know what they are doing can hold an entire team at least several rounds in until deeper strategy is accomplished by said team – meaning this is a fun pick up and play experience even if you haven’t learned the map yet.
Advanced types of Zombies as players go further and further push the line forward for romanticizing the dark demonic look Activision is getting away with here. We love it. To keep up with increasing zombie health and difficulty players must maintain upgrades as before but now it feels much more balanced and ideal plus a different looking, different acting breed of Zombie every once in a while doesn’t hurt. For people who may have got bored too quickly with the sheer difficulty and a-typical logic puzzle / strategy aspects of past Zombies entries, this new Exo Zombies is definitely going to be more enjoyable for you. For those who loved the never-ending upgrades and murdering Zombies with long-form strategy, there’s none of that missing here – it’s just Easter Eggs aren’t part of the main requirement to play anymore, they’re actually Easter Eggs.
Lilith is the best playable character by far with the quickest speed, and is played by Hollywood personality Rose McGowan. Every character is pretty interesting in their own way though and has some often hilarious and colorful dialogue, so hearing things like “I fu%&ng hate ATLAS Corporation”, dropping F – bombs, or yelling out “F@&k You!” after rage killing a nearly triumphant horde of Zombies. The top quality acting from its cast makes the game more cinematic and the overall experience maintains immersion because of this.
Many Power-ups and pick-ups exist in the game including but not limited to the DNA Bomb, Full Reload, Rocket Assault Drone, Power Surge (when everything in the game becomes 10 credits, any weapon, anywhere, even mystery boxes), and more. When you open up new areas Zombies find new ways to show up, even though a new round hasn’t even started yet. This keeps even veterans on their toes as they feel its safe, leave a crawler, and run deeper within the map for resource gathering purposes. You still have to pay to open up doors, and exactly which doors you choose to open will dramatically change how many rounds your team survives.
As usual, getting multi-kills, headshots, and using the pistol / stabbing combination early on are essential strategies to starting off with maximum efficiency and the best chance of going the distance. Every few rounds there’s a dog zombies round. Zombies who will bite players and infect them happen every few rounds as well. If this happens to you, get to the Decontamination Pad within 60 seconds to heal or you’re dead. Extra credits for killing zombies w/ Melee, DNA Bomb, headshots, or explosives, especially in combination for multi-kills, are non-stop incentives to the fast paced action.
As for the deeper strategy breakdown within Outbreak, one player gets a hold of the Nano Machine bubble putting Zombies into slow motion and damaging them while another gets the Drones and decoys them at the same time forcing all of the Zombies to be attracted into this bubble area damage effect while all four players focus LMG (Light Machine Gun) gunfire onto them. All four players should take advantage of reduced pricing from Power Surge when needed in order to quickly gain access to and upgrade weapons of choice.
Pro Tip: Do NOT Open the Administration Wing door with the containment pad on the other side of it if you want to attempt the more straightforward logical strategies most players are familiar with. That means, get on the mic and tell everybody else not to open the door as well. This door actually ends up being the sweet spot and safe zone complete with cure to infection, weapon upgrade, and if not opened this door servers as the only wall and barrier blocking what otherwise becomes a never-ending barrage of Zombies coming up from your team’s behind.
Upgrading weapons over and over is of course the only way to deal with the escalation of Zombie intensity through later rounds. Each upgrade is costly though at 2,500 each. It’s best to get LMG’s or weapons of choice using the Mystery Box (AKA 3D Printer) before upgrading, and also to do the upgrade when out of ammo so it serves as killing two birds with one stone. That being said, it’s even better to wait it out and accomplish grabbing the Full Reload pick-up bonus for the entire team and doing the majority of weapon purchasing / upgrading during Power Surge (similar to Fire Sale from old Zombies modes) that way optimal spending can commence. Use the free ammo and reloading that the game gives you as much as possible and spend on getting the team into proper roles fully geared up that way when the round is over 30 before you know it – everyone is prepared to tough it out for many more rounds in this one spot. It’s unclear what round this spot will be good to, feel free to comment below if you’ve been playing it and have gotten very high.
Of course, Outbreak is only one part of the Havoc DLC offered for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and while we decided to focus the majority of this 1500 word Review on Outbreak we would be remiss to not mention the additional features of the Havoc DLC pack Available Now on Xbox One.
ALL Included in Havoc DLC Pack:
Co-op Exo Zombies Mode & 1st Map:
- Outbreak (Starring Rose McGowan, Bill Paxton, John Malkovich, and John Bernthal.)
Competitive Multiplayer Maps:
- Including the AE4 Widowmaker (AE4 controlled energy assault rifle)
Ascendance, Supremacy, and Reckoning are still coming to Xbox One first, and this Havoc DLC will eventually be made available for PlayStation and PC platforms, but if you’re fortunate enough to be playing Outbreak on your Xbox One copy of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare right now you know what I’m about to say. Sledgehammer Games and High Moon Studios have redefined Zombies in a great way. Four multiplayer maps plus new weapons and a masterpiece entry into the Zombies legacy makes for a totally solid value proposition. We hope to see the franchise continue to take this gameplay direction in DLC as well as full games. Our only worry is that this game will mainly be purchased to play this new form of Zombies and there could only end up being 4 maps total created for it. This seems like a problem and admittedly hurt the score a bit of an otherwise great experience, and while we wish Advanced Warfare included more Zombies maps in either the original Advanced Warfare or in these DLC packs, we are still happy to be fortunate enough to experience this creation and compel others to try the same. I applaud Activision for funding titles that are becoming more and more fun with less emphasis on the meticulous parts of play and more on the reward of teamwork and elite success through firepower.
Havoc – Multiplayer DLC Trailer:
Exo Zombies – Outbreak Trailer:
Overall Score: 8.5 / 10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: Sledgehammer Games / High Moon Studios
Available On: Xbox One Exclusive
Xbox One Exclusive: At this time no other platforms DLC release date are confirmed.
Played On: Microsoft Xbox One
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game’s downloadable content was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.