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Call of Duty: Vanguard shows off its Zombies

Activision announced in August that the Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Vanguard will be developed by Treyarch, and will continue the Zombies storyline that has previously been exclusive to the Black Ops series. Now the reveal trailer is here, and as you'd expect it's loaded with Nazis, zombies, Nazi zombies, and a look at the new "Dark Aether" skills our intrepid heroes will use to put them back into the ground where they belong.

The trouble begins with Oberfuhrer Wolfram von List, who decides it would be a good idea to connect with a supernatural presence in order to bring "an army of the dead" into the mortal realm. It's not the most well-considered plan I've ever run across, and my impression is that the Nazi officer ends up with the short end of the stick—deserved, perhaps, but still very bad news because naturally it doesn't take long for his problem to become our problem.

Once the ball starts rolling, Vanguard's zombies mode looks to be about what fans of the sub-series would expect—that is, a small, international squad of era-appropriate soldiers standing off against endless hordes of zombies. They've got more than just vintage firepower to throw around, though: The trailer also gives us a look at some of the supernatural weaponry and skills the team will bring to the fight.

A blog post at callofduty.com goes into greater detail on the new Zombies story. Von List, who was leading Nazi efforts to discover "mystical antiquities" that could turn the tide of the war, is now bonded with an entity known as Kortifex the Deathless. But in a surprise twist, four other entities who are in revolt against Kortifex—Saraxis the Shadow, Norticus the Conqueror, Inviktor the Destroyer, and Bellekar the Warlock—offer to aid the special forces operatives who are battling the undead forces in Stalingrad.

Here's a deeper dive into what's coming:

Vanguard's Zombies mode will be a prologue to the horrific tale of the undead that started in 2020's Black Ops – Cold War. Which makes sense, really—the Second World War was a prologue to the Cold War, after all. We'll no doubt learn more ahead of Call of Duty: Vanguard's release, which is set to take place on November 5.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.