What the f*ck is going on with COD's new Zombie mode, as explained by Infinity Ward

Well, isn't Call of Duty Infinite Warfare's new zombie mode quite the thing: an 80s-tastic theme park full of the undead, staring both David Hasselhoff and Paul 'Pee-Wee Herman' Reubens. 

Fortunately, we got the chance to speak to Lee Ross, associate project director, to ask: dude, like, what?  

No, seriously: what? 

"We knew we wanted to go back in time. And we wanted to do something really fun, mix it up a little bit. We ultimately landed in the 1980s, and we landed in the theme park. Once we put the two together it just felt really good".

I mean it. What is actually happening here?  

"The reason the characters are in Spaceland? The director of the film, his name’s Willard Wilder, has invited these four actors to an audition. He suggests that they watch an old film of his called Spaceland. When they sit down to watch it, low and behold, they’re pulled directly into the film and take on the roles of these archetypes that you you see: the jock, the nerd, the rapper and the valley girl. Players don’t select them, you’re randomly given these characters and we want do that so the players can experience all the different narratives from each of the characters because their dialogue is completely different. Their melee attacks are unique for each character. As an example, because we’re in the 80s, the Valley Girl will literally shove a silver spoon down zombies' throat to gag them with a spoon".  

Okay, whatever. So, like normal zombies but just weird? Well, weirder. 

"This is the tradition zombie feel, so there will be waves you can complete and you can go on and on and on to the highest waves you can possibly can. We want those hardcore traditional players to feel right at home when they play this. There is a story that’s buried within Zombies in Spaceland that can be uncovered by clues within the park or completing Easter eggs and, although you can complete it, the experience goes on and on. We don’t want the experience to end until that zombies takes you out". 

Hoff? *HOFF*

"So Hasselhoff helps bring the park to life. He’s playing the park's DJ so when players are navigating the space he’s giving out clues. He’s giving out hints: sort of leading the players down the road towards completing Easter eggs. But of course, because he’s the park DJ, he’s also spinning tracks for the player. So we’ve got a great 80s soundtrack that Hasselhoff will help deliver to the players throughout their experience".  

Fairground rides?

[Things like] Polar Pete's [are] interactive rides within Spaceland. Two players can jump on a cart and compete against each other, shooting down targets and when you get off that ride, whoever has scored the most? You get a big bonus of tickets which you can spend in various places throughout the park. 

The traps are normal, yea... Never mind

"The DJ, the story behind him is that he’s been in this film for a long time and he’s manipulated some of the park’s attractions to turn them into traps. We have some set up in the park in really strategic places that players can interact with and go for big kills. One of the traps you saw was the Escape Velocity, which was the rocket spinning around in a circle and if zombies come near and touch it they’re vaulted out of the park. There’s also passive attractions. There was the giant alligator mouth that you see come down and crush zombies and it’s triggered by players running through the mouth of the croc and it comes down and crushes zombies behind it. And you also saw one other passive trap which is the bumper car ride. The bumper cars are moving around at random and players can navigate safely through it but of course we want zombies to be crushed by cars".  

And the weapons? Are the weapons... Oh FFS.

"You will see some of the same weaponry that you see in the single player and multiplayer campaign. As well as some new tricks we have up our sleeve. Some of the stuff you saw in the trailer, like the freeze weapons where you can freeze zombies and shatter them by melee or shooting them. We have the Face Melter which is one of the Spaceland zappers - you shoot a zombie with it, they take off like a rocket, explode into fireworks in the air. We also have the axe which is used for awesome melee kills".  

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Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.