Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is shaping up to be an exciting game for several reasons. The campaign is reuniting Task Force 141 to let players fight alongside iconic figures like Soap and Ghost. Multiplayer leaks have hinted that classic weapons like the Intervention and ACR are set to return, while Infinity Ward has teased a remaster of the multiplayer map Highrise. Several experimental game modes have been rumored, too.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2seems poised to succeed and could offer players a ton of content, but one thing it will not feature is a Zombies mode. While this may initially sound disappointing, it could prove to be the right move for a few reasons, with the overall game benefiting from a lack of the undead. Just like Modern Warfare 2019, Modern Warfare 2 could thrive without the classic co-op mode.


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Infinity Ward May Be Focused on New Experiences

If leaks are to be believed, Infinity Ward will be trying out some truly unique game modes with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Thus far, fans have the most details on the DMZ game mode, which is supposedly inspired by Escape from Tarkov. This mode would supposedly place gamers in a large arena where they can loot and extract resources, and it would presumably utilize Tarkov’s perma death mechanic.

Supposedly, the DMZ mode will boast four full maps, which is a good bit of content that shows how determined Infinity Ward is to make this new experience a success. The story told across Modern Warfare 2’s Seasons is said to take place inside the DMZ game mode, which would mark a change from the usual formula since Call of Duty: Warzone events are currently used to progress the story. Though DMZ sounds like a content-filled experience, two other modes have been rumored as well.

Another new game mode for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will supposedly be a lot more tactical and resemble Rainbow Six Siege. Dubbed Attackers vs. Defenders, this mode will apparently feature destructible environments that can be reinforced as well as multiple rounds with time limits. A condition system would also be introduced for the game's Operators if this leaked mode actually happened, which would see players needing to heal themselves as well as their allies. Considering that Call of Duty: Vanguard’s destruction will not be featured in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, though, this leak’s validity is up in the air.

A truly strange leak suggested that a PT-like co-op mode would also be coming, with this horror-focused experience seeing players don night vision goggles within a haunted building. While Infinity Ward has attempted to innovate in the past through game modes like Extinction, this would be quite the change of pace for the franchise. Regardless, if any of these modes do happen (especially DMZ or the PT-inspiredexperience), it makes sense that Infinity Ward would not have the time and resources to bother with Zombies.

Non-Treyarch Zombies Modes Have Always Struggled

While the Call of Duty series has tried multiple times to recapture the magic of Treyarch’s Zombies mode without the studio that created it, none of these attempts have truly succeeded. Most saw Exo Zombies as a major misfire due to its frustrating special Zombies, while WW2 Zombies’ lackluster maps overshadowed its horror aesthetic.

Admittedly, Infinite Warfare Zombies was the closest that Activision came to getting Zombies right without Treyarch, and Infinity Ward was behind this mode. Still, it had the unfortunate task of following up Black Ops 3, which most see as the peak of Call of Duty Zombies. Further, while Zombies in Spaceland was a popular debut map, the DLC did not match its quality. Likewise, while the Super Easter egg was brilliantly handled, the overall gameplay was clunkier than Treyarch’s, and the fully goofy tone was not for everyone. The playable characters were forgettable as well, and the art style was divisive. Infinite Warfare Zombies may have done some things right, but it was still flawed, and it is proof that Infinity Ward is better off forging its own path than following in Treyarch’s footsteps.

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Giving Zombies a Rest After Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty: Vanguard has shown that even Treyarch can fail when it comes to Zombies, and the distaste for this iteration of the mode could be another reason why Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is skipping Zombies. With Call of Duty: Vanguard, Treyarch made an attempt to switch away from the round-based style that fans loved. Though the objective style would have been divisive enough, the bigger issue is that the mode was missing things that fans expected. Easter egg quests, hidden songs, Wonder Weapons, Pack-A-Punch camos, and even server pause were not ready on launch day, leading to a significant amount of backlash.

While the release of Shi No Numa Reborn and the return of the Wunderwaffe DG-2 have been well received, the switch to round-based content comes near the end of Call of Duty: Vanguard’s life cycle. As such, many have moved on and feel like it is too little, too late, so it seems unlikely that the mode will stop being viewed as a disappointment. Treyarch was clearly rushed when making Vanguard Zombies, and the experimental focus did not work out, so it is safe to assume that having the developer make Modern Warfare 2’s Zombies mode would lead to a similar result.

Not only does Treyarch need a break to focus fully on making Call of Duty 2024’s Zombies mode the best it can possibly be, but the community needs a break as well. Call of Duty Zombies works best when fans have some time to miss it, returning every few years alongside each Treyarch game. Having a Zombies mode for every Call of Duty game can not only put too much pressure on the developers, like with Vanguard, but it also leads to an over-saturation of Zombies content. Treyarch needs to distance itself from Vanguard’s problematic launch, and it is equally important that it makes sure the next Zombies mode is a hit so that it can win back lapsed fans.

Treyarch needing to develop Modern Warfare 2 Zombies alongside its own game could have led to another rushed launch like Vanguard, while Infinity Ward making it could have resulted in another failed attempt to replicate Treyarch’s success. A lack of Zombies in Modern Warfare 2 is ideal, as it provides a much-needed recovery period for fans, developers, and the mode as a whole.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launches October 28 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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