Spooky season is upon us, and when it comes to dishing out the scares Modern Warfare really isn’t playing around. Last night the game’s Halloween event The Haunting of Verdansk went live, and it’s safe to say players are feeling suitably haunted and scared. Or I am, at least.
The centrepiece of this update is, of course, limited time mode Zombie Royale – a variation of Warzone in which players become zombies when they die, but have a chance to return as a human if they kill enough “living” players. These aren’t just your normal stumbling zombies, however, as they come armed with EMP blasts and gas grenades, can see the location of humans and their footprints, and boast a terrifying jump ability – making it all too easy for them to get on your roof. The final circles end up being particularly manic, with zombies coming from all directions (including the gas) and grenades making the whole thing spectacularly chaotic.
All this takes place on a night mode version of the Verdansk map, and this is where players are really getting some shocks. The event comes with a bunch of free Halloween rewards which can be found in supply boxes dotted around the map, but the catch is these are trick-or-treat themed… with the tricks being terrifying jumpscares. “I screamed like I’ve never screamed before,” said one unfortunate victim on the Modern Warfare subreddit. And here’s a look at a jumpscare in action:
There are plenty of Halloween visitors dotted around Verdansk, too, as ghost sightings have been reported at Hospital, while spectres have been spotted floating around in windows. There’s also an entire ghost train, because why not?
The two new operator skins for this season are based on Saw and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and players have discovered that Leatherface also has his own house in Warzone, which can be found in Krovnik Farmland. If the terrifying chainsaw noises didn’t give it away, the bits of gore on the table surely did.
Meanwhile, back in Modern Warfare’s multiplayer modes, a bunch of scarecrows have replaced the standard capture points. As players have discovered to their peril, they don’t particularly like being smacked in the face. According to an Infinity Ward dev, it takes 350 damage to trigger this explosion (and only damages the perpetrator), so you can get away with a couple of slaps.
I think it’s safe to say the Halloween event is doing what it set out to do: that is, scaring the living daylights out of players. Zombie Royale and the night maps have become a surprise hit with the community, with many requesting they be kept in the game on a more permanent basis. Maybe Infinity Ward could combine it with Christmas decorations for a Nightmare Before Christmas theme.