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First Impressions - Advanced Warfare: Exo Zombies

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The brand new Downloadable content (DLC) pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Havoc, has been out for just over 3 days now. During that time I have managed to wrack up a decent amount of hours playing the brand new game mode, Exo Zombies.  Treyarch, the creators of the original 'Zombies' game mode have historically been the only game studio, in the Call of Duty development cycle, to have included the game mode with each of their titles. What Sledgehammer Games have shown, with their first take on Treyarch's popular game mode, is that there is no going wrong with a winning formula. 

A familiar feel, yet different outlook on Zombies

Taking a first look at Exo Zombies we see that the goal remains consistent with previous Zombie-based game modes. Your ultimate objective is to survive as long as possible against successive waves of zombies hoards, which creep out of every possible corner to try tear you limb from limb. With each successful completed wave of zombies you face, the difficulty increases as the zombies become stronger and more difficult to kill. Your defense against the barrage of undead relies on you making the best use of your weapons, grenades, traps, supply drops and general decision making abilities. At the core of the game mode, Exo Zombies replicates it's fair share of basic traits from the traditional zombies game type. That being said, the Exo Zombies game mode manages to stand out in several ways. 

Taking on your first wave in Exo Zombies you will notice that there are no longer any walls or windows to board up. This means that there is no way of slowing down the zombie hoard, they will come for you. The added touch of vulnerability really puts you on edge, especially since you don't start the game with an exosuit which would help you  escape from tight situations. Players can, however, expect the return of the usual power ups such as the nuke, insta-kill and max ammo which all have slightly different names in Advanced Warfare. Power ups, in Exo Zombies, seem to drop less frequently than expected, which means that you will have to use your ammo more sparingly than ever before. Also returning is the pack-o-punch and mystery box, named the 'weapon upgrade machine' and '3-d printer' respectively. The 3-d printer can be used at the cost of 1000 points, which you accumulate from collecting zombie kills or from the bank that are scattered around the map.

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It's faster, and more deadly than ever 

As you progress through the waves you will earn more points to unlock doors, purchase weapons and turn on power, to the now infected Atlas Building. Eventually, you will find yourself smack bang in the middle of Atlas where you will finally unlock the exoskeleton, which will allow you to run faster jump higher and more importantly upgrade your soldier. The upgrades range from giving you increased health to unlocking the popular exo-slam ability. All the upgrades come at a cost, but non more so than the one you will have to pay in blood, when the zombies activate their very own exoskeletons. These give the zombies increased damage and abilities. One particular type of zombie that I found extremely frustrating to battle against was the blue or electric type. These zombies move quickly and can also temporarily disable your exo which will leave you more vulnerable than ever. There are several types of zombies to face but I'm not too sure if I've managed to find them all yet. 

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Getting right down to the wave by wave action, Exo Zombies returns on its investment by providing hours of potential action. Always better with fiends, Exo Zombies will make you laugh, freak out and cry in frustration when you get killed by the rouge crawler zombie that hacks at your fragile ankles. This is no revolutionary zombies game mode, but it doesn't need to be. Sledgehammer Games might copy a huge majority of the game from their Call of Duty counterpart, Treyarch, but by doing so they prove that sticking to a winning formula isn't bad idea .

Exo Zombies is exactly what you have come to love from a traditional zombies game mode, but this time with exosuits. 

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