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With Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's first major DLC, Sabotage, players have once again been invited to take part in some zombie-slaying antics. This time around, the adventure heads into an abandoned summer camp that's about to be visited by hordes of the undead. I've been having a blast with Rave in the Redwoods, so here are our top five reasons why you should plan on paying Bear Lake Summer Camp a visit, too.
Just as a reminder, there's more to Sabotage than killing zombies. This CoD DLC comes with a quartet of new multiplayer maps, too, giving folks some fun new regions to hunt down their opponents and battle for supremacy. The big draw for many players, though, is this new zombie mode the developers have cooked up. The first map, Zombies in Spaceland, launched with the game and took players back to the 1980's, where an amusement park had been overrun by the undead. With the Sabotage DLC, the whirlwind kill-a-thon continues into the 1990's, where a new era of enemies awaits within the Rave in the Redwoods.
I grew up in the 80's and 90's, so these zombie modes from Infinite Warfare speak to me in a special kind of way. The same goes for the setting of Rave in the Redwoods, which takes place at the not-so-abandoned Bear Lake Summer Camp. I also happen to have grown up on classic horror films, many of which were set at summer camps where promiscuous youth were punished for drinking beer and making out behind the boathouse by the arrival of a maniac in a mask.
Rave in the Redwoods basically drops you into one of those summer camps, which is wide, sprawling and full of all sorts of winding, interconnecting paths. What's great about the map is that the locations are so distinct, including the main building, the docks, the bunks, the mess hall, etc. While you're certainly going to get lost from time to time, these big, recognizable locations offer a way to quickly regain your bearings when trying to track down a teammate or a particular weapon/upgrade.
The developers paid a lot of attention to detail here, injecting all sorts of little touches that help make Bear Lake Summer Camp feel lived in. Or unlived in, as the case may be. As the name of the map alludes to, this abandoned camp has since been turned into a site where raging raves used to be held, until all of the party-goers mysteriously died, that is.
If you're talking horror movies, there are few places as iconic as a big, spooky summer camp where night seems to go on forever, which is why Bear Lake is the perfect place to mow down zombies when you aren't too busy fighting for the future in Infinite Warfare.
So what, exactly, happened to all of those kids who used to throw all of these raves at Bear Lake? They died, of course. But being dead doesn't exactly slow you down in Call of Duty's zombie mode. While the standard zombies aren't all that different from what you faced in Zombies in Spaceland, their look has been updated to match the party atmosphere of the Redwoods quite nicely. They're wearing all sorts of unfortunate neon outfits, complete with glowsticks and glow-in-the-dark body paint. Those last items are more than an aesthetics touch, too. The Rave in the Redwoods map can get pretty dark in certain areas, especially if you decide to venture into the woods or linger too long on a path between locations. All those glowing baddies help you keep track of threats and can even give you a target to shoot at if you're in a pinch.
The real star of the show, though, are the map's exclusive monsters. Every now and then, you'll get a wave of baddies that include Sasquatches, swamp monsters or even the Slasher. Sasquatches are fast-moving brutes that like to hunt in packs, so it's best to hunker down and find an easily defendable position when they're on the prowl. The same goes for the swamp monsters, who can sneak up on you and pack a mean punch.
Finally, there's the mask-wearing, buzzsaw-toting slasher, who will stalk you and your teammates through the woods until you finally put him down. Good times!
Sweet Acid Trips
I think we can all agree that drugs are bad, m'kay. But that doesn't always hold true in video games. One of my favorite features from Rave in the Redwoods explains how the map got its name. Sometimes you'll pick up a pouch off of a fallen enemy and have the option to toss it into one of the map's many open fires. Doing so basically sends you into rave mode, completely changing the look of the map and your enemies, as well as offering some other helpful side effects.
Once you drop a pouch in the fire, the whole camp ignites with glowing neon lights. They used to hold raves here, after all, so the place is covered from top to bottom with bright designs. The same goes for your enemies, who were also super into body art before they died in the forest. Their glowsticks made them a bit easier to see at night and rave mode turns up the luminosity a few hundred degrees.
Triggering a rave will also allow you to see hidden messages, as well as the occasional hallucinatory jellyfish floating through the woods. Yep...Jellyfish.
The Plot Thickens
I didn't expect to be saying this, but I'm actually pretty intrigued by the plot that's unfolding through the zombies mode in Infinite Warfare. The main villain is an insane director by the name of Willard Wyler, who became famous for his horror movies that appeared almost too lifelike. This role is portrayed by Paul Reubens, who clearly had a hell of a lot of fun recording his lines.
As for the characters, they're actors who have been sucked into Wyler's film worlds. As mentioned above, the first film was set in the 80's while Rave in the Redwoods is firmly rooted in the 1990's. This has me eager to see where the next DLC might take me or, more appropriately, when.
Through all of the zombie shooting, you catch bits and pieces of Wyler's story, where he talks at length about his movie career, his beloved daughter and a growing conflict with his wife. While I'm happy to just sort of mindlessly blast the undead in new settings, I'm also curious where this storyline will take me once zombie mode wraps up. The Infinite Warfare team hasn't said much about the road ahead for this zombies mode but, if a few more DLC packs are planned for this year, I'm hopeful Willard Wyler's tale of betrayal and the dark arts will keep me coming back for more throughout 2017.
Yes, you read that right, Rave in the Redwoods co-stars Kevin Smith, director of such films as Mallrats and Dogma. While Zombies in Spaceland featured David Hasselhoff as a helpful accomplice (and playable character if you unlocked his Easter egg), the same goes for Kevin Smith in Rave in the Redwoods. While Hasselhoff is an icon from the 80's, few celebrities encapsulate nerdy interests of the 90's quite like Kevin Smith, making him an unexpected and perfect fit for this latest zombie-filled romp.
Just like Hasselhoff, Smith will guide the players along on their quest to escape Camp Bear Lake and, if the right conditions are met, you can gain access to him as a playable character. Once you've unlocked Smith, though, you'll need a code to trigger him in-game. To get that code, you'll need to go on one of those acid trips I was talking about earlier.
Other than recording his own lines for the game, Smith doesn't come with super powers or anything. Still, it's kind of fun seeing him running around the map, killing zombies in his trademark backwards cap and hockey jersey.