John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan, and Jon Bernthal. These are the stars of Exo Zombies, the upcoming survival mode for Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It’s one piece of the game’s first downloadable content pack, due to arrive in January 2015, and you can get a taste of the zombie mayhem to come in the teaser trailer above.
There’s not much more to say at this point. Exo Zombies is part of the Havoc DLC pack, but little has revealed about how it works or what else features into the add-on. The announcement notes that the four Hollywood stars at the center of Exo Zombies are employees of Atlas, the private military concern that factors heavily into Advanced Warfare‘s story.
Zombies debuted in Treyarch’s first crack at the series, Call of Duty: World at War (a game that is also notable for being the only one in franchise history to offer cooperative multiplayer throughout the campaign). The mode has evolved over time and in subsequent Treyarch-developed appearances, with maps and modes additions in Black Ops and Black Ops II establishing more of a structure than the original’s simple, wave-based survival offered.
The last time Hollywood stars populated a zombies map in this way was in “Call of the Dead,” included in one of the DLC packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops. In addition to featuring Danny Trejo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, and Michael Rooker as the playable stars, the map also included acclaimed filmmaker George A. Romero, creator of the Living Dead series (and, really, of the modern-day zombie), as a boss-like monster that constantly stalked the four players.
There’s no telling at this point how the new Hollywood foursome factors into Exo Zombies, or what fresh surprises the revived mode will bring. This is notable as the first zombies mode to appear outside a Treyarch-developed game. The new Exo mode was conceived and built in-house by Sledgehammer, as Activision confirmed to Digital Trends.