05 October 2009

CoD5: Zombie - 3 Players' Tales

Myself and my two good friends, 'Jamdrew', have been walking into town almost every Saturday for the last 5 years or so. We only miss town for the odd family-related event (usually me, actually!). It has been good, but the one of the best things we do and have done since it came to Galway has been dropping into squareyes on Forster Street for a game or two. Lately, the game has been CoD:WaW, playing Zombies.

It all started out so humbly. I don't remember our first game, but it must have been good to keep us going for the last year or so. Playing in the old Nacht der Untoten was the place to be. Starting out in the big room, I would take the two windows on the left, James would hold the two windows front and back in the centre while Andrew would hold up the far right window. I would buy an M1 Carbine and it would last me for 8 rounds. I didn't need the random box - simpler times.

After 8 rounds, things got hectic. Andrew would be holding the room with the random box, while James would be cycling between his three windows. Not me though, I somehow got the job of holding the same two left windows. Andrew would often get overrun and James would learn the valuable skills of window management over open-room fighting, while I would do what I could. After round 8 I usually bought from the box until I got the Ray Gun. I could afford it - not buying anything but ammo and always aiming for the headshot gave me a lot of points!

Over time, we refined our ways and eventually adopted the 'corner strategy' so popular on the internet in this level. We got a load of points, held out by the Steelhandgrenaden and let loose all the grenades, Ray Gun munitions and Browning/MG rounds we could until literally shanked. That became the prime strategy for a time, until the game got progessively stale. We still enjoyed it, but it became almost formulaic. A shame, but it still all feels nostalgic. Picking up and insta-kill was usually met with grins and many pot-shots, but the bomb was usually the crucial drop. Someone would shout 'bomb!' and race for it at the complete risk to said person's health - y'know, jumping straight into a horde of zombies for the chance to kill them all in one go. Suffice to say, there was much reviving after the very satisfying "booom!" The highest we ever reached was Round 21.

Zombie Verrukt came along as the new level. Being self-declared zombie slayers we jumped at the chance to pick up our Colt .45s and fell some undead. We were immediately shocked by the 'seperate room' deal, with myself and James ending up on one side and Andrew on the other. This got disastrous after a few rounds. Having to activate the power to get good stuff was quite annoying too, but we got over that - when the power went on, Andrew was able to link up with us! ZV lasted a short while; our strategy became a 'funneling' sort of purchase system, with the lone person not buying any new rooms while the pair would unlock one half of the level and activate the power, thus releasing the trapped person to the rest of us. Zombies would then come from one-way only, not two. The two perks largely zipped over our heads, even Jugger-Nog was ignored. When the random box broke the first time, we were so disillusioned we went back to NdU and eventually let Zombies fade once again.

We discovered the new level months later by accident, having picked up Zombies again for some classic fun times. Shi no Numa became an instant hit, with the be-voic├ęd characters very well-received by all. I was very surprised when I was holding a Wunderwaffe for the first time. It seemed poor but really it became a firm favourite. Also, I had a habit of being Player #2, so I started my first game as Nikolai. Not really objecting to this, but I was Takeo by accident once and I have never went back. I love Japanese and Russian Imperial history, but I couldn't pass up the chance to be the honourable warrior. Perks became the backbone of our matches, with two legendary games back to back being experienced one day in squareyes that had us playing SnN for weeks.

Our first game ever started off poorly in SnN. We opened the door rather than the stairs, were oblivious to the music change and the increase in fog. The dogs. Those... hellhounds attacked and butchered us. We had no idea what happened. An immediate restart was called and we played on from there. In the early days, just hold out in the room, then fight the dogs while all on the corner. Unlock the stairs, with myself in the first room, James downstairs and Andrew in the room next to me next to the Zipline - with the door unbought, naturally. Classic funnel. We started off just holding like that and retreating to the 'Arisaka corner' when the hounds attacked. They were still tough. We didn't venture out to the perks just yet. Slowly we started checkin them out but found it all too risky. Subject to change...

The legendary game occurred. Just like any other visit to squareyes. For this game, we decided to venture out extensively. 'Buy all the Perks' was our battle cry. I got them all - Jugger-Nog, Double Tap, Speed Cola and Quick Revive. Due to our unfamiliarity with the various corners of the map, we found ourselves downed quite a lot. This is where I proved myself with a QR, rapidly picking up the fallen before they passed on (for the rest of the round). JN kept me alive under fire while SC was incredibly useful with any gun. DT did not distinguish itself. The gist of the game was us running from one place to another, 'following the light' to find the random box whenever it broke and buying perks when we reached the new corner of the map. Andrew and myself guarded the main doors of the corner buildings, while James held up the windows behind us (the aforementioned window-management). It worked and when it didn't, we retreated and bought the electrical barrier. After that adrenalin-filled match ended at Round 18, we were so pumped we played a second game that got to Round 16. As we walked home, we excitedly regailed our tales and I declared myself the party 'cleric' and 'solid right flank'.

We kept playing on with Zombies in SnN exclusively, never quite getting as pumped but there were many times where we came close to beating the old Round 21 record from NdU. Round 20, the Hounds struck. Whitewash on our side. Shame. Perks are now the crux of any match, and a 'war of movement' is the main strategy. Not letting the position of the random box dictate where we go, we just buy the Comm Room and move on to Storage, then the Fishing Hut/Doctor's Quarters. Getting JN is crucial, while SC is a firm favourite. QR and DT are ignored but if I have the cash I buy them first opportunity, particularly QR. I want to be a team player! We aren't too picky with guns; generally the Ray Gun alludes us while the WW, Panzerschrek and PTRS favour us (in the random box). Attacking with Pistol and Knife is essential to early point-gathering.

I have played Der Riese and intend to blog about it individually soon. Too tired to squeeze it here. I type too much. KKbai.

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