Every other year or so Activision and the Call of Duty developers announce a crazy new cast of B-list actors for a zany new co-op mode. Call of Duty: Black Ops III's new Shadows of Evil zombie mode, revealed yesterday at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 and via a trailer, might be the nuttiest yet. Celebrities like Ron Perlman, Heather Graham, and even the great Jeff Goldblum fight against zombies and other Lovecraftian horrors in this noir-infused 1940s adventure. The trailer (watch it here) is so dense with blazing guns, magical gumballs, and shadowy tentacles that we decided to breakdown the entire video and share what we've learned.
A Dense, Stylish Metropolis
We don't know where exactly the zombie-infested mayhem takes place this time around, but the aesthetic conjures up images of a stylized, mafia-era New York City. The glitzy co-op setting features dark alleyways, illuminated elevated walkways, and chaos in the open streets.
One environment appears to be a dimly lit dance club, presumably the Black Lace Burlesque featured seen on the marque.
Dark Pasts Intertwine
A mysterious, unseen figure called Shadow Man greets the motley crew, voiced by Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager, Stargate SG-1). He claims to know the darkest secrets of the characters assembled, who all believe they've been summoned to fight off evil creatures to atone for their sins. Introducing…
This burlesque dancer with delusions of grandeur is played by Heather Graham (The Hangover, Californication). She's the kind of woman who will do anything to rise to the top, as suggested by a brief intro which shows her possibly murdering a handcuffed victim with a pair of scissors. See the damning evidence in the screens below.
The Dancer lives up to her femme-fatale archetype by apparently luring her target into a trap.
Maybe The Dancer will whip out these sinister-looking scissors for her melee attacks? Probably not.
This pugilistic cheat is played by the imposing Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy). You don't need many more clues that a boxer is a dirty contender when you see him wearing brass knuckles before sliding on his gloves.
A stand-up police officer should probably never be seen handling money in a back alley, unless perhaps he's cashing a paycheck. This crooked cop is played by a very foul-mouthed Neil McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger, Band of Brothers). He looks even more corrupt after sucker-punching whoever shelled over the moolah.
It's one thing to take what appears to be a bribe. It's another to knock the guy out afterwards.
Perhaps the crown jewel of the new Shadows of Evil is The Magician, played by the magnetic Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Apartments.com). The daffy Magician's dark deeds aren't as immediately apparent as the rest of the crew's, but he's seen tying up an assistant who appears to be struggling, then readies some throwing knives for a classic trick. We're assuming the stunt didn't work out so well for her…
Here he is setting up his "assistant" for the trick…
Then the Magician deftly handles the throwing knife with his fancy ringed fingers before giving it a toss.
Up next: A host of crazy creatures and sugary power-ups…