Stalingrad, 1944. The mass graves of fallen soldiers stir as Dark Aether magic animates the dead’s limbs. This is Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies, developed by Treyarch Studios in a franchise-first crossover featuring new characters and new horrors awaiting your arrival when Vanguard launches on November 5.
The four-person co-op mode continues and expands on the Dark Aether story first experienced in Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War. Set in World War II in the ruins of Stalingrad, this new incarnation of Zombies takes players to the darkest corners of the occult, where mortals bond with Dark Aether entities to gain immeasurable power… but at what cost?
The Story of Vanguard Zombies — “Der Anfang”
Our Special Forces operatives are stranded in the snowy graveyard of Stalingrad, with no backup and no means of communication, held in by the dark magic of Kortifex the Deathless. Kortifex is one of five Dark Aether entities bonded with mortals via their otherworldly artifacts.
The other four — Saraxis the Shadow, Norticus the Conqueror, Inviktor the Destroyer, and Bellekar the Warlock — are in revolt against Kortifex.
“Der Anfang” — or “The Beginning” — introduces players to these Dark Aether entities via their artifacts, which were plundered by antagonist Oberführer Wolfram Von List. This officer was in command of the Die Wahrheit battalion in search of mystical antiquities to help turn the tide of the war in the Nazis’ favor.
Check out the Q&A with Treyarch’s Craig Houston, Tony Bedard, and Gavin Locke attached to answer some of your most pressing questions about “Der Anfang,” the next chapter in the Dark Aether saga.
Straight to the Fun — A Brand-New Zombies Experience
By reentering the World War II setting, Zombies returns to its roots in the era where Call of Duty® Zombies first got its start. In this new chapter, Treyarch Studios has utilized Sledgehammer Games’ powerful Vanguard tech to immerse players in a brutal new environment that will appeal to longtime fans and new players alike.
Get right to the action and step into a portal, transporting you via Dark Aether magic to the crux of the fight, whether that means battling the undead on the rain-spattered rooftops of the Hotel Royal or trudging through the swamps of fan-favorite Shi No Numa.
Between objectives, explore the ever-expanding forward operating base in Stalingrad to access classic upgrades such as Perks, weapon upgrades, and the Pack-a-Punch. In Vanguard Zombies, it’s not long before you’re wading knee deep in the undead.
“Der Anfang” introduces new upgrades to the Zombies experience as well, such as the powerful Altar of Covenants.
New Powers: The Altar of Covenants
Offer the new Sacrificial Heart loot item to the Altar of Covenants to choose from a variety of upgrades that randomize each time you return from an objective. As just a few examples, players can pick Ammo Gremlin to reload non-equipped weapons over time, Brain Rot to turn zombies into allies, or Unholy Ground to hold down chokepoints and objectives.
The randomization of these upgrades on offer adds a unique spin to every match. Paired with your other weapons and abilities, the Altar of Covenants can create unique gameplay builds never before experienced in Zombies.
Battle against Von List and Kortifex the Deathless when Vanguard launches on November 5. Visit CallofDuty.com to digitally preorder now and get the Arthur Kingsley Operator and “Night Raid” Mastercraft SMG for use in Black Ops Cold War and Warzone now.
Digital pre-orders also grant you access to an early pre-load of the game, so you’re ready to fight right on the game’s November 5 launch.
All digital pre-orders include the Frontline Weapons Pack, featuring one seven-attachment and one eight-attachment SMG Weapon Blueprint for Vanguard. Get more rewards for ordering the Digital Cross-Gen Bundle or the Ultimate Edition.