|Call of Duty: Zero Day Battle|
|Developer(s)|| Infantry Interactive|
|Series||Call of Duty|
|Platform(s)|| Microsoft Windows|
|Release|| Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U & Xbox 360|
WW November 12, 2013
NA November 15, 2013
EU November 29, 2013
WW November 22, 2013
Development of the game began in 2009 after Infantry Interactive was founded. For the single-player campaign, Infantry employed veteran actors Paul Walker, Amanda Seyfried, Christian Bale, Pete L. J. Dickson, Harrison Ford, and Andrew Divoff for the lead roles. The story is based on the nearly decade-long international manhunt for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks in the United States.
Zero Day Battle received acclaim reviews from critics, with most praising its single-player campaign, multiplayer gameplay and introduction of the new game modes Vehicle and Extinction but criticizing it for its rehashing of familiar concepts, and general lack of innovation.
Like it's predecessors, Zero Day Battle is a first-person shooter.
Zero Day Battle's campaign features slight changes from the previous titles in the series; The game's heads-up display (HUD) is composed of two compact rectangles. The lower left-hand corner features a mini-map and compass for navigation, and a simplified objective notice above it; the lower right includes a compact ammo counter and health meter. Levels are more open ended. Players are given more freedom, and can choose a gameplay style based on direct confrontation, or a more discreet and stealthy approach, in order to deal with enemies and to complete their objectives.
The multiplayer in Call of Duty: Zero Day Battle features changes from that of previous Call of Duty games as some new mechanics have been added to it. Maps now have areas that can be altered or destroyed. There is a nuke-like kill streak reward, the KEM Strike. You can get the ODIN kill streak by either getting a certain amount of kills or you can get it by killing the top player on the other team and then completing various challenges after picking up a blue briefcase that is dropped. The sniper rifle scopes also have new "dual render technology" allowing the player to see around the outside of the scope (although blurred) when zoomed in. On October 3, a new multiplayer type was revealed, called Squads. This features a squad that you build and you can face other squads around the world. Your squad can be leveled up and will act like a true individual. "Octane", "Prison Break", "Tremor", "Freight", "Stormfront", "Siege", "Warhawk", "Sovereign", "Overlord", "Flooded", "Strikezone", "Whiteout", "Stonehaven" and "Chasm" are the maps that are in Zero Day Battle so far. The dynamic map, "Free Fall", was a pre-order bonus. The game now features playable female soldiers.
Zero Day Battle introduces a new vehicle only based multiplayer mode called "Vehicle". Similar to Twisted Metal (2012), the mode focuses heavily on multiplayer combat, including various online game modes with up to 16-players online.
Extinction is a new 4-player co-op mode, which pits the player(s) against various types of aliens (known altogether as Cryptids) in a base-defending survival style map. The main goal is usually to destroy all of the Cryptid hives scattered across the map (with the exception of Awakening and Exodus; the former requires players scanning for obelisks in an area which need to be destroyed, while Exodus features generators which the players have to activate). Players choose from four different class types, with unique traits and customizable loadouts. The player(s) can level up their classes, unlocking more weapons and equipment for their loadouts.
Characters and settingEdit
Zero Day Battle takes place in 2011 and tells the story of the nearly decade-long international manhunt for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Players take control of SEAL Team 6 leader Petty Officer First Class Matthew Daniels (Paul Walker). Matthew is accompanied by his teammates; Horatio (Christian Bale), Dominic (Pete L. J. Dickson), Benji (Jeffrey Pierce), Taylor (Brian Bloom), and Jacob (Kevin Gage).
Other non-playable characters include Nina (Amanda Seyfried), a CIA intelligence analyst, Vice Admiral Bill McRaven (Harrison Ford), as well as Nina's fellow officer and friend Lily (Amber Heard) and Donatello (Gunner Wright).
The story begins in 1999 as Nina, a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency analyst, is recruited "out of high school" and tasked with finding the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. A series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States erupts on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks kill 2,996 people, and injures over 6,000 others. Navy SEAL operator Matthew Daniels discovers that his wife was killed in the attacks.
In 2003 Nina is stationed at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan. She and fellow officer Donatello, attend the blacksite interrogations of Ammar (), a detainee with suspected links to several of the 2001 attacks in September, who is subjected to approved torture interrogation techniques. Ammar provides unreliable information on a suspected attack in Saudi Arabia, but does reveal to Nina the previously unknown name of the personal courier for bin Laden, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Other detainee intelligence connects courier traffic by Abu Ahmed between Abu Faraj al-Libbi () and bin Laden. In 2005, Faraj denies knowing about a courier named Abu Ahmed; she interprets this as an attempt by Faraj to conceal the importance of Abu Ahmed.
In 2009, Lily, Nina's fellow officer and friend is killed during the Camp Chapman attack. On the same day a case manager that likes the Abu Ahmed lead, shares with her an interrogation with a Jordanian detainee claiming to have personally buried Abu Ahmed in 2001. Nina learns what the CIA was told five years earlier, that Morocco caught Ibrihim Sayeed traveling under the name of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Realizing her lead may be alive, Nina contacts Donatello, now a senior officer at the CIA headquarters. She speculates that the CIA's photograph of "Abu Ahmed" is that of his brother, Habeeb, who was killed in Afghanistan. Nina says that their beards and native clothes make all of the brothers look alike. This would explain Ammar's account of Abu Ahmed's "death" in 2001.
Nina wants the telephone number of Ibrihim Sayeed's mother, and it comes from a Kuwaiti prince for the price of a Lamborghini. CIA operatives use electronic methods to pinpoint a caller in a vehicle who persistently exhibits tradecraft behaviors that delay confirmation of his identity. The vehicle is physically tracked to a large urban compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, near the Pakistan Military Academy. Gunmen attack Nina while she is in her vehicle; the action indicates to the agency that her cover is blown, so she is recalled to Washington, D.C.
When the compound is put under surveillance, the habits and culture of the inhabitants are analyzed but no conclusive photographic identification of bin Laden is obtained. The President's National Security Advisor tasks the CIA with creating a plan to capture or kill bin Laden. Two stealth helicopters from Area 51 are flown by the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment to enter Pakistan, insert members of DEVGRU and the CIA's SAD/SOG and raid the compound. Before briefing President Barack Obama, the CIA Director () holds a meeting of his senior officers, who assess that bin Laden being there is a chance of 60–80%, rather than another high-value target. Nina, also in attendance, uses the "habits" intelligence to shore-up her conclusion to 100% that bin Laden is there.
The raid is approved and is executed on May 2, 2011. A helicopter crashes, Daniels and the SEALs gain entry and kill a number of people within the compound—among them a man in the building who is believed to be bin Laden. At a U.S. base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Nina visually confirms the identity of the corpse. Nina is seen boarding a military transport to return to the U.S.; the only passenger in the vast interior. The pilot asks her the destination; she does not reply.
As the plane's cargo-hold door closes, Nina begins to cry softly.
In the mid-credit scene, Daniels visits his late wife's grave.
Characters and settingEdit
The Extinction story takes place in an alternate reality following the events of the first mission of the ZDB campaign, where the ODIN strike unearths ancient creatures known as Cryptids upon mankind. The player takes on the role of elite unnamed soldiers, whose appearance is carried from the player's multiplayer character. The story revolves mainly around two central characters: Doctor Samantha Cross (Ali Hillis), a researcher of the Nightfall Program who was studying Cryptid origins; and Captain David Archer (Dave B. Mitchell), leader of the Nightfall Program.
In space, the "Federation of the Americas" hijack the Orbital Defense Initiative (ODIN), an orbital superweapon that consists of a network of satellites that utilize kinetic bombardment. The Federation use it to destroy several cities in the southwestern United States. American astronauts Baker and Mosley sacrifice themselves to self-destruct the space station and prevent ODIN from launching other payloads further inland. A stray missile hit Caldera Peak, Colorado, revealing a colony of ancient creatures called Cryptids lying dormant below it. The Cryptids' masters, the Ancestors, seized the opportunity by commanding them to awake, massacre the town, and destroy everything in their path. In order to contain the outbreak, a Task Force codenamed Spectre was sent in to exterminate the Cryptids' presence. Though they were successful, remains of the Cryptids were collected by Nightfall, a research program dedicated to uncovering the origins of the creatures. The program's leader, Captain David Archer, implemented covert operations to breed Cryptids for experimentation, as well as deciphering of glyphs found within several sites where Nightfall was researching on Cryptid appearance. However, one of the doctors working at Nightfall, Samantha Cross, began to fall under the Ancestors' influence, and slowly became one of their hypnotic spies, capable of telepathic abilities. She caused an outbreak at the Nightfall facility, killing all members within it, except herself and Archer. An elite squad named CIF Team One was dispatched to help Archer and Cross escape, but Archer secretly snuck away on a destroyer vessel supplied by one of his mysterious contacts, in order to arrive at another Cryptid site.
For the following three weeks, Archer would experiment on Cross in order to learn of her abilities, realizing that she is capable of taming the Cryptids. Using her as a beacon, Archer guided the destroyer toward the remaining Cryptid Arks around the world. Cross fell into the Ancestors' control even more, and upon full possession, she began to summon the Ark's guardian, the Kraken, to protect the Cryptid colony and kill Archer and everyone aboard the destroyer. CIF Team One was sent in once again to rescue Archer, as well as eliminate Cross, per the deal between Archer and CIF Team One's handler, General "Godfather" Castle. However, Cross evaded their attempts to kill her and wound up in the Cryptid Ark. Archer and his men later arrived at the island where the Ark is located, however they encounter hordes of Cryptids, leading to Archer's hand being infected. Cross arrived and amputated his hand, then forged a temporary alliance with him, as she attempted to explain the Ancestors' true motives, and her reasons for not siding with them. CIF Team One was later dispatched by Castle to find Archer as well as retrieve the Cortex, a device containing tissue samples of an Ancestor's brain. The team succeeded in finding the Cortex, and Cross was extracted from the Ark, while Archer was left to die.
While on their way back to the United States, CIF Team One was attacked by Cryptid forces, and was stranded in the heart of the outbreak, while Cross escaped captivity. For the next three months, Cryptids would begin to overrun all military centers of the US, leaving General Castle as the leader of the surviving remnants of the country. He came in contact with CIF Team One, and ordered them to protect the Exodus launch site, allowing the remnants to escape Earth into outer space, away from the Cryptids' influence. In the midst of the operation, Cross regained contact with the survivors, reasoning CIF Team One must sacrifice themselves to activate the Medusa, a psionic weapon capable of eradicating all Cryptids within a three-mile radius, and give mankind a chance to overcome extinction. In a final order, General Castle commanded his men to defeat the oncoming Cryptid siege lead by the Ancestors themselves. Now in safe passage to the space station, Cross acknowledged that her otherworldly powers were key in humanity's future retaliation, agreeing to be placed in a replica Beacon Amplifier to harness her gifts to benefit the future descendants of the Exodus program.
Infantry Interactive began developing Zero Day Battle in 2009. Infantry split up into two teams; while one worked with Infinity Ward to develop Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011), the other began work on Zero Day Battle.
On February 7, 2013, Activision confirmed that a new Call of Duty game was in development and would be released Q4, 2013. The publisher expected to sell fewer copies than the series' previous entry, Call of Duty: Black Ops II on seventh generation consoles (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) due to the transition to next-generation consoles.
The series started a new sub-series to coincide with Sony and Microsoft's eighth generation consoles entering the market. The game was supposed to debut an engine built by the developer, originally described as a new engine, but later clarified to be the same engine as used in previous games with "significant" upgrades. The game also utilized Umbra Software's rendering tool, Umbra 3, as a way to speed up the rendering process of large environments by an optimization known as occlusion culling – a method of filtering out hidden objects so they are not rendered.
The Wii U version of the game was developed by Treyarch.
Infantry Interactive prioritised frame rate over display resolution during the development of Call of Duty: Zero Day Battle, with the game targeted to run at 60 frames per second on each platform. While the game outputs at 1080p on PlayStation 4, the Xbox One can only manage 720p while maintaining the frame rate. Due to a "configuration issue" however, the PlayStation 4 version still required a release day patch to reach 1080p.
Marketing and releaseEdit
On April 29, 2013, the official Call of Duty website was updated with a social media mosaic that filled up every time a user logged into the site via Twitter or Facebook. The next day, the mosaic was completed and the picture showed a skull along the text "based on amazing war stories." Some details about Zero Day Battle leaked prior, especially when Tesco pulled the listing of the game for the PlayStation 3 after it was put up accidentally. Several other retailers, including Target, listed it for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The live-action teaser trailer for , titled "Tier 1 Warriors", features glimpses of people wearing historical battle masks, among them one of a group of soldiers putting on the skull mask shown on the box art. It was released on May 1, 2013. Zero Day Battle appeared at the "Xbox Reveal" event on May 21, 2013.
On August 14, 2013, American rapper Eminem's "Survival" featuring Liz Rodrigues, with production by DJ Khalil was premiered in the multiplayer trailer for the game. The music video for the song features various footage from the game's single player campaign, and other elements from the game.
Call of Duty: Zero Day Battle was released for Microsoft Windows and current-generation game consoles – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U – on November 12, 2013. Activision announced that the game would be available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in time for each console's release date on November 15, 2013, and November 22, 2013, respectively. Despite the official announcement for next-generation systems, the PlayStation 4 version of the game was made available by some retailers ahead of the scheduled release date.
|GameRankings|| PS3: 92.73%|
Wii U: 70.83%
|Metacritic|| PS4: 94/100|
Wii U: 69/100
The single-player campaign received acclaim. VideoGamer.com praised overall gameplay, saying it "seems more refined and enjoyable than Black Ops 2" and the campaign as "a true loyal campaign based on the greatest manhunt story". PC Gamer dubbed the campaign as "exciting and with Paul Walker and Amanda Seyfried's majestic art work, the campaign is the real centerpiece of Zero Day Battle". IGN called the campaign "lengthy, challenging, and varied". GameSpot went even further regarding the campaign calling it "impressive" and "a terrific collection of shootouts and set pieces".
The multiplayer received praise. Both IGN and GameSpot also welcomed the new character customization feature and game types in multiplayer.
The introduction of the game modes Vehicle and Extinction were also praised.
The game sold 2.7 million copies in less than 24 hours at launch. Overall sales were down compared to 2012's Call of Duty: WWII. Activision blamed the fall in demand on uncertainty caused by the upcoming transition to eighth generation consoles.
As of February 2014, the game has sold over 19 million copies.