It’s late October, and that means Halloween is just around the corner. If you’re a fan of the spookiest season of the year, you’re probably already planning your party outfit and picking out decorations for your home. Don’t forget to make sure you have plenty of candy at your disposal for the trick or treaters who’ll be arriving at your door! After what’s been a challenging year for just about everybody, Halloween marks the beginning of what should hopefully be a fun ending to 2020. It starts with Halloween and then quickly moves on to Thanksgiving (for our American readers) and then Christmas and New Year. With a bit of luck, 2021 will be kinder to us than 2020 has.

For gamers, the Halloween season is about more than just Halloween itself. It’s also the time of year when our favorite games start to roll out unique Halloween attractions. We’re pleased to report that “Call of Duty: Warzone” isn’t going to disappoint us in that respect. While Activision has been favoring a more ‘serious’ approach to its biggest franchise in recent years, with Nazi Zombie modes disappearing from the major releases in the series, the online free-to-play “Warzone” arena has always been more about fun and frolics than it has about serious battle simulation. If there’s anywhere for zombies to go in the “Call of Duty” universe in 2020, it’s “Warzone” – and so we’re pleased to report that’s precisely what’s happening effective immediately.

Starting on October 20th, Activision has opened up access to its “Haunting of Verdansk” Halloween event, which will run until November 3rd. This new game mode, which is also being referred to as a “zombie royale,” sees the return of the undead to the world of “Call of Duty.” They’re back by popular demand! Zombies aren’t the only new character model you’ll see in the game for the next two weeks, though – you’ll also have the opportunity to dress up as your favorite character from the “Saw” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movie franchises if the mood takes you. The key difference in gameplay will be that deceased players will no longer be sent to the Gulag before they can re-enter the game world. Instead, they’re immediately re-animated as zombies and come back to life in the same place they fell down. The downside is that zombies can’t use weapons, so long-range combat will become impossible. On the other hand, they’ll be much faster than human players, take a lot more damage, have better melee skills, and benefit from thermal night vision. Who knew zombies were so high-tech?

The publicity surrounding this new game mode will almost certainly prompt more players to give the free-to-play version of “Call of Duty” a try for the first time, which will only serve to enhance the game’s standing. Last month it was reported that more young people – and especially those under the age of 25 – were playing “Call of Duty: Warzone” than the eternally-popular “Fortnite.” This further underlines the dominance of the “Call of Duty” brand in gaming circles. We’ve even seen that dominance spread to online slots websites. Not only is there an ‘official’ “Call of Duty” online slots game based on “Call of Duty 4,” but there’s also what we’ll kindly describe as a ‘bootleg’ slot named “Call of Fruity,” as popular as Shamans dream slot. The fact that a game that’s (at best) tenuously connected to the main arm of the franchise can generate money at online slots websites indicates that the “Call of Duty” franchise as a whole is in rude health. Innovations like “Warzone” and the resulting mass availability of the game to players will only serve to strengthen its hand.

This new Zombie mode might not be the only big change coming to “Warzone” in the near future. If rumors are to be believed, there will also be a new (and permanent) “Night Mode” made available to players as part of the larger Season 6 update. Details about what that mode will or won’t feature are thin on the ground at the time of writing, but the general belief is that it will take the normal battle royale mode and place it under cover of darkness, making the job of players a little more difficult. We’ve also heard rumblings of a mode called “Onslaughter,” which will be a team-based game that will see players competing to take control of a Juggernaut suit. A “Trick or Treat” event, which will run alongside “The Haunting of Verdansk,” includes a ghost train close to the Gulag, randomly-generated chainsaw killers, and haunted television sets.

While this will all serve as great entertainment for “Call of Duty: Warzone” players for the next few days, the biggest news in Activision’s world is still the impending release of the highly-anticipated “Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War,” which will hit stores and become available for download on November 13th. It’s the first “Call of Duty” game for the new generation of video game consoles and will almost certainly be the most popular game in the early days of this exciting new format. Activision recently extended beta testing of the new game for an additional 24 hours, but they’ve since brought it to a close. If there were a few kinks that needed to be ironed out during beta testing, it appears that the developers have now got a handle on them. We know that we’ll be getting hold of the new game as soon as it comes out, and we suspect that more than a few of you will be doing the exact same thing. In the meantime, we’re glad to have this fun-and-frightening addition to “Call of Duty: Warzone” to hold our interest until the new “Black Ops” game becomes available!

“The Haunting of Verdansk” went live as a patch/download for “Call of Duty: Warzone” on October 20th. Your system should automatically have noticed that the patch was available and made the necessary downloads, but if that isn’t the case, you should update your game manually to ensure that you’re not missing out on all the Halloween fun. Happy zombie hunting!