Treyarch will remain quiet on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's exciting new zombies mode right up until release because it wants players to find out how it works for themselves.
Black Ops 2 zombies is for up to eight players and features two new modes: Tranzit and Grief. Tranzit is a story-heavy co-op mode set in an "expansive world" in which players ride a fortified bus around to different zones. Ahead of his developer session at Eurogamer Expo tomorrow, Treyarch game design director David Vonderhaar told us that's about all we'll get - for now.
"I'd be giving you away the secret of zombies if I told you exactly how it works," he said. "There's a bus and the bus has a lot to do with how you navigate. The zombies atmosphere is very unique to zombies. Tranzit is a way of navigating the universe of zombies. It's not necessarily, this has any radical bearing.
"Part of it is boarding yourself up. All of these mechanics are still important to zombies. That's one way to win the game.
"That's the thing about zombies. A very important part of zombies is the discovery of what it is and the monsters and how they work together and the world and how the world plays and what does the bus mean? Do you need to take the bus? What does it mean to go out in the fog? And what's in there? All this is part of zombies. The whole thing is crafted for discovery. So I hate talking about it because I don't want to ruin it for people.
"By day one somebody will post the whole thing on the internet and you can just read about it. But it's not going to be me who does it."
Vonderhaar was willing to talk about zombies more generally, though, and thanked fans who have said they'd buy the mode if it was its own game.
"It's a very generous compliment," he said. "But for us, for Black Ops 2, it's part of the total value proposition of the game. This is an important thing for us. It's part of our culture at Treyarch. Campaign is its own game. Multiplayer is its own game. And zombies is its own game. Great. That's three games in one for the price of one game. That's a lot of value. That's a lot of hours of game. I'm glad people think it's big enough to be its own game. We're doing the right thing. If you wan't to buy it for zombies mostly, great. It's all there. It's a huge, huge game."
Treyarch introduced zombies into the Call of Duty universe with World at War in 2008. That game, and 2010's Black Ops, cemented the mode as the developer's trademark, winning an army of loyal fans on its own. It is for many what sets Treyarch apart from fellow Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward.
Vonderhaar revealed the idea of zombies was initially met with resistance from senior executives, but has now become an essential part of the brand.
"I'm so proud of that team," he said. "That team has come along from basically nothing into this huge new weird crazy thing. Think about it. Tell me absolutely honestly, if you were a Treyarch executive three years ago and we said we were going to put zombies in our game, what would you say to us?
"Now you say zombies, it's like, oh yeah, of course Treyarch has zombies in Call of Duty. It doesn't even sound weird to say zombies and Call of Duty together. But imagine you're at Treyarch or Activision three years ago: oh! Zombies! Zombies aren't in our brand. Treyarch's been breaking the f***ing rules about making Call of Duty games for years, and we're going to continue to do it. We'll find some other new rule to break a couple of years from now or tomorrow. That's what we do."