We are saddened to hear the news regarding George A. Romero’s passing earlier today. The director was 77 years old, and, throughout the years, presented some of the most iconic horror films in history, from the original Night of the Living Dead to the 1973 classic The Crazies to the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead, which is considered by many as one of the most iconic sequels in movie history.
But Romero’s legacy also carried over to video games for a brief time. Several years ago, Activision brought him on board to make a special guest appearance in the add-on Call of the Dead, a star-studden Zombies map that was featured downloadable content for the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 release Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Romero’s involvement with the Call of Duty franchise was nothing short of awesome, as his character, a film director (using the same name and look, of course) was doing research for a World War II movie when he comes across Nazi documents that tie in with Element 115 – which might be a familiar element that comes into play with this week’s forthcoming Call of Duty: WWII Zombies announcement.
"Years ago, I did research for a World War II movie. I came across some old Nazi documents. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Element 115, necromancers, raising the dead, real creepy stuff. The coolest thing? Some of that crazy shit happened right here,” the director was noted in saying about the research.
But Romero is no side character. In fact, he appeared within the game as one of the toughest Zombies in series history, able to take a good amount of damage while attempting to hit players – and becoming even deadlier the first minute he enters a Berzerk State.
His entrance into the map involved a lightning strike causing his summoning in the water, where he emerges holding a rather large knife. You can check out his appearance in the video below, in all his great directorial form. (There’s also a clip where he comes the nearly unstoppable zombie.)
It’s a kind nod to Romero’s horror legacy, which involved a great deal of zombie films, to turn him into one of the undead, while the likes of Danny Trejo, Robert Englund, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michael Rooker try to put him down. He also attained a strong focus with the add-on’s original poster, appearing in all his Zombie splendor.
It was a brief entry – and we didn’t see too much of Romero’s work in the video game world outside of that (save for a cancelled first-person shooter called City of the Dead – but it was one that paid proper tribute to the man who gave us some of the greatest horror movies ever.
Romero was 77 years old. Our thoughts go out to all his family and friends.