That’s my favorite Call of Duty quote of all time.
I feel like everybody knew this was coming. People were glitching into the map, developer Infinity Ward added a tab to the main menu for the game mode, and popular/reliable leaker TheGamingRevolution basically described everything we were getting. March 10 marked the official launch after months of teases and speculation.
This one might be short because you’re probably tired of the battle royale genre, and this being a Call of Duty battle royale has all that working against this entry and different connotations both good and bad.
What You Need to Know
Warzone is Modern Warfare’s version of the popular (and kind of saturated at this point) battle royale genre. Boasting 150 players, a map as big as the state of Massachusetts, and it’s freaking free-to-play (meaning you don’t need the full game to play it), how does this take stack up against the other heavy hitters of the BR genre?
Warzone does everything a typical BR does. You drop in with your homies (up to 3 total aka trios), kill or be killed, avoid the gas, and hopefully grind out a W.
What separates this from the likes of Apex Legends and Fortnite is the economy. You can loot like those titles, but players also collect cash in order to buy items such as killstreaks, armor bundles, self revives, and load out drops. Players can find this cash in piles or boxes around the world, collect it from dead players, or partake in challenges that reward cash. These challenges range from hunting enemy teams to collecting a few boxes. The more of these challenges you complete the bigger the reward.
The next big gameplay change that separates Warzone is what happens when you die. Apex Legends introduced a banner system that allowed you to bring back dead teammates which evolved the BR genre. Upon dying in Warzone, you are brought to the Gulag in cinematic fashion. In the Gulag, players fight in a 1v1 Gunfight set up with the winner gaining their freedom and rejoining their teammates. You only allowed one trip to the Gulag so if you die, your teammates have to buy you back!
The map is tremendous and varied with new locations and familiar locations based off of the Ground War maps. Vehicles such as trucks, helicopters, and ATVS are available to use, but be careful as they will alert your opponents. Also, if you do have the full game, your progression will carry over which includes leveling up weapons, your rank, and battle pass grind.
I’m impressed with the scope of this mode. 150 players is no joke, and I think it might be the biggest multiplayer experience I’ve ever played (Resistance 2 is up there though).
As immense the player count there is, it makes for some pretty negative experiences. Connection is a big problem as you can imagine and matches will lag heavily. I have a decent connection, but I’ve seen plenty of complaints about it. It comes with the territory though. Another hot topic seems to be load outs and the armor system. Looting feels kind of pointless because custom load out bundles cost $6000 and teams can rack that up pretty easy, not to mention one drop provides for 3 people. That’s gotta get changed around. The armor system feels kind of cheap because you can only hold five, and it costs one to fix a half damaged plate. Those are just minor complaints though.
I will say it does make for some memorable/actionable moments. The Gulag is a wicked clever idea, and when you drop from the plane, it feels like some Black Hawk Down type vibe. I like how all the Ground War maps blend together to make this huge beast of a map. It helps that this game is freaking gorgeous so kudos where kudos is due.
Needless to say this free-to-play venture has gone pretty well for Warzone. With over 30 million players within two weeks of launch, I tip my hat off to the teams that worked together to make this happen. I feel like Blackout could’ve been an amazing venture, but we know how Activision treats the Treyarch team (more on that soon).
How do we feel about Warzone? Let me know in the comments below, and maybe we can hot drop sometime!