Call of Duty: Warzone – Impressions

Cash rules everything around me.

It was only a matter of time before a battle royale mode was added to Call of Duty Modern Warfare. The genre is still wildly popular and while mainstays like Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex currently sit at the top, there is ample room for competition. Call of Duty has a battle royale mode in the form of Blackout, which was included with Black Ops 4 and was a solid first attempt, but didn’t catch fire like Activision intended.

Enter Warzone, the new battle royale mode, which stands as Call of Duty’s second stab at the genre. It features two modes, the first being a traditional battle royale, where you can drop with a team or go solo as you enter a match that caps at 150 people. This can be fairly daunting because of the player count, but in truth, the map is so massive and dense, you should be able to land comfortably and loot until you’re well equipped to take on other opponents.

Health regenerates as it does in multiplayer, so there are no health packs to pick up.  You start out with a pistol and two armor plates, which provides enough leeway in case you find yourself in combat when you land. You do not have to press anything to loot ammo or plates, you just have to walk over them, which is useful when you’ve killed an enemy and have to immediately engage in another firefight.

Armor plates however must be manually inserted, but this can be done quickly and with little hassle. Looting is very streamlined and crates give off a specific sound, with their color indicating the contents rarity. This will usually include fully kitted weapons, cash, and perks, which are really useful when engaging groups of enemies. Dead silence, as it is in regular multiplayer, is still really OP.

Cash it utilized to purchase kill streaks, armor plates, crate drops, and can be used to resurrect teammates. Crate drops will allow you to select a custom loadout personal to yourself, which is a nice touch that I think many people will appreciate. Fully kitted weapons will allow you to have the advantage over your opponent almost instantly.  Common drops will have no attachments whatsoever and there are none to pick up in the field of play.

When it comes to resurrecting your teammates, this is where Warzone gets interesting. You can pay, though it is costly, but as always, you have a higher chance of success with a full squad than a depleted one. If you get downed and your teammates don’t have the cash, usually this would result in a game over. This is not the case in Warzone. You are instead sent to the Gulag, where you engage in a 1v1 to be resurrected on the battlefield.

Be careful, because if you happen to win, there is no going back to the Gulag. Your teammates will have to find a pay station to resurrect you and by that time, the game might be nearing its end. Personally, I love this system, fighting for a second chance is tense and entertaining. In the meantime, you’re able to observe matches and throw rocks to possibly distract opponents. It’s a lot of fun and a strong addition.

Warzone’s second mode is Plunder. The objective is simple; the team with the most cash wins. You can accomplish this by looting crates, killing opponents, and completing bounties. If your team happens to be a top earner, a bounty is placed and your location is marked for everyone to see. Surviving for a period of time will reward your team with extra money.

This mode rewards you for being as aggressive as possible. Unlike the traditional battle royale mode, you can respawn with the only penalty is that you lose money. There is no closing circle, so the only thing you have going against you is time and other opponents Don’t fret though, there are always opportunities to earn it back. Depositing money, either through balloon or helicopter, is how to avoid any permanent losses. The balloon is a perk that can be found in crates and can only hold up to 150k, while the helicopter can hold more, but is significantly more risky as every team knows where those sites are.

Activision seems to have learned from its first foray into the battle royale genre and have created a strong second outing in the form of Warzone. There are a number of quality of life improvements, the map is massive, diverse, and dense, connecting all of the maps found in the game in an organic way that demands exploration by the player.

Vehicles are strewn about which help with traversal, so don’t panic about trying to cover all that ground on foot.Building layouts are detailed, which is really impressive because one would assume there would be hardware limitations. For what it’s worth, the developers deserve a ton of credit for putting a lot of effort into making the map as diverse as it is.

The best part about all of this is that its free-to-play. Its 80GB to download for those that don’t have Modern Warfare, but it’s well worth the investment. Not saying that it’s going to knock off Fortnite, but it might be the competition that introduces innovation into the genre.