Call of Duty: Warzone is the newest battle royale to enter the arena with a few new interesting tweaks. It’s all action and has the classic rollercoaster feelings that only battle royales can bring. The following are my first impressions of Call of Duty: Warzone.
Warzone is free-to-play and can be downloaded on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. There’s also cross-play so if you’re on PC then you can come up against players on PS4 and Xbox. This is great as communities from all platforms can come together and play – hopefully, this will be the default for a lot of games going forward into the next generation.
The game also ties into Modern Warfare, so there are unified progressions across the games. In practice this means your battle pass, operators, weapons and options will move between games modes, making it nice and simple to manage.
The map is huge and you’ll need to spend plenty of time getting to know the unique buildings on the map – where the best places to drop are, much like other battle royale games like Fortnite and Apex Legends.
There are a couple of differentiating factors in this game. First of all, there are 150 players, and when you die that’s not the end – you get a chance to come back via the Gulag. Also, be aware that the circle closing in on you is a deadly one, in other BRs you might be able to step out for a moment, not here… get caught outside the circle and you’re dead.
You’ll also drop with a weapon to start with, as it’s fair to say Activision doesn’t want players without a weapon for too long. Gun in hand, you’re ready for action immediately and this all adds up to a fast user experience.
Much like other BRs, there’s 3 player squads and solos. There’s also a ping system, which was made popular by Apex Legends. There are vehicles too, which are going to come in handy due to the sheer size of the map. There are 5 vehicles including ATV, Tactical Rover, SUV, Chopper and Cargo truck. Don’t stick in them too long though as you’re likely to get blown up.
Loot feels similar to other BRs, there are chests dotted around the map and you open up boxes to find weapons and armour. You don’t have to worry too much about a complicated loot management system either which is nice. The whole experience feels like it’s been streamlined to remove complications and barriers and get you into the action nice and quickly.
At launch, there’s a couple of game modes including Battle Royale and Plunder. Battle Royale is the standard last person standing mode and Plunder is team-based where you race to collect the most cash. Take out your opponents, steal their cash and grab the most to win. This mixes it up nicely as you can complete in-match contracts, fast-paced action, unlimited respawns and killstreaks – what we know and love about Call of Duty.
As well as the standard Battle Royale mode there are also contracts and in-game challenges. The contracts are challenges you can take on to get more cash and rewards – this includes a preview of the circle collapse and more. Scavenger Contracts highlights supply boxes which need to be opened and you have a little window of time to complete these. If you open 3 you’ll get a reward.
Recon contracts set you the target of locking down a specific location, which plays out like a small match of Domination in the recon zone. Assassination Contracts send you to take on another squad team-on-team. These are probably the most challenging of the contracts and are high risk, but also high reward in the form of cash.
If you die you’ll go into the Gulag. You’ll have the chance to get back into the action by killing someone else in a 1v1 elimination. This is similar to Gunfight in Modern Warfare’s Gulag map. If you die again, you’re gone. Win and you’re back in. Teammates can help you out, if you get stuck in there with them they can shout from the rafters and let you know where the other player is.
Overall, Call of Duty: Warzone is everything you want from a Call of Duty Battle Royale. It’s fast, offers up some new features in the BR genre and doesn’t feel massively different from Modern Warfare. Infinity Ward have built on the moderate success 2018’s Blackout. One month after launch the game has 50 million players playing the game which makes it the world’s fastest-growing free-to-play game. The fact it’s free-to-play and has cross-platform-play enabled from day one works massively in its favour, and the classic call of duty gameplay is there. If you’re anyway interested in first-person shooters or battle Royale games, you should check this one out.