Call of duty: Warzone is a free to play first-person shooter developed by Infinity Ward and Raven Software and published by Activision. The title was released for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Microsoft Windows on March 10, 2020.
The tenth Call of Duty: a record-breaking spin-off
For its development, the two companies already had extensive experience in both shooters and the Call of Duty franchise. As for Infinity Ward, the Californian corporation owned by Activision was responsible for all the main Call of Duty releases, having developed 10 of them. On the side of Raven Software, located in Wisconsin, it was in 7 of these and created other classic shooters like Quake 4 and Wolfenstein.
Regarding the game, it is the tenth entry in the saga and a spin-off of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare created in 2019, so it can be accessed from it or separately. Also, it is the third time in the series that a Battle Royale format is used, having Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Call of Duty Mobile as its predecessors.
This installment didn’t take long to break all kinds of download records. Since its launch in March, the release got 6 million players the first day, 15 million between the first 3 and after 10 days, already had more than 30 million. When the title was one month old, Activision revealed that it already had more than 50 million users and just before its second, 60.
The classic Battle Royale with a new approach
The title has two base modes: Battle Royale and Plumber. Both have the great novelty that the view is in the first person. In Battle Royale, after waiting in a lobby for the server to accumulate 150 players (50 more than most of this kind of entries) the game begins. Although it can be played alone, generally 50 teams of three players start the adventure inside a plane, where they must decide when to jump out of it. In doing so, they must calculate where to fall and how to use the parachute, which can result in a mistake that could cost them their lives.
Once on the ground, each player in the group is equipped with only one gun and must look for weapons or strategic points to establish themselves in the game. Unlike other franchises, staying with your teammates has a much greater role. This is because the game implements that when the player reaches 0 points of vitality, instead of dying he begins to bleed, and can be healed by a partner who is close by. In case the user dies, he is transported to prison and must fight another dead user in a place called “gulag”. The winner of the fight will be revived and has one more chance to play, but if he loses again, he is permanently eliminated from the match. Besides, if all members of the squad are also eliminated, the team is removed from the competition and cannot return by any means.
To prevent this from happening, players have several methods to improve their chances. In addition to eliminating enemies, the title offers the possibility to fulfill different contracts and missions in the same match. This gives the players usable money in it, needed to buy loot boxes with items that they can use to take advantage of their opponents.
Furthermore, both some of the content of the loot boxes and various in-game prizes are hidden throughout the map. For example, the token revival can be found or purchased even before the game starts and can revive a character. This can be used even if the character has lost a gulag duel, making obtaining in-game credit essential for a victory.
Finally, teams must keep an eye on a circle that gets smaller as the game progresses. In this area, they can play calmly, but if they go outside it, gas will gradually kill them, forcing the opponents to get closer and closer to each other. When there is only one player or team left standing, the game ends, proclaiming the winner(s) and giving them experience and credit according to their performance. They can also get visual enhancements for their characters or weapons.
Plumber mode: the novelty of Call of Duty
Similar to the Battle Royale, the Plumber mode starts with the same rules. The big difference happens when the player notices that there is no gas circle, and the objective is not to kill the enemies. To win, each character must collect more money than their opponents in various ways, such as slaying opponents, depositing money or fulfilling contracts, among others. When a team gets a total of one million dollars, the game goes into an overtime round that lasts two minutes. After that, all the funds obtained in the game are added up and a squad is proclaimed victorious.
Weapons, the specialty of the franchise
As expected in a war title, this entry has a large number of weapons that seek to be as faithful as possible to their real counterparts. Firstly the game features 10 assault rifles (Kilo 141, FAL, FR 5.56, M4A1, ODEN, M13, FN Scar 17, Ak-47, Ram-7 and Grau 5. 5), 7 SMGs (AUG, P90, M95, UZI, PP19 Bizon, MP7 and Striker 45), 5 shotguns (Model 680, R9-0 Shotgun, 725, Origin 12 Shotgun and VLK Rogue), 5 LMGS (SA87, PKM, M92, MG34, and Holger-26), 4 marksman rifles (EBR-14, MK2 Carbine, Kar98K and Crossbow), 3 sniper rifles (Dragunov, HDR, and AX-50) and 1 primary melee weapon (Riot Shield).
On the other hand, players also have at their disposal a large set of secondary weapons.
Among them are 5 pistols (X16, 1911, .357, M19 and .50 GS), 4 launchers (PILA, Strela-P, JOKR, and RPG-7) and 1 melee item (Combat knife).
Finally, the adventure has a large number of vehicles, civilian and armed, which are available along with the map for all users.
A graphic engine ready for the new era
The game uses Wartech Engine 2.0 as its graphic engine. Using variations of this for the other Call of Duty titles, the developers assured that it is the most powerful engine on the market and that the release would be up to the latest consoles. Warzone features one of the most realistic frames that any contemporary game has ever shown. Also, the particle’s motion blur and shadows made a big leap forward compared to its predecessor, where the latter is even more optimized and interacts with the environment. A stereoscopic 3D support for all platforms with minimal performance loss and zero quality impact is also available. Therefore, Warzone very realistic without demanding too many resources from the user’s PC, so even a mid-range PC could run it.
Although realism is the main character of the franchise, there are several stylistic decisions throughout the installment. It uses a generally warm color palette, where arid terrain and sun-infused yellow dominate. On the other hand, the cities are sunken in grey with a few warm tints that lose their prominence with the shadows generated by the large structures.
A map, countless possibilities
The big map where the battles take place is called Verdansk. On it, there are countless locations for players to explore. Some of these are older and reminiscent of classic entrances and others are new and optimized for the new generation of gamers.
Among all the places available to explore, one of them is the North Sector. It includes the Gora Dam, the Arklov Peak Military Base, blocks 14, 15, 16, 17, 23, Riverside, River Quarry, a Crash Site, Lozoff Pass, nd a WHP Camp. This area is characterized by its tundras and foothills.
Then, in the Southwest Sector, the player can discover the Verdansk Hospital, Train Station, Barakett Promenade West and East, Zozsni Spomenik, the Kart Racing Track, and Novi Grazna Hills. In this area near the center, it is also possible to visit several coasts, unreachable elsewhere on the map.
In the Central and South Sector are the Verdansk Stadium, the Great Bridge, the Tavorsk and Gora Bridge, and the Tavorsk Park and Styor Spomenik monument. This place is also characterized by massive downtowns and extensively urbanized areas.
The last part of the map is located in the East Sector. It extends from Block 18 to Karst Bridge and passes through the Orangard Lumber Yard, the City of Verdansk Port, the Krovnik Farmland, and finally the Zordaya Prison Complex. Unlike the central part, this area is dominated by plantations and is largely occupied by plants and rural territories.
Controversies and servers that still need to be polished
Since its release, the latest Call of Duty installation has a large number of high latency claims among its players. Although Activision has not yet confirmed the complete list of where all the servers will be located, some are already in operation. Among these are USA Central (Ohio), USA West (California), Europe (Central) United Kingdom (London), Ireland (Dublin), Australia (Melbourne and Adelaide) and Japan (Tokyo).
Being a new title, it is normal to find several bugs or errors that are slowly corrected. Apart from this, it was also part of a much bigger controversy that generated a lot of dissatisfaction from the fans. In addition to the long wait in queues, the game did not give many of its users experience when finishing a match. This led to several complaints on Reddit and other platforms. In response, Activision decided to give its players twice the experience for a limited time, getting good feedback from its audience.
Another important point is based on the number of updates that the developers propose, having scheduled one per month, they launched 4 in march, the month after its release. Regarding content delivery, a major weapons update and map extension are expected for the progress of season 3, although there is not yet a confirmed date for the event.
Capitalizing on the success of Battle Royale titles such as Fortnite or PUBG, Call of Duty was able to adapt to this model while still providing its own. Combining this style of game that attracts a large number of players with a characteristic first-person view, this already worn-out formula acquires a new air.
Also, the title is not limited to being a first-person clone of its newfound competition but brings new ideas such as the correct inclusion of Plumber Mode.
Being the last Battle Royale to come out with a graphic engine that promises to surpass its contemporaries, Call Of Duty Warzone is a game to pay attention to.