When Warzone launched in 2020, it broke the internet. It became an overnight sensation; a platform upon which 100 million players would eventually come together, becoming friends, enemies, and master tacticians. Now, almost three years later, Warzone 2.0 has been released, and almost immediately, the platform has come under intense scrutiny by fans and critics alike. As one of the leading battle royale franchises in the business, Warzone 2.0 has big boots to fill, but is it up to the task?
As an impartial, somewhat unskilled Call of Duty fan, I stepped into Warzone 2.0 the moment it launched. It was my goal to gather as much information as possible and determine whether it truly is worthy of the hard-earned time of the average gamer. In 2020, I fell in love with Warzone so hard that I eventually ended up securing a Guinness World Record on the platform.
While I’m not going to repeat that effort, I am willing to get my teeth into Warzone 2.0 to see what the platform offers.
‘The Launch Period’, That Classic Pitfall
At the time of writing this breakdown, Warzone 2.0 is undergoing a relatively rocky launch period. It’s understandable, as there are likely tens of millions of gamers all desperately seeking their first dub at this very moment in time. From the moment I booted up Warzone 2.0, I was met with fatal errors, unstable menus, a bug-ridden interface, and horribly high ping in-game. It made for a punishing experience, but that’s par for the course these days with new multiplayer titles, I feel.
Once I’d managed to successfully drop in with my four-man squad, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, as a whole, the platform stabilised quite quickly. It would destabilise later, but that’s fine – at least I could start exploring Al Mazrah and uncovering all the secrets that Warzone 2.0 had to offer. Last year, Caldera dropped, and it almost killed Call of Duty Warzone, so I was intensely relieved to realise that, at first glance, Warzone 2.0 feels like a completely different game.
It can’t replace the glory that was early-days Verdansk, but Al Mazrah as a map is stunning, quite diverse, and riddled with points of interest to poke around.
There are so many new mechanics in Warzone 2.0, it’ll make your head spin. If you’re not familiar with the changes going into the game, you’ll rapidly find yourself as a fish out of water, flopping around without a clue what’s going on. It’ll take a game or two, but you’ll eventually get a grasp on how the new game plays, and you’ll understand that, in actual fact, it plays remarkably well.
Warzone 2.0 Boasts Countless New Features
From a slower pace to a map that promotes various styles of play to an all-new gulag and looting system, Warzone 2.0 has almost been rebuilt from the ground up. There are high expectations for this to become one of the best battle royale games in history, and, personally, I think it could be. There are meaningful AI opponents scattered around the map, Strongholds to take on, contracts to complete, and backpacks to be looted all over the place.
When Warzone 2.0 launched, it brought with it the season one battlepass – that too has been totally redesigned and offers up an innovative way to tackle the season structure that lies ahead.
As I traversed Al Mazrah, I tried as hard as I could to find an issue with the game. If I look past the launch-centric performance issues, I’m seeing a battle royale platform that is bursting at the seams with potential. It feels heavy and realistic, the map is gorgeous, the movement is slow and deliberate, and the new zoning mechanics offer a brand-new way to play. I’m a huge fan of the Blackout-style looting mechanics, and even the in-game graphics (such as the win screen) are clean and fresh.
I’ll be transparent and optimistic and say that there’s a strong future in store for Warzone 2.0. It could be just what the franchise desperately needed: a revival.
That’s not it for Call of Duty’s battle royale platform, as next year, Warzone Mobile is expected to launch.