Review: Call of Duty Warzone
Call of Duty: Warzone is part of last year’s Modern Warfare, but it’s free for everyone. You do not need Modern Warfare to download and play Warzone. Warzone itself is a multiplayer only game with two game modes: one called Plunder and one being the magic words for me, “Battle Royale”. Personally, I passed on last year’s Call of Duty offering, so to say I was excited to be able to jump into this is an understatement. Let’s jump out of that plane and get on the ground running.
Call of Duty: Warzone was rumored for some time, but was made official the day before its official release with an epic trailer. Seriously, if you didn’t see the trailer, take a look. This is how you get people hyped to play a game.
As the trailer shows you, its wild crazy chaos across two game modes, on one map, all for free.
The most important aspect of a game like this is the map. Gameplay needs to be there, obviously, but even the best gameplay on a bad map will get old quickly. The map offered here is fantastic. The zones are varied, with plenty of open areas to explore, and tight corridors to run through. I never found myself getting bored. Going from location to location was often so different that it felt like a different map entirely.
Both of the game modes — which we will dive into soon — use the same map and you enter the map the same way: by jumping out of a plane. I love the way you can see each area name from the plane. It made it easier to communicate with someone, saying out loud where you plan on landing. No need to open the map since its big and bold right in front of you.
If you have played any Call of Duty game, the controls will feel the same for you. To me, Call of Duty has always controlled great, and there was no change here. Running around, aiming down sights, and shooting enemies, always feels accurate and fun. One of my favorite things to do is to mount my guns on cover to eliminate recoil when trying to hold down a position. I found my self trying to do this any chance I could.
Contracts were a very fun addition to both game modes in Warzone. You can pick up one of three contracts to complete.
There is a bounty contract where you are given the approximate location of a player you need to kill. The players that you need to kill are aware that there is a bounty out on them.
A recon contract where you have to go to a certain area and secure it. It works very similar to securing a point in Domination in the base game. You just walk up to it and stand there.
Finally, there is a scavenger contract where you have to go to a certain area and open up a supply crate. For this contract, there are three crates that you need to find.
Contracts are nice, as something else to do in the large game world, but it has a bigger purpose. Money is a huge part of this game (especially Plunder) and contracts award you money.
Since I just mentioned money, let’s jump into the first game mode, Plunder. The object of Plunder is to find money and safely extract it. The first team to extract one million dollars, or whoever has the most at the end of a thirty minute timer, wins.
Money is found in a variety of ways. As I discussed previously, contracts are a great way to make money, and are available in Plunder. When you kill enemies, they drop cash that you can pick up. While exploring the world, you will come across cash that is just sitting on the floor, and then you will come across supply crates. Supply crates have weapons, items, and money in them. There are many of them scattered around the map and you won’t have a hard time finding them.
You need to extract the money you earn, but there are buy stations that you can spend it at too. Buy stations have useful items to help you and your team. For example, you can buy an extraction balloon to safely extract your money, so you do not need to always go into the hot zones to call in a chopper to get your money out.
After you have been running around the map earning money for a few minutes, the game marks the three top earners on the map. It’s risky to go after them, but who can resist going after the top players? Then, shortly after, the extraction choppers are ready to be called in; these are only available at select areas, so expect some resistance when trying to call these in to extract your money.
Respawn is enabled in this game mode but not without a price. When you die, you have a small wait period, before being jolted back into the battlefield. You will lose all of your items — even the ones that you have bought from buy stations — including the extraction balloons. Death also comes with a literal price. When you die, you drop about half of your money — money that can be picked up by a teammate if they are close, or by the enemy that killed you.
This is a unique game mode that is a lot of fun, and I recommend giving it a try, however, to me, the real star of Warzone is the battle royale.
The average battle royale is 100 players that jump out of an aircraft with absolutely nothing, scavenge for weapons and resources, and survive. Warzone made some changes to the normal formula. Instead of 100 players, this battle royale has 150 players. An extra 50 players really amps up the action. Every time I drop on the battlefield, I use free look to see around me, and I can see other players dropping all around me. You get to action much quicker in Warzone then the average battle royale game, which to me makes it the perfect version.
The other difference is, you start the match with a pistol. These early battles are gunfights instead of fistfights like in the others. This is one of my favorite changes, since I love to jump right into the action. When you get the kill with a pistol, you can’t help but feel great.
An amazing addition to this mode is something called the Gulag. When you die for the first time, your game is not over just yet; instead of death, you are captured, and brought to the Gulag. The Gulag looks like its pulled right out of the movie The Rock. You are upstairs in the beat up shower room in a prison. Looking down, you see players battling it out 1v1. The winner gets dropped back into the map to rejoin the action, and the loser has to sit out — unless a teammate can bring them back. You watch battles until it’s your turn to step in and take your shot.
If you don’t make it out of the Gulag, teammates with enough cash can buy you back into the match at a buy station. Buy stations play a big part in this game mode. Not only can you buy back a fallen teammate, but you can buy different killstreaks, and much needed items like armor plates.
Like in Plunder, money is earned the same way. Scavenging, contracts, and of course by racking up some kills and taking their loot. Since you have to find all your weapons except your pistol, the supply crates are even better in Battle Royale than Plunder. Some of the crates give off a golden glow — these crates have better rarity weapons in them.
This is my favorite mode, and as of now, they added a solo mode, which for me addressed my only real problem with the game and my play style.
Teammates are great when you know who you are playing with but playing with randoms can be a chore.
I love to play these games by myself, and now that I have that ability, this game became perfect for me. Dropping in solo and knowing that everyone else alone, with no support from friends, makes me a lot braver in my actions. Knowing I won't have a teammate to deal with makes me take some shots that I normally wouldn't — if I thought support was close by — leading to some insane moments.
A game like this is all about the moments that you have. When you are searching for a friend and then all of a sudden they are speeding to you in the vehicle. When a helicopter or an airstrike goes soaring over the top of you. The heart pounding moments that cause your hands to get sweaty when the circle gets smaller. Pulling off that long distance headshot.
All of these moments together tied up into one game in an amazing experience.
Just about every match I played had at least one moment that stood out. This is one of the best things about a game like this, and Warzone does it perfectly.
Call of Duty: Warzone is an excellent game, with a great battle royale, and a mode I didn’t even know I wanted. The addition of a solo mode made this game perfect for me. This score is going to come with a disclaimer: I had a lot of internal arguments with my self on this, and went back and forth, but I had to stay true to my self and go with what I felt. This is not a score I take lightly and does not mean its a perfect game; it is perfect for me. This one gets two thumbs way up. This game is free; there is no reason not to jump in and parachute down to the Warzone.
Final Score: — 10/10 —