By Andrew Ayala
Activision creates the perfect blend of an intense first-player-shooter with the popular battle royale game mode in their newest addition to “Call of Duty Modern Warfare,” titled “Warzone.”
“Warzone” is a free-to-play massive multiplayer battle royale with lobbies of up to 150 players. Gamers drop into a map called Verdansk, which looks like a battle-worn East European country.
The game plays out like a typical battle royale where players land into a selection of over 300 points of interest and begin a fight to the finish.
“Warzone” feels like a battle royale recipe passed down from generation-to-generation, in which the developers added their own secret blend of herbs and spices to make for a perfect dish.
The game plays at a decent pace, with matches lasting between 10 to 25 minutes depending on luck and location choice.
Gunfights have the intensity of a blockbuster war film and keep gamers wanting more. Dense forests, open fields, rocky mountains and building-filled cities are some of the zones that can be explored.
Smoothe gameplay and movement allows players to feel comfortable and entertained as they navigate the map. Stunning graphics and settings make for one of Activision’s most realistic games to date. The dull colors add to the overall tone of the game and make it difficult to see other players while on-the-go.
There are two game modes in warzone. There is the normal battle royale and a new mode called plunder, in which the winner is determined by whoever gathers the most money throughout the match.
Players will get a sense of nostalgia when navigating the map because certain locations are taken from previous “Call of Duty” titles and revamped. One detail that makes this game different, is the fact that every building has its own unique design and layout.
This means gamers won’t feel the repetition they typically do when looting for weapons, shields, money or field upgrades. The loot system is organized by colors. Items that are highlighted in grey mean common, green means uncommon, blue means rare, purple means epic, orange means legendary and fuchsia means custom. Beautifully crafted weapons allow players to immerse and get lost in the war simulation experience.
There is no inventory system, which makes switching weapons and changing field upgrades a breeze. Typically in previous “Call of Duty” titles, players would get killstreaks based on how many points or kills they could get before death.
In this battle royale, developers decided to bring in killstreaks, but have the player earn them by paying for them with cash that can be found in loot boxes around the map. These helpful purchases include extra armored plates, airstrikes, unmanned aerial vehicles and loadouts which can be customized in the main menu.
Initial death doesn’t automatically mean the game is over as players are sent to the gulag showers in order to duel for redemption. Players will fight another player who has died and whoever lives gets a second chance.
Those who are completely dead (did not survive the gulag or already had their second chance) can be revived if they are bought back. This allows for squads to repeatedly revive one another and increase their chances of victory.
The game mechanics are fairly simple and don’t require too much prior knowledge.
Gamers even have to go through a boot camp where the game is explained before they can jump into a match full of other players. Currently, there is only a choice to play in groups of three, but gamers have the option to not fill their squad if they do not want to play with someone random.
Vehicles such as helicopters, ATVs and cars can be ridden to help get out of the gas or move around the map. In some cases the vehicles are helpful and in others they give away positions which only makes the game more difficult.
For those who are into easter eggs, the developers have included multiple items throughout the map which can be interacted with to reveal possible secret locations and items.
“Call of Duty” has tried to create battle royale before, but this version takes the cake. This is arguably the best battle royale to date and is definitely something that gamers from all sections of the spectrum will enjoy.
“Warzone” is free and available for download on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox. PlayStation players do not need a PlayStation plus subscription, but Xbox players do need a gold membership to access the game. The mode was released on March 10 and is rated M due to intense violence, strong language and blood and gore.