While this was certainly something that leaked prior, it still was somewhat of a fun surprise to see release. It was basically as close to being a stealth release as you can get these days. This is Call of Duty: Warzone, a free to play expansion to the recent Modern Warfare release.
If you have that game you were able to jump in early, if not you can grab this as a standalone option to experience the mode. That’s right, no need to own Modern Warfare to play this. This currently provides two options, a battle royale and then a second mode called Plunder.
The battle royale takes the typical genre setup, and does tweak things slightly. It’s less about inventory management and more about just fast paced pick-ups. It features up to a 150 players currently with teams of three allowed.
While battling to be the last left in the match, you can work on finishing bounties and collecting cash in order to get better gear or tools. It’s an interesting change-up, and goes further by giving you a chance to come back.
This is through an intense 1v1 battle within the Gulgag that you get dragged to in a cinematic or by teammate buy-back. It’s a change-up I’m not usually into for battle royale games as I believe once you’re dead you should be out, but it works well here considering the massive scale of this and players involved.
There’s also a final neat system where you can end up grabbing your gear from a care package which is nice to have. That’s that gear from your multiplayer loadouts, including perks which is nice to get. These can provide a serious edge, or get you killed right away since you ran to claim this package.
The second mode in this game is Plunder, this is basically a massive team deathmatch with a minor goal of collecting money. You grab as much as you can, send it up at checkpoints or using special balloons. There are also hot moments where certain high earners are targeted due to the money they’ve been carrying.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Plunder, but I can see why this might appeal to many players. It’s also nice to have something aside from just battle royale being present with this release. That’s generally the just of things, when it comes to the modes and style of play. It’ll be interesting to see if they add additional modes or content in the future.
I will say that this is an incredible technical feat in terms of scale, performance and the quantity of players present. There’s even word that this number of 150 may scale to 200 down the road. Whatever the case, on Xbox One X it’s been very impressive and it’s crazy to see a world on this scale. The map is just wondrous in size, offering many side battles that can possibly take place at once across this large landscape.
Furthermore, many of the buildings allow players to enter them, to venture into different rooms. This gets us closer to the dream of a full scale city of conflict. At least, that’s one I had many years back as I thought that might be epic. That aside, this truly is an incredible feat when it comes to scale and the level of interactivity you can have in one area. They’ve provided some really interesting elements, at no cost which should provide a massive player base for the game.
Match that with cross-play, and I can see how they’re able to easily deliver the players required for such large scale experiences. It’s actually impressive how much this trumps the once amazing scale that the Battlefield series had provided. Whatever the case, I’m generally pleased with this as it delivers a very refined take on the genre, again as a free to play game for anyone. For existing players, it’s just a nice extra menu option to choose. You can read our review of Modern Warfare below, or check out the general franchise hub for additional coverage.
Read our Modern Warfare Review
View our Call of Duty Hub