Call of Duty: Warzone says goodbye to us after two and a half years of being in various states of fire (opens in a new tab). The modern warfare-flavored successor to Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, Warzone quickly rose to superpower status in the battle royale arms race. Built on the adamantine skeleton of 2019’s Modern Warfare reboot, Warzone has since been enhanced with a host of updates, each bringing additional weapons, map changes, skins, live events, and more.
Despite Warzone’s immense popularity, its successes were often in spite of itself. After a long time waiting alone in the new Warzone farewell event (opens in a new tab)it’s clear that Warzone 2.0 requires a more focused creative and technical vision if Activision is to avoid the pitfalls of the original.
Thankfully, Infinity Ward has years of balancing bugs and game-breaking bugs to learn on their second chance at battle royale. Let’s reflect on Warzone’s biggest shortcomings and consider it as a blueprint for a better Warzone 2.0.
Decrease file size
Warzone is more than bloated, hastily installed into three different Call of Dutys (all decades apart) to a brutal 98 gigabytes as a standalone install. If you decide you want to play the campaign and multiplayer modes of the respective CoD games you bought, you can easily fill up an entire SSD. By contrast, Fortnite is a fifth of that size. Byte bloat doesn’t even affect the player, as anyone who has tried to convince their friends to play Warzone knows, the most common response is “Let me see if I have enough space.”
The size of the Warzone install is a barrier to play that needs to be addressed to keep people close.
Fix user experience and remove bugs
Years later, Warzone’s menus are slow, crashes happen randomly, and network code is unstable. It’s an exceptionally unfriendly piece of software to navigate, riddled with bugs and issues absent from most early access games. After any one of its gigantic seasonal updates, Warzone will frequently forget its audio settings, and God help you if you have headphones on because you’ll have to sit through an unmissable scene of white men pulling up their vests at deafening volume.
The worst bugs aren’t limited to the front end – veteran players will remember the infinite pacing glitch (opens in a new tab) which saw players exploit a healing tool to survive outside of the circle indefinitely and passively win matches. Playing Warzone requires a level of patience far beyond what is normally required of a BR game.
And don’t get me started on shaders. It’s unacceptable how often we have to wait to party with friends because the game needs to load individual shaders while we sit looking at a menu.
Skins are Warzone’s big revenue driver, and while there are some really cool skins and unique weapons buried in the CoD store, the vast majority feel like they’re doing double duty for rave gear. While I would never describe Call of Duty as “minimalist”, Warzone 2.0 already looks like it will be refreshing, briefly freed from the baggage of two and a half years of a runaway monetization model.
It’s a desperately needed hard reset, but it will all be for naught if Activision opts for more Attack on Titan-style brand crossovers that wipe out any attempt at cohesion. Even Fortnite, the crowned monarch of random crossover events, manages to unify its multiverse under one style. And hey, if Warzone is hell-bent on being as bland as single-player modes churn and linger in the shadow of it, he go all the way and sell me an Oliver North skin.
Give the game an art style (and stick to it)
Warzone has always been a bit of a visual mess, but never more so than now, a Disneyland built on a graveyard of imperial conflict. The decision to integrate WW2 and Black Ops assets into Warzone has resulted in a game with no visual identity, an awkward combination of three different games with three totally different art directions and design languages. While no map is free of artistic sin, Caldera is the main offender here.
Beginning with a beachhead landing of a plane so old it predates the air force, the map clings to disparate visual motifs (the Spanish-Columbian architecture of Havana, Japanese-occupied Burma, the end of the Cold War) and clumsily breaks them. There are immensely talented artists and designers working in the visual framework of near-future warfare (for example, Yoji Shinkawa from Metal Gear and Shoji Kawamori’s work on Ace Combat 7), and it’s a shame that such a large series is so unimaginative. .
Warzone 2.0 would benefit from a map design team that can bring to life a focused and creative take on contemporary conflict. What we’ve seen of Warzone 2.0’s launch map, Al Mazrah, looks promising: an Islamic golden age gem ravaged by centuries of foreign invasion. The emphasis placed on the region’s historical locations – Crusader castles, mosques and monasteries – gives the map a stylistic advantage over the boring post-Soviet business parks of Verdansk.
It will take both creativity and restraint to see that this topic is not undermined by iterative map updates.
Keep your Warzone arsenal independent
Activision made a bold call when it decided to merge Warzone and its annual $70 Call of Duty games under one umbrella of battle passes, progressions, and weapons. Warzone’s seasonal model was integrated with the releases of Black Ops-Cold War in 2020 and Vanguard in 2021.
While it was great to see the unlocks in one CoD experience mirrored in another, the introduction of weapons from games produced by completely different studios that were designed for different modes resulted in dramatic changes to the metagame, almost always for the worse. The Black Ops arsenal is an eclectic assortment of high-rate, lethal machines that left Modern Warfare’s arsenal in the dust when they arrived in one big package in late 2020, while interwar rifles and rudimentary machine guns from Vanguard struggle to match the pace at any range. .
The ambitious plan to spread a Call of Duty vision across four games has resulted in a crammed arsenal of equal weapons where everything feels cheaper and so-called legendary blueprints are common mid-match finds. Attachments also feel pointless, with the only significant distinction being the type of scope it takes. Warzone’s arsenal calls for firmer control of your meta and a willingness to remove unbalanced gear rather than letting them linger until another DMR 14 incident occurs. (opens in a new tab).
A simple one that everyone can agree on. Cheaters have risen, fallen, and risen again multiple times throughout Warzone’s lifecycle. Activision made progress in the war against cheaters when it released its Ricochet anti-cheat tool last year, but there are still gaps to be filled. Bans can be applied by Ricochet, but they can be circumvented by creating a new account, a pretty petty punishment considering most cheats are one-time-buy executables that plug into the Warzone executable.
If Warzone 2.0 were to implement more comprehensive hardware and IP bans, it stands to reason that the prevalence of aimbots and wallhacks would decrease significantly. Warzone 2.0 Login Required Phone Number (opens in a new tab) could potentially slow down cheaters, at the risk of compromising user privacy and exposure through data breach.
The bones of Warzone were and are solid, and despite the long, long list of issues I’ve encountered throughout its life, it always came back, even if it meant getting dangerously close to reaching my data limit when downloading an update. . When it’s up and running, Warzone is a fluid and forgiving BR with tons of flexibility and explosive shots.
If Warzone 2.0 can resist the urge to go crazy on cosmetics, emphasize optimization, bug fixes, and netcode, and not be afraid to inject a little personality, Warzone 2.0 could be the lasting sequel Activision made. trust.