Activision has come a long way with Warzone, turning the battle royale into a staple within the franchise. Warzone has even overshadowed the latest Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, showing more players would rather battle it out in Verdansk than any other modes. The inclusion of Cold War weapons in Warzone has caused previous seasons to feel imbalanced, however with the latest season, Raven Software aims to change that.
Now, the real question here is, was the multi-week build-up worth it? That answer is complicated, and you will see a straight division between the community. Overall this update was a great way to revitalize the long-standing city of Verdansk.
Season 3 started off with a bang, literally. Zombies had taken over Verndask, and the only option was to nuke the city.
In a four-part event that kicked off Call Of Duty’s Warzone Season 3, players were thrown into a limited time-game mode known as The Destruction of Verdansk. In it, they vied to survive as long as they could against zombies running amok through Verdansk. The event came to a conclusion with the map being hit with a nuke—destroying it permanently.
Following the destruction of Verdansk, players were given a day to play Rebirth Island Night, which allowed them to play through Rebirth Island in the dark fifteen minutes following Verdansk’s destruction. The final part of the event came with another mode that allowed players to return to Verdansk prior to its destruction and fight to be the team that actually set off the nuclear device that destroyed the map. Following that, every player was then pushed into the newest version of the map—Verdansk 1984.
Feelin’ like the 80s
Many players may have been expecting an entirely new map but what we’re given is a revamped flashback of Verdansk in 1984. Raven Software would have been easy to just throw a couple of 80s references and a new coat of paint over all the existing points of interest. However, they’ve gone the extra mile and added dozens of new points of interest, showing us a version of Verdansk before it became a wartorn landscape. Areas such as Dam and airport have been completely revamped to adding cable cars, factories, satellite arrays, and even fixing many of the trouble areas already littered across Verdansk. My initial reaction to the change was a bit negative, but the more I played through the map, the more I found Verdansk 2.0 to be better in almost every way. Adversely, there is a new hue to the game’s tone, which gives it a dingier and almost foggy look. I can see where they were coming from, including a look more fitting to a cold war 80s era, but it doesn’t really work within a game like Warzone. When it comes to battle royale, players look for performance over visual fidelity. A choice like this shows that what the players want and what the developers envision are often at divides.
With the latest Season 3 update, Raven Software is pulling out the big guns… literally. Raven has finally brought balance to the Cold War guns bringing them on par with each other and creating a diverse meta that has even die-hards excited. One of my biggest complaints with the previous season of the Cold War meta is that there were always one or two guns you needed to run. Last season we were stuck running AUG and FFAR; these two guns dominated the meta leaving little room for other loadouts. With the latest season, there are many standouts with firearms, such as the CR-AMAX and FFAR, but these are far from the only two viable loadouts. This is by far the most balanced we’ve ever seen Warzone, and it has me very excited and optimistic for the future of Warzone.
Hackers, exploits and glitches
Warzone is far from perfect, issues with the Roze skin are still apparent despite the changes Raven insists were put in. The Roze skin is almost invisible in dark areas of the game, and even with its recent nerfs, it still needs a lot of work. It also wouldn’t be a warzone update without new exploits and bugs; players are now exploiting certain sections of the map to get underneath and kill other players from outside of the zone. I usually wouldn’t write about an exploit like this in my first impressions. However, this exploit is still in the game over a week later. Exploiters and hackers are still running rampant in Warzone, and it needs to be addressed, or it will kill the game in the long term. There needs to be an anti-cheat implemented or a system to flag cheaters before they get out of hand. The current system seems to rely heavily on manual reviewing and has shown us that these cheaters can use accounts for weeks or even months before getting suspended.
Season 3 started with a bang and gives hope for the future of Warzone and Call of Duty as a whole. The changes to Verdansk are welcomed, giving players a fresh experience while fixing troubled or completely desolate areas. The content here is refreshing, and the balance changes bring a meta that rewards experimentation. However, Activision needs to include a new map, features, anti-cheat systems, and more if they want this to be a staple moving forward. If you’re a fan of Warzone, this update will keep you playing. However, if you already felt burnt out, this will do little to bring players back into the fold.