Call of Duty: Warzone review: Battle Royale evolved

by Ben Kirby
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Does the world need another Battle Royale? Call of Duty says yes we do, and, you know what, Warzone delivers something slick and varied enough to stand out from the crowd.

Let’s be clear, I love Battle Royale games, I actually really enjoyed Blackout from Black Ops 4, and I had a great time in the Modern Warfare campaign so I’m a very easy mark. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be objective.

Warzone delivers all of the core elements and then turns it up a notch. 100 players? Nope! 150. Cross-play? Yep! But with accounts across platforms, too, you can carry all your unlocks over, regardless of what you’re playing on.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Hokage Zero

That map….

Warzone is not messing about here. If you’ve played the excellent Ground War mode in Modern Warfare, you get to play on some really big maps in some Battlefield-esque gameplay.

So, what if you stitched those maps together, then added some other areas from other modes, and made this one massive battle royale paradise?

You’ve got height, you’ve got tight spaces, you’ve got buildings with multiple floors both indoors and out. There’s nothing missing here! It’s so big that the helicopters and ground vehicles are pretty much mandatory if you catch yourself way outside of the circle.

Warzone delivers here in a big big way.

The Ground War maps were great in the context of that game mode. But added to a larger world, they work really nicely. Plus, the familiarity with them, really helps get to grips with the game. Drop, loot, survive. It’s all still the same. But it’s just bigger.

Hokage Zero Call of Duty Modern Warfare

Dead? Not yet!

One of the other tweaks that Warzone has implemented, is that in which you get given the opportunity to bring yourself back from the dead.

If you die in the first few phases of the round, you get taken to the Gulag. Here, you get pitted 1v1 with another unfortunate soul. The winner here gets to re-drop and join back in on the action.

It sounds daft, and I suppose it is. But the Call of Duty gunplay and time to kill is bloody rapid, so it really helps keep the game alive. You get downed and killed? You have chance to redeem yourself and try again.

In a squad match, this can really help turn the tides of your game. If you die, and your squad are already dead, you could all potentially come back. Or, one of you could come back, have some luck/skill and pick-up enough cash to buy teammates back.

In Warzone, I’ve been able to drop, buy my squad back, die, get bought back, watch my squad die, then buy them back again. It can be a real rollercoaster of emotions!

Call of Duty Warzone in the Gulag

Cash money

One big element of Warzone is that of cash and contracts. Using money during a round can see you buy your teammates back, you can buy armour or weapons.

Better yet, you can buy a loadout crate. This is one of my favourite touches. All those loadouts you’ve put together in the multiplayer modes? Pick one, drop it in, and go to town with a set of gear you love, and have built-up over hours and hours of gameplay.

Beyond that, I’d been playing Modern Warfare on PS4, but wanted to play Warzone on Xbox. So I got signed-in, and thanks to my Activision account, it just pulled all of my progress over. Note that I don’t own Modern Warfare on Xbox, but that makes no odds. Cool eh? Warzone has all of my sweet loadouts, built up from playing Ground War and other modes.

Contracts are a decent addition, too.

I thought they were a bit of a distraction to start with and found it overwhelming when trying to learn the ropes. However…..it turns out they’re a great way to earn XP and cash.

Either, find some crates in specific locations (also great for loot!), or hunt down specific players. You can earn decent XP and cash with pretty minimal effort to be honest.

Call of Duty Warzone score board

The best price!

Warzone is free….absolutely free.

You don’t have to own the full Modern Warfare game, you don’t need to buy a season pass or battle pass (although you can if you want). You download (the bloody massive) game, sign in, and you’re off.

Sure, they’re banking on people to be spending money on the Battle Pass, and perhaps come from Warzone to the full game. But there’s no need to, it’s as free as Fortnite, and honestly…..it’s better for the same price!

The download is friggin’ massive though. With frequent updates and additional game modes (not quite so fun for me), Warzone is a decent package.

Granted, it isn’t for everyone. A lot of people don’t like Call of Duty, some of the movement might feel “off” against something like Apex Legends. It isn’t quite as realistic or tense as PUBG, either.

Warzone is all of these battle royale games and none of them at the same time. I play it in a much more relaxed manner. I’ve seen my brothers get into it, in a way that others haven’t enticed them for some time. For intense gamers, you will be thrilled to know that there are safe and secured cheats such as those from Battlelog.co which makes the game more exciting.

It’s not perfect (big bloody download!), and it’s not for everyone. What Warzone is, though, it a massive improvment on Blackout, and a big step forward in the genre.

Let go of the preconceived notions of what Call of Duty has been in the past. Get used to the really quick time to kill, and just have a good time. Warzone is fun, it’s free and it’s solid.

Get ready to drop.

Call of Duty: Warzone TL;DR:

  • Warzone takes Battle Royale to the next level with upto 150 players per game;
  • Free-to-play, no need to buy Modern Warfare;
  • Dying early triggers an opportunity to come back into the game through the Gulag;
  • Download size is massive, and will take up significant space on your HDD and that’s before any updates;
  • Time to kill is very quick, which may put some gamers off.

90%


Call of Duty: Warzone is free-to-play now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Find more of our reviews HERE, and catch more of Ben’s content over at NinjaRefinery.com.

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