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Weekly Time Waster - ‘Call of Duty: Warzone’

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New battle royale games seem to constantly pop up out of nowhere; I always try and cover the best ones I’ve played in this space. Most of the new battle royale game that crop up are cheesy, but there is occasionally a diamond in the rough that comes out of left field. That diamond in the rough is “Call of Duty: Warzone.”

In 2019, the “Call of Duty” franchise gave itself a facelift by bringing back and revitalizing the
“Modern Warfare” series. This included bringing in realistic and tactical gameplay on top of guns and explosions with well-recorded and compressed sound effects and even a visual fidelity upgrade. On top of this, they recently announced and released their own take on the battle royale genre in “Call of Duty: Warzone.”

“COD: Warzone” mostly sticks to the battle royale formula, but offers a few new hallmarks to complement it. Instead of the usual player count of 100, “Warzone” throws 150 players out of a plane in teams of three (singles and duos are supposedly being worked on); you parachute onto a massive map called Verdansk, a diverse map in terms of its biomes and locations; there are over 330 points of interest in which to land. When you are in the drop stage in the plane, each major location is clearly tagged to help you communicate with your team on where to drop.

Once your team’s boots hit the ground, the scavenging begins to find the best loot and build a loadout to help you survive. As you loot, you will come across body armor, which you load into your plate carrier to give you protection, as well as different tiered weapons that range from a grey common color to a gold legendary. The higher tier the weapon, the more attachments it has. From there, the last team standing wins. To get across the map, you may utilize many different vehicles from trucks to helicopters.

Where “Warzone” really sets itself apart from the rest of the competition is everything that you do in between dropping and winning/losing. One new feature is a “contract” system, where you will pick up a contract that you and your team will complete to earn money. These contracts range from bounties on other players, where they are shown on your map and you must eliminate them, to capturing a point somewhere on the map. Another feature is how you spend this money. Your money can be spent at “shopping” stations to buy things from airstrikes and UAV recon drones, to actually being able to buy and respawn a teammate who has died back into the game for a large sum of money.

If you die in “Warzone,” it’s not the end of the line. When you die for the first time, you enter a prison with other players who have been killed called the “gulag.” In here, players will be pitted against each other with randomly matched loadouts in a 1v1 fashion. If you kill the other player, you instantly go back into the game. If you lose, you must rely on your team to bring you back at a buy station.

The last gimmick “Warzone” offers is loadout drops. A loadout drop can be bought from a shopping station; otherwise, you must wait till one drops at certain points during a match. These let you equip custom-made loadouts with weapons that you create, giving you the ultimate comfort to win a match, as your loadouts are specifically tailored to you.

All of this added together leaves “Warzone” feeling like a never-before-seen game mode. It’s a new beast in a large field of competition, with the likes of “Fortnite” and “Apex Legends.” “Warzone” is probably my favorite battle royale of the bunch so far; I see no slowdown in the amount of time I’ll be playing it in the foreseeable future.

“Call of Duty: Warzone” is free to download on the PlayStation, Xbox and Blizzard PC stores. For those who download it, be prepared, as it asks you to download the full game (which is mostly locked off except the free game mode) which comes out to over 100gbs on most systems.

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 08:45

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