6 mistakes that Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 better not repeat
Call of Duty: Warzone is saying goodbye to us after two and a half years of fire in various states (opens in new tab). The modern combat-flavored successor to Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, Warzone quickly ascended to superpower status in the battle royale arms race. Built on the unshakable skeleton of 2019’s Modern Warfare reboot, Warzone has since been augmented with updates, each one grafting on additional guns, map changes, skins, live events, and more.
Despite Warzone’s immense popularity, its successes were often in spite of itself. After some extended solo queue times in Warzone’s new farewell event (opens in new tab), it’s clear that Warzone 2.0 needs a more focused creative and technical vision if Activision wants to avoid the pitfalls of the original.
Thankfully, Infinity Ward has balanced blunders and game-breaking bugs over the years to learn from its second crack in battle royale. Let’s consider Warzone’s biggest drawbacks and consider it a blueprint for a better Warzone 2.0.
Decrease the file size
Warzone is beyond bloated, hastily bolted on three different Call of Duty (all set decades apart) as a standalone install with a brutal 98 gigabytes. If you decide you want to play the campaign and multiplayer modes of the respective COD game you’ve purchased, you can easily fill up an entire SSD. In contrast, Fortnite is a fifth of that size. Bite bloat doesn’t just affect the player—as with anyone trying to convince their friends to play Warzone, the most common response is “let me see if I have enough space.”
Warzone’s install size is a hurdle to play that needs to be addressed to keep people around.
Fix the user experience and squash the bugs
Over the years, Warzone’s menus have been sluggish, crashes happen randomly, and netcode is unstable. It’s a uniquely hostile piece of software to navigate, littered with bugs and absent in most Early Access games. After any of its huge seasonal updates, Warzone will often forget your audio settings, and god help you if you have headphones on because you’ll have to sit through an unexpected cutscene of white people who vest in deafening amounts. are zipping.
The worst bugs aren’t limited to the front-end: Veteran players will remember the infinite-stimulus glitch (opens in new tab), in which players use a healing tool to survive indefinitely outside the circle and passively win matches. seen being exploited. Playing Warzone requires a level of patience much higher than what is usually required for 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 different colors when we stare at a menu.
Skins are the big driver of Warzone’s revenue, and while there are some really cool skins and unique weapons buried in the COD store, the vast majority look like they’re pulling double duty for rave gear. While I would never describe Call of Duty as “minimal,” Warzone 2.0 already looks like it’ll be refreshing, free of a monetization model’s two-and-a-half years’ worth of stuff for the time being.
It’s a hard reset that’s desperately needed, but for all naught if Activision opts for a greater attack on the Titan-style brand crossover that bulldozes on any attempt at reconciliation. Even Fortnite, crowned by random crossover events, manages to unite its multiverse under a single genre. And hey, if Warzone is dead, as tasteless as a single player mode that stirs and pauses in its shadow, 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 more than never now, a Disneyland is built over the graveyard of royal conflicts. The decision to integrate WW2 and Black Ops assets into Warzone has resulted in a game with no visual identity, a strange merge of three different games with three completely different art directions and design languages. While no map is free from artistic sin, the caldera is the main culprit here.
Beginning with a plane landing on the beach so old that it predates the Air Force, the map takes on different visual forms (Spanish-Columbian architecture of Havana, Japanese-occupied Burma, late Cold War) and clumsily breaks them together. There are hugely talented artists and designers who work in near-future combat scene structures (e.g. the work of Yoji Shinkawa of Metal Gear fame and Shoji Kawamori on Ace Combat 7), and it’s a shame that such a huge series is so great. is unimaginable.
Warzone 2.0 will benefit from a map design team that can bring to life a focused, creative vision of contemporary conflict. What we’ve seen about Warzone 2.0’s launch Map Al Majra looks promising: a jewel of the Islamic Golden Age that is less than centuries of alien invasion. The emphasis is on the historical places of the area (Crusader palaces, mosques and monasteries), which gives the map a stylistic edge over Verdansk’s dull post-Soviet trade parks.
It will require both creativity and restraint to see that this theme is nothing short of iterative map updates.
Keep Warzone’s arsenal independent
Activision made a bold call when it decided to unite Warzone and its annual $70 Call of Duty games under a shared umbrella of Battle Pass, Progress, and Weapons. Warzone’s seasonal model was integrated with the release of both Black Ops-Cold War in 2020 and Vanguard in 2021.
While it was nice to see unlocks in one COD experience reflected in another, introducing weapons from games produced by completely different studios that were designed for different modes resulted in a dramatic meta shake-up, almost always the worst. For. The Black Ops arsenal is an eclectic assortment of high fire rate death machines that leave the modern warfare arsenal in the dust when they arrive in one big bundle in late 2020, while Vanguard’s interwar-period rifles and rudimentary machine guns range at any speed. struggle to match. ,
The ambitious plan to spread a Call of Duty vision across four games has resulted in a crowded arsenal of similar guns where everything feels cheap and so-called Legendary blueprints are common mid-match pursuits. Attachments also feel meaningless, with the only meaningful difference being what kind of scope you hold. Warzone’s Arsenal demands a firm grip on its meta, and instead wishes to remove unbalanced gear, letting it linger until another DMR14 event occurs (opens in new tab).
Bolster the anti-cheat
A simple one that everyone can agree on. Traitors have risen, fallen and resurfaced many times throughout Warzone’s life cycle. Activision made progress in the war on cheaters when it released Ricochet, its proprietary anti-cheat tool, last year, but there’s still gaps to be filled. Ricochet can hand restrictions, but these can be circumvented by creating a new account, a pretty meaningless punishment given that most cheats are single-purchase executables that hook into Warzone’s executable.
If Warzone 2.0 implemented more intensive hardware and IP restrictions, it stands to reason that the prevalence of aimbots and wallhacks would decrease significantly. Warzone 2.0’s mandatory phone number login (opens in new tab) can potentially slow down fraudsters, at risk of compromising user privacy and exposure through a data breach.
Warzone’s bones were and are solid, and despite the long, long list of issues I’ve encountered in my lifetime, I always came back—even if it meant dangerously close to downloading updates to my data cap. Had to come When it’s working, Warzone is a fluid and forgiving BR with lots of flexibility and explosive gunplay.
If Warzone 2.0 can resist the temptation to dominate the cosmetics, emphasizing customization, bug fixes and netcode, and isn’t afraid to inject a little personality, then Warzone 2.0 could be the permanent sequel that Activision is banking on. Used to be.