Lockdown, cheaters and the Diamatti akimbo: a look at the last 12 months of Call of Duty: Warzone
Call of Duty: Warzone forever changed the landscape of Call of Duty. What was once a franchise defined by distinct annual titles is now a fluid ecosystem composed of multiple interconnected experiences, all anchored around a single battle royale free for all and constantly evolving. Just a year ago, all of this was unthinkable for Call of Duty. A free-to-play spin-off of the popular first-person shooter series would have it definitely made sense for mobile devices (in fact, Call of Duty: Mobile remains a huge success), but Activision’s idea of breaking the paywall on its biggest franchise in the AAA space? It felt like madness.
call of Duty he had already tried to ride the wave of battle royale mania with Blackout mode in Black Ops 4 way back in 2018. It wasn’t a big hit and everyone was wondering that what the shooter could have brought to an already overcrowded genre? Most importantly, with titles like Fortnite and PUBG how the hell did Activision expect players to add another battle royale to their library after a long day at the office? When Warzone was launched on March 10, 2020 However, the world had been standing still for two weeks and the lockdowns launched the title into the gaming stratosphere.
Warzone is unique in its being a battle royale because it offers large spaces and small details with a quality never seen in the genre. Despite taking place on a giant map littered with fully navigable buildings, Infinity Ward’s online shooter delivers few compromises to finely tuned gunplay that we expect from Call of Duty, especially in the graphics sector.
The importance of this factor to Warzone’s success cannot be underestimated. While his unique ideas such as the Gulag, the Buy Station and the Loadout Drops give the game charm, none of these things would keep its appeal if Warzone didn’t play so damn well. The most obvious manifestation of this is when Call of Duty: Warzone does not perform at the levels that the community expects by having fans react en masse. The last twelve months of constant support have not been error-free but Activision, Infinity Ward, and Raven Software worked hard to quash the influx of Warzone’s cheaters, carefully rebalancing the meta whenever a new weapon threatened to nullify it, and offering quick fixes for recurring bugs that break the game.
In a cohesive and competitive game like Warzone, these are the issues that really mattered to its players, who can more easily look beyond the fact that so far we have only had one main map (ignoring the smaller, but certainly popular Rebirth Island). As long as the game continues to run with the well-oiled precision of a Swiss watch the future is getting brighter. With Raven Software now at the helm of live service support and the recent arrival of the Zombies in Verdansk, it looks like the battle royale is finally preparing for the full overhaul of the map that is rumored for a long time.
This update will bring the game more online with the setting and story of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, but how is he going to do that without losing some of the more attractive aspects of Warzone’s identity? Said this, a new map could be a healthy opportunity for Raven to level the playing field of Warzone, giving new players a chance against those who know every corner of Verdansk and they often use this knowledge to their advantage.
Likewise, Black Ops Cold War introduced boats and water warfare in Call of Duty multiplayer skirmishes, and their arrival in Warzone will certainly revive the meta, provided that can be implemented without the disasters of MIA attack helicopters last season. Verdansk is an exceptionally designed and much loved map, e we would be sad to see her go. But change is vital for any live game to thrive, and the time has come for Warzone to discover its identity beyond the confines of this little corner of Kastovia.