It’s been nearly a month since Modern Warfare II first launched, but the Call of Duty Battle Royale is back again. Warzone 2.0 is finally here, and we must say goodbye to Rebirth Island, Fortune’s Keep, and Caldera. We’ve spent time with the Modern Warfare 2 campaign and multiplayer and came away eager to dive into the new Warzone and DMZ mode.
With Warzone 2.0, we have an entirely new map, Al Mazrah, to explore and new rules for engagement. This traditional Battle Royale Mode isn’t the only new thing released. The new DMZ mode is an Escape from Tarkov-like Playlist that was also released. Are these two new modes everything we wanted in Modern Warfare 2? Well, let’s ask our teammates; where are we dropping, boys?
Al Mazrah Is a Much Better Map Than Caldera and Verdansk
Now I may catch some heat coming right out of the gate with a statement like this map is better than Verdansk, but hear me out.
The developers have been learning from their mistakes when designing these maps. Nostalgia aside, there is a much better flow to Al Mazrah, even if certain parts are boring to explore (looking at you, Taraq!). The High Rise building, Rust, and Quarry all make an appearance on the map, which was an awesome find for anyone who has played the Original Modern Warfare 2.
My biggest problem with the map is moving around it. With the subways and balloons, you could move across large areas quickly. The only option you have at the moment are vehicles that attract attention. I would love to see the return of these older systems from the original Warzone. It would add a very welcome chance to maneuver around the map.
It’s not just the map that’s new in Warzone 2.0; There are so many new updates to the original Warzone formula I’m not even sure where to begin. Proximity chat is the biggest thing players will notice immediately. If you’re close to another enemy squad and they are playing open mic, you will hear what they have to say. Comments about our mothers aside, you may listen to useful things like they found a black site keycard, are low on ammo or need to buy back one of their teammates. All of these are useful information you can gather to gain the upper hand when it’s time to engage.
Loadouts Are Arguably Even More Important This Time
Loadouts are quite different this time as well. Community loadout crates only drop during the third and sixth circles this time. The kicker here is that anyone can use them. You no longer have your team’s crate to capture, and it’s not first come, first serve.
You can use a loadout that another team beat you to first. Just note that the map icon does disappear once any team has touched it. Additionally, you can’t buy a loadout drop anymore from a buy station. You are, however, able to buy an individual weapon from there, complete with attachments, camos, and all the fixings.
This adds a brand new strategy to the Call of Duty Warzone experience. Players must ensure they set up their classes with a slew of different weapons. You may not think you’ll need a particular setup until you kill an enemy player who just happened to have the exact gun you were looking for.
“Our squad has racked up about 100 matches thus far, and we’re still having a blast.”
We should all know from Modern Warfare 2 how movement will work in this game. Slide canceling, bunny hopping, and all our favorite tricks have been removed or heavily nerfed. This Battle Royale plays much more like PUBG than the original Warzone, which is not necessarily bad. The slower pace of the match means good positioning is key to surviving til the end game. It’s not all perfect, though, as the match timer could stand to move faster. I usually find myself waiting for the next circle to close a bit early, which throws off the pacing.
All this aside, one question needs to be answered: is Warzone 2.0 any fun? These new changes are great, but do they improve the overall experience?
I have to say yes, it is indeed fun. Our squad has racked up about 100 matches thus far, and we’re still having a blast. Whether it’s finding new areas to drop in, new guns to try out, or just having fun messing around with proximity chat. There are plenty of things to do right now to keep it interesting.
One thing worth considering is that right now is the best time to get involved with this game. Everyone is pretty new and on an equal playing field, and excitement is at its all-time high. Remember that you’ll need to play Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer to level up your weapons. A lot has changed in Warzone 2.0, but the Call of Duty grind still exists.
DMZ Mode Is a Great Alternative to Warzone
If you’ve loaded into DMZ mode, you probably have noticed it says that this mode is still in Beta. Keep that in mind as I nitpick a couple of issues with the game mode.
Much like Escape from Tarkov, you can bring your custom weapons into the game. However, if you die or fail to extract your targets, your weapons are locked away for two real-time hours. DMZ is not without its penalties, and they can be brutal. Conversely, successful extracts and contract completion reduce that timer significantly, so you can get back into the action with what you want to use. There’s a nice balance of rewards and consequences here.
Further enhancing that is that you can unlock two additional weapon slots by completing all the tier three and five faction contracts you can equip in the pre-game lobby. The contracts themselves vary from easy ones, like visiting six different places of interest or locations in a single match, to conquering a stronghold and using the key to finish a black site.
You can scavenge new weapons and extract with them to add to your loot stash. However, these are considered contraband and will be lost if you die or fail to extract with them. It’s a good idea early on to stockpile a few of these, so if your squad gets wiped, you can redeploy without having a weapon at the start of the game.
Seasonal objectives are marked on the map as well. Kill the chemist with the radiation symbol and extract with his weapon to unlock the M13B to use in Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer and Warzone 2.0. That integration between Warzone and Call of Duty multiplayer is also here. There is also a repeatable high-value target you can kill to unlock one of seven rewards. Rewards include Calling cards, weapon Blueprints, and even a new operator skin.
Be warned; twenty (!!) additional squads are looming around Al Mazrah. As you can imagine, they’re looking to take you out and extract with your weapons. It adds a new gameplay element to the DMZ mode, making it more engaging. The new Warzone 2.0 features help take things over the top as well. Proximity chat has saved my squad more than a few times, if we’re being honest here.
In addition, AI enemy bots will populate the map, which means a key strategic feature for enemy squads is to behave like bots.
DMZ isn’t without its issues, but it’s a great experience thus far, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store with the full release.
Warzone 2.0 isn’t perfect by any means, but the new map and DMZ mode make the new release an overall success. The issues are honestly pretty minor; I think it’s a few quality-of-life fixes away from being a really special game. If we give it time, they’ll transform this game from something good into something we’ll enjoy for the next two years. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to drop in.