Developers hate them: they found a simple trick to have a new Modern Warfare without having a new Modern Warfare! The newly released Warzone has become available for free. And although there are only two game modes, it offers the quintessence of the new CoD: the sensational gunplay, truly one of the best out there. Recoil, reloading animations, weapon models and customization; sound design, feedback after a precise hit all this creates an extremely satisfying combination, regardless of whether we're playing an online match, or going through the single-player campaign.
So, if you always though Fortnite a little too infantile, Apex: Legends too cartoonish and not military enough, and PUBG too crude, Modern Warfare: Warzone seems perfect to fill the gap in free battle royale games. It really smells like dust and dirt here, a series from AK-47 rolls through your cochlea like it was really made by the Russians, and character look like genuine, modern commandos or mercenaries. And I assume that if I didn't have the full version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare installed; I would probably play Warzone all the time. And so pretty soon I'll forget about CoD's battle royale (although I'll still definitely recommend it to everyone). But why?
MODERN WAR: WARZONE
- a free version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, consisting of
- battle royale for 150 players;
- The Plunder mode has players collecting virtual money on a huge map for 30 minutes;
- so far, only games between teams of three, with the possibility of excluding random players;
- battle royale with additions respawns, kill streaks, no backpacks and inventory management;
- microtransactions and battle pass shared with the full version of Modern Warfare;
- experience points, rewards, and unlockable items are also shared;
- cross-play between PC, Xbox and PlayStation.
Battle Royale with raisins
The main reason is very mundane and highly subjective I'm just fed up with the gameplay concept of regular battle royale, and Warzone, although it introduces a lot of variety, still offers a painfully formulaic last-man-standing games, with all the advantages and disadvantages of this genre. There are no even slightly revolutionary solutions that were featured in the Survival mode in the first part of Tom Clancy's The Division. The most interesting option is the so-called Gulag (and I'll note that the name is quite unfortunate, bringing rather gruesome associations with the darkest chapters of Stalinism), where we have to win a duel to earn the right to respawn. The idea itself is really great, and the place is very atmospheric, but it's only two minutes out of the entire match, and after a few identical duels, I'll probably stop paying any attention to it.
TECHNICALLY IT'S PRETTY GOOD
I've played Warzone on both PS4 and sort of outdated PC, and I can say the game is quite solid in technical terms. On a regular PS4, it can slow down a bit in the airplane (when see the entire map before each round), but on the ground, everything was fine. Everything worked smoothly on the PC, too, except that the game froze once.
I have the full version of Modern Warfare on PS4, and the free PC version welcomed me with the settings of customized weapon kits and any console-unlocked add-ons and operators already imported. Nice.
I have similar feelings about other solutions. I like the introduction of virtual cash that can be used to resurrect comrades or buy kill-streaks (the presence of which doesn't seem to spoil the balance for the first time in Call of Duty) and the various mini-quests associated with it. Not having to manage the backpack is awesome, and ammo auto-loot is a godsend; the creators also made the right decision by emulating Apex' system that allows instantly setting markers around the world. Unfortunately, though, all these good, albeit minor, design choices become somewhat irrelevant in face of bigger issues an infestation of campers, and... monotony.
Battle royale looks great on trailers, where a helicopter flying just above the rooftops chases a speeding car, and everyone just fires their weapons in all directions. And that's the Paris syndrome of this battle royale if you can survive the first five minutes, then the only thing you can expect is stagnation until the finale. Even considering that the poison gas limiting the play field grows fairly quickly. That's why I still ended up keener on playing the standard team deathmatch in Modern Warfare, where games are shorter and exponentially more intense. The thrills per second meter is truly massive, although obviously not as overwhelming as in the very last minutes of any battle royale. The free-to-play Warzone will always be at an advantage here, but this is a reward that only persistent players can claim.