Warzone 2.0 Review – Call of Duty spinoff comes of age

War zone 2.0

Warzone 2.0 is a step forward in every way. Al Mazrah is a great battleground, new additions like Proximity Chat provide fun new effects and the game is playable in more ways than ever before. Opinions are divided on some elements, such as the system with the backpacks, but I certainly like it. It remains nice that what will be the shooter of this year for many can be on your console or PC for zero euros. After Blackout and the first Warzone, Call of Duty’s battle royale takes another step forward. Warzone 2.0 is now a full-fledged game in itself and, insofar as it had not already done so in 2020, definitively steps out of the shadow of the classic Call of Duty games.

Pros

  • Toffee folder
  • Proximity Chat
  • DMZ
  • Many game modes
  • Cross platform works well

Cons

  • Bugs and connection problems
  • Loot system takes getting used to

 

When Call of Duty Modern Warfare II came out, there was plenty of interest in what the single-player and multiplayer had to offer, but many gamers were mostly looking forward to what was to come. After all, since the emergence of battle-royale games, the shooter landscape has changed radically and Warzone, which was released in 2020, will be at the top of the list within that genre for many. The game, which was based on Call of Duty Modern Warfare from 2019, became extremely popular during the first corona lockdown. It lost some of its popularity, partly due to problems with cheaters and a somewhat less successful map (Caldera), but the introduction of Warzone 2.0 seems to be able to reverse that negative trend.

Warzone 2.0 introduces a whole new map to begin with. We’ve already seen bits of that, because the somewhat larger maps from Modern Warfare II’s multiplayer came from this larger map. In Warzone 2.0 you can experience it in full regalia. The new region is called Al Mazrah, a fictional region in the Middle East. The map is larger than Verdansk and Caldera and is characterized by a high degree of variation, less open areas and, of course, various sins that you can recognize from old multiplayer maps. For example, you can encounter Quarry and Terminal while exploring Al Mazrah.

That exploration starts, as always, in the plane that flies over the zone. From the air you decide where you want to land. The recipe is otherwise known; you only have a gun until you find better weapons somewhere in the playing field with which you can fight with other players or teams. The best weapons can be bought free at ‘buying stations’ or earned by conquering a ‘loadout drop’ or taking a Stronghold. The latter is new. Strongholds are buildings or zones guarded by AI soldiers. If you defeat these soldiers, you can choose your favorite loadout from a special box in such a building and thus switch to the weapons you prefer to shoot with. You don’t have to, because fighting such a fight is of course a risk,

Chat with other teams

The presence of AI soldiers is nice, but not the most drastic or best addition to Warzone; you can go in different directions for this. For example, I am a fan of the new Proximity Chat. This means that players who are close to each other can hear each other when they talk to their team. So you are not completely shielded from the rest of the world when you are in a party chat with your team. That gives a nice effect, because at random moments you suddenly hear other people talking and you know for sure that enemies are nearby. Funny conversations arise during these confrontations, in which the players challenge each other a bit. That is usually done with a wink and in an acceptable way, but it remains online multiplayer; sometimes it’s a little less friendly. If you don’t want that, you can switch off Proximity Chat completely.

If you do that, you indirectly undermine another addition. Warzone 2.0 has the Unhinged game mode, which can be played in duos and trios. This is basically a normal game of battle royale, with an important change: teams can join each other. So if you hear others talking in your chat, you can also ask if they want to collaborate. There is an exciting element to that; you may give away your position before the teams are actually merged and are therefore vulnerable. What if the enemy decides not to join you after all and opens fire? The same uncertainty applies to them, so that period of communication is hectic and exciting. The potential reward is worth it though; tackling a game of threesomes with six men is a very big advantage.

In addition to Unhinged, you also have the normal game modes, in which you cannot merge teams. You will now also find the third-person mode that we know from Modern Warfare II. We also saw there that it can certainly improve your overview, but for a Call of Duty player, shooting in third person will always feel a bit crazy. In our opinion it is a nice extra, but not much more than that. Our teammates also suggested going back to normal modes after a few games. That doesn’t have to say everything, but it should be clear that I’m not yet convinced that these third-person modes will become very popular.

Whether you play the classic mode or go for one of the new options and whether you play alone or in a team, some things remain the same. This applies to the folder, but also to elements that you find in that folder. On the playing field you will not only find all kinds of weapons and items but also assignments that you can accept and complete to earn more experience points and more money. You can spend that money at buying stations. For example, you can buy specific weapons or gear and you can also buy back deceased teammates here. You can also come back via the Gulag, but I will get to that in a moment. First, I’d like to take a quick look at some other details in Warzone 2.0

Loot more consciously

The emphasis in the game mode is a bit more on realism this time. Not that Warzone 2.0 is suddenly a hardcore game mode, certainly not, but there are some elements that you now have to think about a little more than before. For example, you put things that you now find on the map in your backpack, which has a limited number of compartments. When it’s full, you have to drop stuff to pick up other things or you have to find a bigger backpack. This is a familiar thing to players who have played PUBG before, but it is new to Warzone. It means that you have to loot a bit more consciously, but also that you sometimes spend a bit of time selecting items from your backpack, especially if you have shot another player and are going to see what they had in their bag.

The increased realism is also reflected in other ways. A funny detail, for example, is that the tablet you use can also run out of power. The same goes for the gas tank of vehicles and even funnier is that you can stop at a gas station to refill the tank. I’m not a fan of using vehicles in Warzone myself, as it makes you very visible to other players, but it’s nice that there’s a bit more detail in this branch of the game.

Gula 2.0

As said: returning to Warzone 2.0 after your death is still possible via the Gulag. In the first part you fought a duel against another player and the winner was allowed back into the game. This time it is a duel of two against two, with the winning team going back. You will be matched with random other dead players, so you’ll usually be playing with someone you don’t know. Beating the other team is the most chosen tactic, but there is another option. A Juggernaut appears after about half a minute. You can also defeat that Juggernaut and if you succeed, all players in the Gulag duel are the winners, in other words: everyone can go back. So it is smarter to attack that Juggernaut, but yes… Eliminating the other team is faster. That is why, unfortunately, we see the latter happening most often.

If you manage to stay alive a little longer, you will also be introduced to another new phenomenon in Warzone 2.0. Of course you have to deal with an ever-decreasing circle in the games, but in Warzone 2.0 it can happen that the circle splits into two or three smaller circles, which then exist separately for a while. That’s a funny effect, especially in teams, because it’s so handy to all be in the same circle. After a while, the circles come back together and the game continues in a large circle, as normal. The fun of this way of getting smaller is that the two or three circles are smaller than a large circle would have been. Within the individual circles, the chance of a confrontation is therefore suddenly much greater, also because you can deduce a bit from the placement of the other circles which way you need to be in the right position for the merging of the circles. Chances are that more players will apply that logic and then you will run into each other a bit faster than you normally would.

You can control the speed at which you encounter players, as in any battle royale game. Just look at the people jumping out of the plane. Some will go straight down and want to get on the ground as quickly as possible, and others will choose to fly a little further, because more players start in the remote areas, so you have a little more time and peace to calmly equip your armor. to collect together. The silly thing about that approach remains that it can just be that you scurry around for about ten minutes and then immediately get shot at the first confrontation with another player. Then you have done all that work for nothing. For that reason, many players opt for a more aggressive approach, especially in solo games. After all, it’s about popping.

DMZ

It’s a bit different in a team, because you want a little more coordination; It is useful to be able to plan where you are going a little calmly. Many teams first do some missions or take a Stronghold to increase the chances of a good end result. By the way, if that style of play suits you, there is another game mode you can try. In DMZ it’s not about being the last one standing in the playing field, but about performing missions and collecting valuable loot. You and your team get a maximum of 25 minutes per play session to do missions and loot and then you have to make sure you leave the zone. If you are shot, you lose all your loot, but also the stuff you brought with you into the zone.

DMZ doesn’t take long to show its potential, but also its dark side. The latter mainly has to do with stability. The mode still crashes regularly and in some cases even leads to the game thinking you’ve died and that costs you your stuff. Good to know is that DMZ is officially still in beta, so to some extent that can be overlooked. Moreover, the mode does succeed in showing why it has potential. The missions are fun to do and come with some boss fights, where you can even find a weapon that can only be found in DMZ. In addition, the presence of some other human teams leads to a lot of tension, because especially if you already have some loot with you, there is a lot at stake.

That makes cooperation in DMZ even more essential than in battle royale. DMZ is intended to be played in teams of three players, with the option of having two players linked to you via matchmaking if you are playing alone. However, I often experienced that those players did not seem to have a microphone, which makes communication between them rather difficult. In general, I would advise against Warzone 2.0 if you don’t have a headset or don’t want to talk while gaming. This game isn’t much fun if you can’t communicate with others and therefore can’t use the Proximity Chat.

A final point that I would like to touch on is the technical state of Warzone 2.0. I played the game mainly on the PlayStation 5 and during our games I regularly experienced lag, stuttering, and other technical problems. It happens too often that a player from your team drops out due to connection problems and sometimes the gameplay stutters all the time. At other times everything is fine and Warzone 2.0 plays smoothly enough, but even then you still suffer from minor bugs, such as difficulty picking up weapons. Cool: the cross-platform features work fine. I played on a team where the PS5, Xbox Series X and PC were all represented. So you can play together with all your Warzone friends, regardless of which platform they are on.

Conclusion

Warzone 2.0 is a step forward in every way. Al Mazrah is a great battleground, new additions like Proximity Chat provide fun new effects and the game is playable in more ways than ever before. Opinions are divided on some elements, such as the system with the backpacks, but I certainly like it. It remains nice that what will be the shooter of this year for many can be on your console or PC for zero euros. After Blackout and the first Warzone, Call of Duty’s battle royale takes another step forward. Warzone 2.0 is now a full-fledged game in itself and, insofar as it had not already done so in 2020, definitively steps out of the shadow of the classic Call of Duty games.

Paying players have the advantage that they reach certain blueprints for weapons faster and can then put them in their loadout, but by leveling up weapons yourself you can use the same attachments and thus recreate the same weapons. So there are no aspects that the paying players can access that the non-paying players cannot. To me, that’s an acceptable balance. That makes Warzone 2.0 a game well worth trying. Where battle royale was once part of the larger Call of Duty game, it is now just a game in itself, where you can even wonder how long the classic Call of Duty mix, with a single player, multiplayer and possibly zombies, will last. will persist if so many people get that much more excited about this Warzone 2.0 variant.