Call of Duty’s new battle royale game “Call of Duty: Warzone” is a hit

Call of Duty adds to the Battle Royale genre with Warzone.

Call of Duty: Warzone, Fair Use

Call of Duty adds to the Battle Royale genre with “Warzone.”

Aaron Latterell, Staff Writer

If you’re like me, then you love sitting down with the boys on a weeknight and dropping into your favorite battle royale game to slay some scrubs. The newest addition to the battle royale (BR) genre, Call of Duty: Warzone, allows for just this. The game, which was initially available for download on Tuesday, March 10th, is an add-on to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which was released in September of last year by Activision. I have unsurprisingly gotten ample opportunity to play recently, and have seen the progression of the game and its updates within the two months of its release. 

Warzone is a pretty solid game.

— Aaron Latterell

The game, developed by Infinity Ward, makes a few changes that differentiate it from the countless other battle royale games that have garnered popularity in the past few years. The first thing that I noticed was the lack of a complex looting or inventorying system. Many other BR games involve many hours of learning to efficiently sort through items and swap out attachments. Instead, this game almost completely eliminates that aspect of the BR genre. All guns come pre-equipped with attachments, and the player is very limited in what they can carry in addition to their two weapons. This change decreases the learning curve of the game, but I think that it is a good one. My personal belief is that a player should be able to go out and start stomping nerds without having to first master the inventory system, so I think the developers have really knocked it out of the park with this one.  

The other major innovation in Warzone is its introduction of the gulag. The gulag is a mechanic that allows for defeated players to 1v1 each other in order to respawn back into the game if victorious. Though this is the first major franchise battle royale game to implement such a mechanic, it works out fairly well in Warzone and is a major source of hype and overall amperage when in-game. Besides increasing the overall duration of the games in Warzone, the gulag doesn’t detract from the games, and even if you’re trash and lose out on the chance to respawn, it still feels nice to be given the opportunity. 

One major consideration when discussing any battle royale game is the time-to-kill (TTK). The TTK is a measure of how long it takes to actually down a player and is usually an indicator as to the pace of the game. At launch, I believed that Warzone had a relatively balanced TTK, something uncommon in most BR games. After playing for a while now, I think that the TTK is actually a little too low, which has encouraged many players to adopt a play style that consists mainly of staying in one elevated spot for a majority of the game. Warzone also utilizes a buy station system where you are able to purchase additional gear, including among other things the loadout drop. The loadout drop has been somewhat controversial as it allows players to equip a pre-selected loadout for a low price but has since been patched to be more expensive for players. 

Originally allowing for play as either a solo player or as a squad of three, the game has since added quad games which allow for four players. They have also introduced several dozen new weapons from the multiplayer game into this Warzone game mode. These changes fixed two of the major gripes I had with the game early on: that there wasn’t enough weapon variety, and that I was only allowed to play with two of the guys instead of three. 

For what it is, Warzone is a pretty solid game with weapon combat that is both satisfying and well-balanced. It is a Call of Duty game, so expect to be frustrated and to have some pretty stupid endings to your games, but at the end of the day that’s not what’s important here — and that’s the chance to get mic’d up with your favorite gamers and exercise those fingers trying to get a win.