Call of Duty: Warzone 2 Review
- Story And Setting
- Visuals And Performance
Warzone 2 has the potential to be the next big thing in the FPS genre, and even exceed the popularity of its predecessor. But it also has a lot of problems.
- Developers: Infinity Ward and Raven Software
- Publishers: Activision
- Release Date: November 14, 2022
- Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & Series S and PC
- Tested On: PC with RTX 2080 and Xbox Series X
- Predecessor: Call of Duty: Warzone
- DMZ Mode
- Swimming Mechanics
- Sloppy Third-Person Mode
- Unbalanced Storage
- Shorter TTK
Before we start our Call of Duty Warzone 2 Review, let’s start by acknowledging that since its release, the title has drawn criticism for having a lot of glitches and for not being a ground-breaking Battle Royale game. And when compared to the original title, version 2.0 doesn’t really feature that many significant updates apart from the DMZ.
And this new mode sort of removes the title from the realm of the pure vanilla BR genre, by admittedly not being what we were expecting it to be. It’s something more akin to what you mind find in a game like Escape From Tarkov. So let’s take a closer look at the game with our review to see what sets it apart from the original Warzone.
Story And Setting
Within the Republic of Adal in Western Asia, a fictional desert region called AL Mazrah serves as the setting for COD Warzone 2. It actually resembles a modernized version of the Verdansk map from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, along with some iconic locations that COD veterans will be familiar with. The map is much more vibrant and diverse thanks to these features, and makes it feel like a real place.
It is also significantly better than Caldera, the original Warzone map because it has dense cities, substantial structures, and lots of terrain cover.
In terms of the actual narrative, there’s nothing really here. It’s a Battle Royale title, I think you weren’t really expecting it to have anything of the sort either.
To try to live up to its name, Warzone 2 includes a number of updates and additions. And while some of these do a great job of making the game fun and more interesting than the last entry, others had the opposite effect.
Al-Mazrah is a well-designed location, to speak specifically of the new arena. Due to the huge size of the map, the focal point of most of the action is always the center of the region. If you land far from the center, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the area and gather loot where there are no other players also around you. There are tight buildings to maintain close-quarter combat and many open-sight lines for sniping. However, there are plenty of rocks and buildings to use as cover, so don’t worry about that.
For a map the size of Al Mazrah, the Battle Royale player count of 150 is somewhat underwhelming though. The area could easily support around 50 more players because it’s already so big that you can go minutes on end without encountering another soul even if you make a lot of noise.
Combat in Warzone 2 is significantly more dynamic thanks to the addition of Modern Warfare’s swimming mechanics. It offers players a few fresh approaches to initiating combat, as stealth and surprise attacks become major new tactics. Players can flank an enemy or dive underwater to escape a gunfight when things start getting rough. But keep in mind that while you can use water as cover, you are still vulnerable.
Because you can no longer find items at random locations, looting is not as easy and straightforward as it was in the original Warzone. While that may seem more difficult this time around, it actually makes more sense because you can search specific locations for particular items. As opposed to some random chest boxes, you can, for instance, rob cash registers and first aid kits in ambulances for medical supplies.
A new cap on the total number of items that can be purchased at buy stations has also been introduced in 2.0, and that is something that may annoy a lot of players. Be cautious though, because it’s possible that someone with a lot of money may have already purchased all of the items by the time you find a buy station after grinding to earn some money to buy a specific item.
While adding or removing items from your backpack, you’ll also frequently find yourself in a corner feeling vulnerable. Because it can no longer hold an infinite number of items, the backpack is no longer a null void either. It only has only six slots at first, which makes it somewhat traditional, but at buy stations, a backpack with more slots is available for purchase.
While playing the game as part of our Call of Duty Warzone 2 Review, we noticed that updates were also made to the Gulag, though it might not be to everyone’s tastes now. This time, Gulag is 2v2 instead of the previous 1v1. Here, the player who tags along is chosen at random, which means that most of the time the player’s fate will be in hands of another completely random person. Additionally, the fate of the survivor is doomed if one player dies. When a fight drags on for too long, a boss resembling a jailer with a mini-gun appears, and killing them will drop a key that the players can use to escape.
Instead of just one gas circle, the map has undergone a significant change as well that has a significant impact on combat. Three are now three smaller gas circles, and they eventually merge into a single larger one. So players are compelled to engage in mid-action combats in these smaller circles before the decisive showdown in the final larger one. Unlike those times when you have to look for enemies to defeat and no living soul can be found on the horizon, this new system gives the impression that something is happening constantly.
The DMZ mode, which puts Warzone 2 in the same genre as Escape From Tarkov or Hunt Showdown, is the biggest addition to the game. Players are dropped into the Battle Royale map to complete various objectives given to them in order to escape from the region. The players can keep their experience and kill counts, but if they don’t manage to leave the map and finish off their bounty, all of their valuable loot will be lost. Along with other players, the mode has AI-controlled enemies and encounters with other operators are rare. The pressure of dealing with an operator rather than an AI around every corner does influence all the choices players must make.
Except for the AI-controlled Strongholds, the majority of the Battle Royale mechanics appear to be the exact same. After the first circle collapses, these Strongholds become visible on the map and they can appear in 77 different places, but only 3 can do so at once. The goal is to defuse a bomb before time runs out or to otherwise gather loot. There are also Black Sites, which have a juggernaut boss and much tougher AI enemies.
And finally, Warzone 2 also introduces a brand new third-person mode, and vehicle combat has also been updated. Because of the increased mobility inside a vehicle, the fast-paced action is a lot more fun. But to keep the vehicle operational, it must be refueled constantly.
Visuals And Performance
Talking about the graphics, Warzone 2 makes use of a lot of the same assets as its predecessors, but the details and visuals are noticeably improved. The lighting, the textures, and even the sound effects are a step above, and they really help in creating a sense of realism in the maps.
In terms of performance, the game is really well-optimized. We tested the game on both a PC with an RTX 2080 and an Xbox Series X, and it runs effortlessly on both. I barely ever noticed any performance drops apart from the most hectic of firefights.
The game does have its fair share of bugs though, and particularly on PC there are a number of issues with it freezing or crashing. But Activision has been addressing those issues since its release. And you also have a hard time finding a stable server at this point in time, but that doesn’t really relate to the actual performance of the game.
Warzone 2 has the potential to be the next big thing in the FPS genre, and even exceed the popularity of its predecessor. It is a lot of fun, even though the majority of the lobbies I joined spent the majority of their time looting and gathering items rather than participating in any action.
The new DMZ mode is pretty fun, and it adds some much-needed variety to the game with the use of AI-controlled enemies. I’d sum up this review by saying, “If you liked the first Warzone, you’ll probably like Warzone 2” It’s one of the best Battle Royale titles on the market right now.
This has been our Call of Duty Warzone 2 Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.
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