The heavily-anticipated Call of Duty battle royale game, dubbed CoD: Warzone is officially going live on Tuesday, March 10, and based on early gameplay footage, as well as the official trailer, it will introduce some interesting features which will shake up the battle royale genre.
At the beginning of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 2, players got introduced with a "Classified tab" in the main menu and although not much was known about it, the tab started to show a 24-hour countdown earlier this Monday, March 9. Despite the fact there was no indication of what the countdown is for, it quickly became obvious - the countdown was intended to show the launch date for the new battle royale game - Call of Duty: Warzone.
Shortly after adding the timer, Activision also released an official CoD: Warzone trailer on Call of Duty's YouTube channel, giving the fans the first glimpse into the upcoming CoD battle royale game mode. Here is everything we know about CoD: Warzone.
Will CoD: Warzone be free to play?
As a separate game from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Warzone will be free-to-play, for both Modern Warfare owners and non-owners alike, meaning anyone will have the opportunity to play the Activision's latest battle royale game for free. That said, there will be some limitations depending on the platform the players will use.
All the players who use PlayStation or PC will be happy to hear they do not need to pay anything to enjoy the newest battle royale game. PC players will have to have an active Blizzard Battle.net account to access the game, which comes at no cost, while PlayStation users won’t need to have PS Plus to play Warzone.
Unfortunately, there are some bad news for Xbox users, who will be required to have Xbox Live Gold membership in order to play Warzone. Those who don't already have it will have to pay $9,99 per month, $24,99 per three months or buy a yearly subscription for Xbox Live Gold membership, which costs $59.99.
How to play Call of Duty: Warzone?
When the game goes online on March 10, all Modern Warfare owners, as well as non-owners, will be able to test out and play the newly released battle royale game.
Those who own CoD: Modern Warfare, be it on PC, Xbox or PlayStation will have a four-hour head start ahead of the free-to-play users, meaning they will enjoy an advantage of some sort. For those players, entering Warzone will be as simple as opening the game and entering the battle royale game via the in-game menu. That is after they download the update, which is said to be 20GB in size.
The non-Modern Warfare owners, however, will have to download the game from the official Call of Duty website/ Microsoft/PlayStation Store and will need to have 85-100 GB space on their PC or console. That, however, is a small price to pay to receive a completely free game.
Will Warzone have cross-play
The whole idea of multiplayer games - such as Warzone - is to play with your friends and foes alike, no matter where in the world they are located or their preference in the device they use to play the game.
Modern Warfare implemented cross-play, thus allowed PC, Xbox and PlayStation players to meet each other on the battlefield, if they so desired. But what about Warzone? While there are some tensions between PC and console players due to the dreaded aim-assist, many individuals will be happy to hear that Warzone will have cross-play available, meaning you will be able to play the new battle royale game with your friends no matter what device they use.
What happens with Modern Warfare progression?
Since the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, players were working hard to progress through challenges, unlock new skins and attachments for weapons, as well as earn tiers in the Battle Pass to reap the rewards that come with unlocking higher tiers.
Being a long and tedious grind, many people wondered whether Warzone will share the Battle Pass and other progressions, to which Activision responded with quite encouraging news, unveiling Warzone will, in fact, have the progression unified with Modern Warfare, meaning that you can continue grinding the Battle Pass tiers and weapon levels while enjoying some battle royale gameplay.
Players, who own both Modern Warfare and Warzone, however, will have some additional cosmetic content available, which will include some of Season One content from Modern Warfare - something that free-to-play Warzone players won't be able to acquire. What's more, the skins Modern Warfare, which players bough with Call of Duty points will also transfer to Warzone.
While there will be some cosmetic differences between free-to-play players and those who own Modern Warfare, the gameplay experience will remain exactly the same for both parties.
What will the size of Warzone lobbies?
As revealed, the latest battle royale game mode will feature up to 150 players per lobby, which is 50 higher compared to the Black Ops 4's battle royale game mode, which featured up to 100 players. That is a direct response to the significantly larger player count Modern Warfare has compared to the previous titles.
With 150-player lobbies, Warzone will have about 90 players more compared to Apex Legends and 50 more compared to Fortnite, making one of the largest battle royale game across all platforms.
Due to the increased player count, many people expressed concerns as connecting so many people in a single game could strain the network and negatively affect FPS. That said, Infinity Ward reassured the fans that they took the needed measures to ensure those issues won't occur.
Warzone will introduce a similar ping system to Apex Legends
When it comes to battle royale games, the biggest advantage you and your team can have is a solid communication and while the voice chat does its part helping with that, the ping system, which was first introduced in Apex Legends took the communication to a whole another level. It goes without saying that the ping system is a great feature that helps with fast and clear communication between the teammates about anything that is happening on the map.
The ping system as found in Apex Legends allows players to share information with their teammates with a simple click of a button, from highlighting enemies, pointing out supply drops, weapons, and other equipment and much more. Due to its effectiveness, other battle royale games followed and implemented the ping system - and Warzone will be no exception.
How will Warzone map look like?
There were numerous leaks about the battle royale map before, however, only now we got to see the map in its full glory, and it truly is glorious and massive.
Warzone map will feature some of famous locations from the series, as well as 20 points of interest, which include: Dam, Military Base, Quarry, Airport, TV Station, Storage Town, Superstore, Boneyard, Prison (The Gulag), Port, Park, Promenade East, Promenade West, Hills, Train Station, Hospital, Downtown, Stadium, Lumber, Farmland.
The map will also feature locations of contracts, which will offer players money rewards to spend in the match. The so-called "Buy Stations" will be used to buy killstreaks, revive tokens and other items that will help you in your battle against the enemy.
Unique 1v1 respawn system - The Gulag
Perhaps the most exciting feature of Warzone is its unique respawn system, which will shake up the battle royale genre. In CoD: Warzone, players who get eliminated will get another chance to return to the battlefield, however, it won't come easy. Here is how the 1v1 respawn system will work:
One of the new mechanics Warzone will introduce is 1v1 respawn system, which will be called The Gulag. Once you get eliminated, you will be taken as a "Prisoner of Warzone" and will get thrown into the Gulag. Activision explained what happens next:
“There you will await your fate and watch other prisoners fight to the death. When your turn is up, you’ll enter the Gulag and face-off against a single opponent in a one-vs-one to earn the ultimate reward – redeployment. Win in the Gulag and earn redeployment back into Verdansk. Lose and hope that your squad completes Contracts and earns enough in-match Cash to redeploy you.”
As revealed by Activision, the eliminated players can also be revived by their teammates, who will have to buy redeploy tokens, however, in the end, your fate will be entirely in your hands - or the hands of the player you will face in the Gulag.
Will Warzone feature a squad playlist?
Unlike other battle royale games, Call of Duty: Warzone won't feature a 4v4 playlist at launch. As revealed, Warzone will initially feature only trios, meaning it will pit 50 teams of three players against each other. Furthermore, Warzone will also not feature solos nor duos, which were a part of the CoD Black Ops 4's Blackout. While that might be disheartening news for some players, it was reported that Infinity Ward will evaluate the playlist and player counts and possibly look to adjust the team sizes in the future.
When will Call of Duty: Warzone go live?
The last and most important question also has the shortest answer.
Warzone is set to go live on Tuesday, March 10 at 10:00 AM CT; 16:00 CET; 23:00 CST.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.