A change of pace from high fantasy and adventure, I’ve traded in role-playing games for rocket propulsion grenades over the past week in Call of Duty‘s battle royale experience Warzone.
It’s been great fun getting to grips with it and, best of all, it’s free.
What’s it all about?
Nothing fancy or out of keeping with standard BR practices – there’s a huge map centered around a fictional eastern-European settlement called Verdansk. Populated with open-plan spaces, decrepit buildings, and a shedload of guns, you have to survive as the circle on the map gets smaller, pushing all remaining players to a pre-determined spot. As the circle gets smaller, the gas closes in around it, and the places you can hide become harder to hold.
Warzone also penetrates the terror of staying alive with some optional bounties – hold a flag point, grab some chests, or hunt down a player. All of these shower the player or team involved with some solid loot; an essential part of keeping yourself together as the boundaries close in.
If you do take a few bullets and go down, don’t fret – you’ll have your backside carted off to the Gulag. Here you’ll face off against somebody else who died and – you guessed it – winner gets back into the fight. You can only visit the Gulag once, and if you get capped, that’s it. Game over.
Why should I try it?
Honestly, because it’s free. Simple as that.
This is my first foray into the BR experience after watching some of my favorite Youtubers dip into Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite over the years. It never really appealed to me much, but you can’t argue with the chance to try one without paying a hefty price-tag. Sure, Fortnite is free as well, but the style is an acquired taste that might not sit right with you if you’re more into the semi-realistic feeling of the Call of Duty or Battlefield franchises.
Beyond the price-tag (or lack thereof), there’s a lot of positives to be lorded upon Warzone in-game. The map is enormous, and has a huge amount of infrastructure to enter and search, roofs to snipe from, and vehicles to commandeer. The sheer volume of loot is fantastic too – chests hum from every building, inundating players with guns and gear of varying quality. White, green, blue, purple, orange – the standard increase of gear quality, but the upper echelons of the loot table are far from unobtainable. Expect to be equipped with at least one legendary or epic level weapon after you’ve looted a few houses.
What’s the verdict?
It’s a game that feels great, with the polish you’d expect from the Call of Duty franchise. If you want to get deeper into the sauce, you can splash out for some cosmetics and whatnot, but you’re under no obligation to do so – all the fun you need doesn’t require your wallet.
The only criticism I can level is that I had to uninstall Diablo III to clear the 120GB of space required on my hard drive to install Warzone, but it’s been worth it so far. I’ve landed a 2nd and 3rd place finish with my brother in a duo, so I’ll be chasing that elusive chicken dinner for a few weeks yet.