The upcoming Battle Royale mode for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare might be the worst kept secret of the gaming industry over the past few months. Warzone – the name supposedly given to the new mode – has yet to be officially announced, but leak after leak has made an upcoming announcement inevitable and there is already a large amount of information about what players can expect.
Another Battle Royale
At its core, Warzone appears to be a standard addition to the battle royale genre. Currently, it seems that players will use parachutes to land across a diverse map and begin looting buildings for defeated opponents for better gear. The battle royal mode in Call of Duty Mobile already features these characteristics in its own version, and players should already know what to expect as a result.
One aspect that might allow Warzone to stand out is the size of the map, which – according to recent leaks – is quite large. Since the mode is rumored to feature 200 players from the start, double the 100 that most battle royale games have, the increased map size makes sense.
Despite the size of the map, long-time fans of the Call of Duty series should feel right at home thanks to the several points of interest have been added, which according to rumors, are like iconic areas from previous games. So far, zones are reportedly made up of places like the Airfield, Boneyard, Gulag, Hospital, Lumber, Port, Quarry, Storage Town, and many more.
Plunder Your Way To Advantage
One of the most innovative features in Warzone among the battle royale genre is rumored to be a type of in-game currency that comes from defeating opponents and completing missions, named Plunder. Around the map there appear to be certain locations that might serve as a hub to spend Plunder for gear. Given its name, it may also be the case that players drop their Plunder when killed, and given how large the pool of players will be per match, this should encourage constant spending of the resource rather than risk losing it.
In most battle royale titles, death is often swift and permanent. Some have tweaked the formula over time, as seen with Fortnite, and Warzone looks to also provide players with an opportunity to prove they deserve a second change at winning a match. According to datamining, it seems that defeated players are sent to the Gulag, where they will 1v1 another downed player, with the winner being sent back into the action.
To make matters more interesting, datamining also suggests that other players will be able to wager their Plunder on the outcome of these 1v1 fights. If this datamining is correct, there are bound to be some great matches in which an underdog fights their way out of the Gulag and towards an overall victory, which would also make some great esports entertainment.
Once again, datamining has revealed another innovative feature that allows players to truly customize their character and play to their strengths. Permanent Perks look to be available for players to choose, and the current list is quite large, and will certainly allow players to excel in their own playstyles:
- Ammo Scavenger: Enemies you kill always drop some ammunition.
- Armor Scavenger: Enemies you kill always drop some armor plates.
- Armorer: You use armor plates 20% faster, and they supply 10% more armor.
- Artisan: Weapons you pick up have a chance to automatically upgrade.
- Bounty Hunter: If you kill someone with more Perks than you, gain enough points to match them, and then you can replace this perk.
- Deep Pockets: Any usable equipment you pick up has an extra use.
- EOD: Explosive Resistance, and you can capture enemy claymores and mines.
- Ghost: You are invisible to drones and sensors.
- Grenadier: Any throwable equipment you pick up has an extra use.
- Healer: Your medic items continue to heal for an additional 25% of their value over the next 20 seconds.
- High Alert: Grants vision when an enemy looks at you from outside of your FoV.
- Health Scavenger: Enemies you kill always drop some medic items.
- Plunder Scavenger: Enemies you kill always drop some Plunder.
- Sleightofhand: Reload your weapons 50% faster than normal.
- Sneaky: Your Footsteps are invisible, and enemies are not warned when you track them.
- Spotter: Enemy equipment within a small radius is visible and highlighted to you, even through walls.
- Stalker: Faster movement while aiming down sight.
- Thief: When you Harvest, generate 20% more plunder.
- Tracker: Enemies leave footprints as they move, and increased crouch movement speed.
- Bullet Damage: Increase bullet damage to the chest and abdomen.
Free To Play, So How Will It Warzone Be Monetized?
Since the leaks first began to appear about Warzone, one thing has been consistent throughout, and that is that the new mode will be completely free-to-play. With that said, there have not been any reliable rumors regarding how this mode will be monetized. There is always the possibility that Warzone is being made as a free stand-alone title to bring in players who may purchase Modern Warfare later.
Alternatively, Warzone may simply offer its players a broad range of cosmetics or real money or limit the Operators that can one use. For now, we can only wait to see how the mode will be monetized.
Will It Succeed?
Ultimately, time will tell how the new mode performs, but it must be acknowledged that the Battle Royale genre is oversaturated in the video game market today. Fortnite took the world by storm and too many developers sought to emulate the multi billion-dollar franchise in their own way. Apex Legends and others do a great job, while countless others do not.
The problem that Warzone may face as a game mode may not lie in a lack of quality or polish, but in consumer exhaustion. For the mode to succeed, major innovation might be necessary to convince players to jump into the same old formula once again, and while there do seem to be some interesting changes coming, it will be fascinating to see if it can attract enough players in the long run.
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