This is a map of the newly released Warzone. Call of Duty’s newest entry into the battle royale race. (the rest of this article assumes you know what Call of Duty is and what mechanics make a battle royale mode).

After a 10.5 hour download (!) I’ve had the chance to digest some of what this game has to offer. But first, is it even worth your time?

It’s free. Of course it’s worth your time.

But not only is it free, it is the best battle royale style game on the market right now.

When the previous Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launched in October of 2019, it was the first CoD I passed on since Black Ops one. I’ve played every Call of Duty ever released. The main reason I decided to skip running around in the meatgrinder that is CoD multiplayer, was the omission of a battle royale mode. There was one rumored to be coming out in this game cycle (CoD comes out with a new game every year), but at the time of the games release, no solid dates for the battle royale mode. I correctly speculated last fall, that if they did come out with one, it would have to be free. As a rule, people don’t buy CoD after the first few months because they are so far behind the curve of all the other players who now know the maps and have unlocked the best gear.

So now we have Warzone, a free to play battle royale. It seems CoD saw all that sweet Fortnite money and wanted in on the action. I’ve only had about 5 hours of game-play in, but here are the initial impressions.

  • The map is HUGE. Has to be one of the biggest battle royale maps ever made.
  • The environments are about as real as it gets.
  • 150 player count
  • Gulag ‘second chance’ 1vs1 fight for the chance to respawn back into the round.
  • Perks and kill-streaks can be found like loot
  • Your team can ‘buy’ you back in if they have enough money and can make it to the proper crate.
  • You drop in with a pistol as opposed to no equipment like most battle royales.
  • Parachuting will take getting used to as it’s a completely different mechanic than the previous Black Ops: Blackout battle royale.
  • You can pre-set loadouts before the match, and if you accumulate enough cash and can find the proper crate, you can purchase load-outs.
  • You can tag enemies and areas in your sights. Makes it much easier to call out enemies than constant compass reading.
  • You can have up to three people on a team. You can run solo, or with a duo, but know that most teams on the map have three people.
  • The ‘storm’ is a giant poisonous cloud of green choking gas.
  • Extensive challenges and missions to gain extra XP and level quicker.
  • In game ‘bounties’ that target individual players for a set period of time. During that time, an enemy team sees a large circle highlighting the player with the bounty. It doesn’t give away exact position, but gets them close. Survive a bounty, get XP and cash (for the whole team). Kill a bounty, same deal.
  • Map has floating ‘text’ layers that mark each area, making drops more accurate.
  • Weapons ‘pop out’ of killed players and loot boxes (like Fortnite). This makes the looting process quicker and more efficient.

There are more layers to this game that will open up with more play-through. This game would be well worth the price if they had decided to sell it. But it’s obvious they are taking the Fortnite approach with the free game that makes money on the back-end with aesthetic only gear (meaning, it doesn’t effect gameplay, just what your character looks like). I guess I’m too old to see the point in buying virtual outfits for your characters, but the market says there are a ton of people willing to fork out cash for that,

Warzone looks and plays as if a group of developers sat down and combined the best elements of all the existing battle royales, while throwing a few uniquely Call of Duty flavors in the mix as well. The end result is a glorious battle royale that has now set the bar that will be in place for some time to come. Fortnite for the kids, Call of Duty for the adults.

‘Adults’… heh.