Rumours have been circulating as to the when the inevitable Battle Royale mode for Infinity Ward’s latest shooter would arrive and if the latest information drawn from dataminers is correct, Warzone could launch as early as next month.
The current landscape of the video game industry is one that is littered with battle royales. Given the outlandish success of games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds over the past three years, everyone has been on the “Last One Standing” hype train. Call of Duty got into it last year with Black Ops VI’s Blackout mode which was actually pretty great. Now it seems like Infinity Ward is pushing for a return to the genre with Warzone in Modern Warfare.
Launching as a standalone game, players who have already purchased Modern Warfare will be able to access through in-game menus while everyone else will have to use a separate launcher. What is perhaps most interesting is that this standalone will be free-to-play and will tie into Modern Warfare’s existing battle pass and reward tiers.
In terms of gameplay, it’s all very familiar. 200 players parachute down into a gigantic arena, stitched together from the outlines of the already large Ground War maps and will feature some map locations iconic to Modern Warfare such as Vacant, Killhouse and Scrapyard. There also seems to be an emphasis on “plunder” the in-game currency that will be used to purchase items during a match.
Yet what stands out to me as most exciting is the Gulag. Unlike most Battle Royale games, death isn’t necessarily the end in Warzone. Players who die will be sent to the Gulag where they’ll go up against an enemy 1v1 with the winner making a triumphant return to the game.
Are those features enough to see Warzone compete against the titanic forces of Fortnite and the more recently popular Apex: Legends? That remains to be seen, but given Call of Duty’s massive influence and the fact that it’s free, I can certainly see them making some kind of dent in the market.