Two years after the original Call of Duty: Warzone dropped into the battle royale arena, its sequel, Warzone 2.0, arrived with a new map and some engaging new game modes. Or at least, I’d offer those things if network and server issues didn’t prevent me from playing a single clean, full game since its release on Wednesday. Those could be typical launch window issues, and I’ll be holding off on my full review until after things have had a chance to iron out and I’ve played more, but anyone looking to dive in over the weekend should be prepared for a bumpy landing. .
Warzone 2.0 is still battle royale at its core, bringing back many of the first game’s basic mechanics and features while introducing a few tweaks of its own, like having two or three smaller circles that eventually converge into one. It’s not all familiar though, as the new Al Mazrah map nicely incorporates some of Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer stages, and the new DMZ mode that takes place on it provides a welcome change of pace from the usual game structure. the last person standing in Warzone.
But while these additions intrigue me, I’ve only been able to play a handful of games on PC where performance was what I’d describe as “nearly decent”, and even then I faced a lot of micro-stutters and latency. issues that prevented Warzone 2.0 from feeling smooth. Some people reportedly have less problems than others, but my game would randomly ramp up to 999 millisecond latency and pin my feet to the ground for a minute, so I couldn’t move, sometimes making survivability during fights were almost impossible.
Surprisingly, DMZ was the only game mode where I could constantly play without having disconnect issues, but even that had latency spikes during matches. DMZ is the new loot and extraction sandbox mode, no doubt inspired by the success of games like Escape from Tarkov, and it’s actually a lot of fun and refreshing to play between Battle Royale matches. Being able to fight large groups of NPCs and infiltrate strongholds with my teammate while keeping an eye out for potential enemy players running our way was exciting. It kept me on my toes in a different way than the usual battle royale mode, and made me want to return to the Al Mazrah map for more loot and keys to unlock fortresses over and over again.
That appeal could be partly because the battle royale mode itself is currently the most frustrating to try and play. Matches contain the same huge limit of up to 150 total players in each mode: Solos, Duos, Trios, or Quads. However, many times my lobbies were not crowded enough for the launch, so people would get impatient and leave early. That meant that most of my time trying to play a match of battle royale turned into an endless cycle of queuing and queuing again to find a server that would go off the rails.
When I could entering a match, I was at least able to get an idea of how the mode is played. It’s largely the same as the original, but it was already a very fun battle royale with solid looting and shooting mechanics that only got better with time. One cool new addition here is that you can recruit enemy players to your team in squad-based lobbies if you end up losing a teammate at some point. This is a smart way to give weakened teams or solo stragglers a fighting chance and keep more people involved in a match for longer. It’s also fun to make friends in battle royale, which is a bit unexpected in such a cutthroat format. Unhinged Trios mode even allows you to invite up to six people to be on your team in the middle of the match, living up to their “unhinged” description in the chaos it creates.
I’m still early in my time with it, but so far Warzone 2.0 seems like a fun evolution from its predecessor whenever I can get on a decently stable server and play anything close to a full match. I already feel the pull of the new DMZ mode in particular, but I haven’t been able to play enough of it yet to know if that feeling will last. I’ve had more disconnections and latency issues than any actual game time, and the launch instability is still lingering as we head into the weekend. Hopefully the Warzone 2.0 servers and sync issues can be resolved soon so I can, you know, play more, and I’ll be back with my final graded review in the next week or two.