Warzone 2.0 is the highly anticipated follow up to 2020’s battle royale Call of Duty Warzone, and Infinity Ward are promising a redefined experience complete with new vehicles and weapon loadout mechanics. With the original Warzone being one of the most-played battle royales ever, 2.0 has a lot of hype to live up to. Presently, most of 2.0’s announced updates have been received positively by the community. Still, there’re a handful of aspects causing concern for Call of Duty players, some of which Infinity Ward will undoubtably address in subsequent patches.
Recent surge in Warzone cheaters
There’s been an upturn in cheaters and hacking in the original Warzone in the run-up to 2.0’s release, to the point players are questioning whether Call of Duty’s Ricochet Anti-Cheat system is fit for purpose given aimbots and wallhacks continue to slip through the net. Banning offending accounts is commonplace, but the fact accumulated guns and equipment aren’t carrying over to Warzone 2.0 means there’re plenty of cheaters who’re clearly undeterred. To be fair, Ricochet is said to be receiving an overhaul in time for 2.0, with upgrades and mitigations resulting from years of work active from day one. Fingers crossed Ricochet’s improvements do the trick.
Radical changes in Gulag
Alongside 2.0’s raft of updates are big changes to Warzone’s purgatorial Gulag. Representing one of the biggest changes, Infinity Ward have seen fit to pit teams of two in head-to-head combat for a chance of revival, with scavenging loot and weapons also a requirement, plus dealing with an omnipotent AI in the form of ‘The Jailer’. To be fair, eliminating the powerful AI jailer isn’t the major sticking point here – wiping him out releases a get out of jail card, of course – but it’s 2.0’s move to 2 versus 2 instead of the original’s 1v1 matchup that’s primary cause for concern. In a nutshell, players shouldn’t be forced to rely on a random teammate to break out of the Gulag. On paper, the new format sounds decent, but in practice, with random co-players going AFK at any given moment, the act of getting back into the main action might prove more difficult than it needs to be.
No loadout drops
Okay, so there’re rumours Infinity Ward will revert this concern come 2.0’s release. The reception to the removal of this once-staple feature of the Warzone experience was met with distain. Instead of loadout drops, it appears players are required to pre-configure then purchase their custom gunsmith weapons from ‘The Shop’ – Warzone 2.0’s version of Buy Stations – rather than piece it together from the loadout drop. The most scathing of criticism following this announcement was that it goes against the very grain of teamwork, and that Buy Stations will become littered with campers. It’s a drastic change in strategy whichever way, with players having less direct access to customised weapons. As said though, it’s strongly rumoured the removal of loadout drops will be reverted come 2.0’s release, and according to leaks elsewhere they may even evolve into a global loadout drop, meaning acquiring them will be a high-risk, high-reward endeavour. We’ll just have to wait and see.
No perks (at launch)
With Warzone 2.0, at present, still confirmed as removing loadout drops, that means that perks won’t be reappearing too, at least for now. Infinity Ward’s wording is very specific – “perks will not be available in Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 at launch” – meaning there’s chance they’ll come back later down the line. With custom weapons purchasable from The Shop, and Tactical and Lethals being common ground loot, there’s seemingly no room for perks. It’s a change which strays too far from the core Call of Duty experience for some which is why players have taken to social media decrying their removal. The devs are listening though, with seasoned streamer ‘Metaphor’ posting a cryptic message hinting perks will be a part of the game in some capacity.
New swimming mechanics
Look at 2.0’s sprawling map and you’ll see plenty of water – it’s a coastal environment wrapped in mountains, with gushing rivers flowing into reservoirs feeding estuaries out to sea, with busy harbours and seaside towns dotted throughout the lower half of the map. In Warzone 2.0, players are expected to fight in-and-around water, and that of course means plenty of swimming. Thing is that players are presumably a sitting duck when water bound. Warzone 2.0’s aquatic vehicles like the Armoured Patrol Boat look like a fantastic, speedy way to cover long distance over water. Swimming – at least for now – appears a moot mechanic to be used extremely sparingly.
A defining feature of the new environment is the widespread presence of AI militants. At first, it was believed they’d be free-roaming and ready to interrupt a mission objective at any moment, whereas now they’re confirmed as nestling solely within strongholds, guarding the best loot. Taking out an AI stronghold will grant teams access to powerful weaponry, but crucially, these tasks are optional. The AI won’t venture out from their base. That said, with custom loadouts purchasable from The Shop, and at present loadout drops a thing of the past, the existence of AI strongholds hints at an experience more focused on loot gathering than actual multi-player combat.
Loot system menu navigation
Another new feature purportedly being dropped come Warzone 2.0’s release is the revamped inventory management system. As it stands, the new menu for navigating through collected guns and equipment is a slower, more labour-intensive process when compared to Warzone – it’s not as extensive as Black Ops 4, but early impressions were that there’s high probability you’ll get shot whilst sifting through inventory menus to choose a weapon. Once again, in serial streamer Metaphor’s cryptic tweet, it appears to hint that Infinity Ward might revert to a more streamlined method of menu navigation.
No slide cancelling
There’s a host of new movement mechanics that’ll be present in Warzone 2.0 – diving, ledge-hanging, and swimming will be introduced and whilst sliding is returning the ability to slide cancel is not. Mastery of the slide cancel mechanic is a sound evasive manoeuvre which can be utilised to misdirect an opponent during 1v1 gunfights. So, it came as a surprise during the Call of Duty Next event when the content creators invited to play an early build of the game couldn’t slide cancel. Perhaps Infinity Ward are wanting to nudge the experience a hair closer to simulation, so they’ve decided to remove the slide cancellation altogether. One thing’s for sure, it’ll require players diving into 2.0 to learn a new set of movement techniques.
Changes to tactical equipment
Warzone 2.0 is tweaking the usability of their tactical equipment. Case in point is the ultra-handy Heartbeat Sensor, an item most would equip in their best loadouts. This popular tactical item will feature a rapidly draining battery in 2.0, meaning players who enjoy liberally flicking the sensor up-and-down to constantly scan their surroundings may quickly come unstuck. It’s touch-and-go whether this tweak is necessarily bad, but with newfound emphasis on tactical items being lootable rather than equipped to loadouts, it smacks of Warzone 2.0 requiring players consistently loot if they want to gain the upper hand.
Guns & equipment not carrying over to 2.0
More of a bug bear than anything, this point. It’s confirmed the guns and equipment players have spent the last two years grinding for in Warzone won’t carry over to Warzone 2.0. This point does make sense, as it levels the playing field for new players to join in and won’t require Infinity Ward to spent extra development time balancing old weaponry with the new guns coming to Warzone 2.0. Still, it’ll likely be a big adjustment for a lot of players who’ve grown accustomed to their favourite weapon.