Name of Responsibility: Warzone wants a brand new map, and Verdansk ’84 ain’t it
I bought nuked final week. It burned, like, actually dangerous—wouldn’t suggest. Like many Name of Responsibility: Warzone gamers who watched Verdansk flip to ash that day, I used to be excited for what the subsequent day would carry as Warzone Season 3 kicked off and Activision unleashed the long-rumored new map.
Because it seems, developer Raven Software program wasn’t engaged on a wholly new map, however as an alternative remodeling the outdated one right into a 1984 Chilly Battle-themed remix with new areas and a distinct coat of paint. There are cable automobiles the place the Dam was once, however Verdansk ’84 continues to be very a lot Verdansk. And after 4 days exploring the brand new digs, I am shocked Activision spent months constructing hype for what finally seems like an atypical map replace.
It isn’t that Verdansk ’84 hasn’t modified for the higher—springtime fits the area properly and I am glad to see all that ice lastly soften away right into a flowing river. It is clear quite a lot of time went into bettering the map’s movement, with extra roads for simpler automobile entry to Verdansk’s distant corners. Raven has additionally stuffed in spots that had been largely empty house with loot-filled factors of curiosity. The brand new Airplane Manufacturing facility is a good instance of this, sandwiched between the Superstore and airport the place there was once a bunch of cylinders that no one cared about.
I suppose I hoped for a much bigger change of surroundings. Massive swaths of Verdansk ’84 are nearly untouched outdoors of latest textures that make the whole lot look older (and never all the time higher). Talking of, once I heard “Verdansk in 1984,” I anticipated Activision to make use of the chance to inject extra shade into the sport—possibly some neon lights on Downtown skyscrapers or a extra vibrant shade palette to counter outdated Verdansk’s washed-out greys and beiges. Some buildings have purple on them now (neat), however new Verdansk has the identical muted shade grading that is now much less engaging due to extra clouds and an unsightly wall of poisonous fuel all the time that turns into extra distinguished because the match progresses. I actually miss the outdated clear skies. The south finish of the map seems darkish and miserable now.
Activision may have set expectations higher right here. The writer spent months teasing the nuclear destruction of Verdansk, a message that naturally led gamers to imagine the map would get replaced totally. It felt like Warzone was on the identical trajectory as Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale sport that usually cycles between three distinct maps and updates them individually to maintain issues recent.
Warzone dipped its toes into this concept with Rebirth Island (a smaller island map suited to decrease participant counts) by usually altering when the map is accessible and what modes you may play on it. Rebirth Island has confirmed so well-liked that there is virtually all the time a playlist operating it these days. However post-Season 3, it is clear that Activision is sticking nearer to the Fortnite mannequin of map remodels—the nuking of Verdansk drew apparent parallels to Epic’s black gap occasion that ushered in Fortnite Chapter 2.
The distinction is that when gamers emerged from Fortnite’s black gap in 2019, the sport meaningfully modified. Chapter 2 launched an all-new map with an up to date artwork type. You could possibly now correctly swim, catch fish, carry allies to security, and improve weapons! It was a wonderful solution to press reset whereas making engine upgrades that moved the sport ahead. Activision tried one thing related right here and failed to stay the touchdown. The Warzone of this week is the Warzone of final week, simply with higher weapon balancing and a remixed map.
Raven advised me that it additionally paid shut consideration to frequent glitch spots within the outdated map to stop the identical exploitation in Verdansk ’84, however gamers have already found out new methods to clip underneath the map and wreck the sport for everybody else. The extra issues change, the extra they keep the identical.
New sights definitely made for an thrilling first few drops, however the extra of Verdansk ’84 I discover, the extra I notice that Warzone is the battle royale sport with the least occurring. We’re on a cycle of getting a couple of new weapons every season (which often show to be irrelevant or extremely damaged), a brand new mode that may disappear inside weeks, and extra beauty packs than anybody can sustain with. I like turning my SMG right into a tape deck as a lot as the subsequent man, however meaty gameplay additions are what’s going to finally hold me round and Verdansk ’84 is not that.
If the novelty of that large Grid Array within the sky is meant to carry us over for a whole season, then it is most likely time to begin setting expectations decrease for Warzone Season 4.