Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 — out this week on all major platforms — as the name suggests, is a massive rework to Activision's premium, free-to-play battle royale formula. “Built from the ground up,” this sequel adds loads of interesting twists to the base game, with its biggest sell being the Al Mazrah map, boasting 18 major points of interest, as you hunt survivors across coastal towns, rocky peaks, deserts, and explore an entire city. Sprucing up the classic Warzone experience would be the introduction of underwater combat, which while limited to handguns, creates ample opportunities for creative stealth takedowns.
That said, Warzone 2.0's launch doesn't imply the closure of the original 2020-released battle royale title — for the most part. For one, players are ultimately going to shift to the newer, more advanced version of the two, as we've seen with countless titles in the wider gaming landscape. Secondly, servers for the current Call of Duty: Warzone will be shut down briefly, coinciding with the release of its sequel. This marks a mere 12-day intermission, where the developers Raven Software ensure smooth sailing on the new title, encouraging more players to jump in.
Starting November 16, at 9:30pm IST in India/ 8am PT in the US, 2020's Warzone servers will briefly go offline, returning on November 28, at 11:30pm IST/ 10am PT, albeit with a new name — Call of Duty: Warzone Caldera — referring to its integration with 2021's Call of Duty: Vanguard. All unlocked cosmetics and progression will be left intact in the original title, but cannot be transferred over to Warzone 2.0, as both games function as separate entities. The publisher also plans to expand battle royale onto mobile next year, featuring tailored events and playlists.
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Any unlocked cosmetics or progression from Warzone won't be carried over to the sequel
Photo Credit: Activision
With that, here's everything you need to know about Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0:
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 release date
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 launches this Wednesday, November 16, at 11:30pm IST/ 10am PT, across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X.
Similar to the first battle royale game, Activision has confirmed that Warzone 2.0 will be fully free to play, and support cross-play and cross-progression at launch.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2 system requirements
While Activision itself has not revealed PC requirements for Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, the Steam store page has detailed them. Common requirements include a Windows 10 64-bit operating system, DirectX 12, and at least 125GB of free storage space.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 minimum PC requirements
- Processor (CPU): Intel Core i3-6100/ Core i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen 3 1200
- Graphics (GPU): Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470
- RAM: 8GB
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 recommended PC requirements
- Processor (CPU): Intel Core i5-6600K/ Core i7-4770 or AMD Ryzen 5 1400
- Graphics (GPU): Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580
- RAM: 12GB
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0: Preload, file size, and download details
Those keen on jumping into the action instantly can now preload Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 ahead of launch.
This two-day-early preload time is partly owing to the game's huge file size, which although previously was reported as a whopping 115.62GB download, now shows different results. Attempting to download the game on PC shows conflicting figures — Battle.net says 17.4GB, while Steam says 23.8GB. There's a possibility that it's just the initial preload size, as the aforementioned system requirements section on Steam demands 125GB of storage.
Those running on their PS5 or Xbox Series S/X's stock internal SSDs might want to clear out some space, before launch. On Xbox, the game reportedly takes up a measly 6.2GB of storage, which again, doesn't align with the reported storage size.
Warzone 2 should automatically appear on the respective Steam and Battle.net (PC), PlayStation, or Xbox storefronts, with a download button.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 gameplay and features
The new Al Mazrah map will host 150 survivors across its war-torn battleground, as they scavenge for weapons and supplies, hunting down all moving targets to emerge as the last man standing. Owners of the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have already gotten their fair taste of the latest map, in sparse, as its multiplayer matchups were all broken down segments of the larger Al Mazrah. Core gameplay remains the same, with players being allowed to dive in solo, in duos, trios, or in groups of four, bolstering diversity in battle with new vehicles namely the Heavy Chopper and the GMC Hummer, in addition to the aforementioned aquatic combat.
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The Al Mazrah is an expansive new map featuring coastal regions, rocky peaks, and deserts
Photo Credit: Activision
Warzone 2.0 loadouts
Custom loadouts return in Warzone 2.0, arming players with their preferred primary weapons, though the process has been slightly retooled. In the original title, one could simply call upon an aerial drop, granting a pre-selected kit that ensures optimal play. This caused players to simply summon those drops, instead of scavenging for weapons and playing the game in the intended battle royale format. With Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, however, Activision has discarded the approach and added Shops, where cash earned in-game can be used to purchase the Primary firearm from a created loadout.
Similarly, there are Loadout Drop Public Events, where loot crates would be dropped into the match. However, these aren't assigned to individual squads and can be accessed by everyone — akin to Player Unknown's Battlegrounds. One could also unlock a full loadout by clearing out Strongholds and Black Sites; areas that are teeming with AI combatants.
Warzone 2.0 Strongholds and Black Sites
Think of it as bite-sized co-op encounters integrated onto the larger battle royale experience. Several Strongholds will be randomly activated around the map, opening themselves to real-life, online survivors, who can fight AI soldiers and collect rare loot. The first team to complete a Stronghold must disarm a bomb and will earn a key to a Black Site and their custom loadout. Successive teams are tasked with eliminating a specific number of defenders (bots or players) and be rewarded with their respective custom loadout, but not a Black Site key. The latter is bluntly put, a more dangerous version of Strongholds, enabling a high-risk high-reward play style, offering a permanent weapon blueprint in return.
Traditionally, battle royale games have choking storms or poison clouds enveloping the map, in time, urging players to rush toward constricted, safe areas and finish the game. With Warzone 2.0, Activision has promised variations in the closing circle, thanks to the erratic weather anomalies on the Al Mazrah map, which could create up to smaller safe zones, in varying sizes, forcing players to come out of their hiding space, in turn, resulting in several micro-battles. The circle shrinkage and merging are completely randomised as well and aim to reduce periods of downtime in the rounds.
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The erratic weather patterns on Al Mazrah creates multiple smaller safe zones
Photo Credit: Activision
Warzone 2.0 2v2 Gulags
Warzone 2.0 will bring a 2v2 Gulag situation, where randomly paired duos must coordinate to take down the opposition and head back into the game. Just like the original, operators will be handed predefined weapons ahead of these rounds, ranging from mere pistols to a shotgun, plus a lethal and tactical grenade. Better weaponry can be found at the map's centre, albeit at the risk of dying immediately.
There's an alternate opportunity to escape the cells as well, with the addition of an AI opponent called the Jailer, who randomly appears halfway through the gulag showdown. Setting their differences aside, all four players can instead target this new opponent, within a constricted time frame, to be granted a pink slip back into the match.
Warzone 2.0 DMZ
The DMZ is an all-new extraction mode in the Call of Duty franchise, which should be familiar to those experienced with Escape from Tarkov or Hunt: Showdown. Described as an “open-world narrative-focused” set piece, the DMZ drops squads onto an exfiltration mission, as they engage in combat with enemy operators or AI combatants, search for valuable items to bring home, and reuse them for the next infiltration. Players can set their own stakes and ultimately, earn some high-tier items for use across Warzone 2.0 and Modern Warfare 2. While the rules for engagement are pretty liberal, all operators must exfil from the Al Mazrah Exclusion Zone to reap the rewards.
By default, DMZ is a trio-based mode, with the option to play solo or duo by disabling squad fill. Players start with a small inventory, which can be expanded by partaking in Faction missions, where you're pitted against PMC groups. Bear in mind that similar to Tarkov, losing them on the battlefield or dying means that the weapons are gone forever. You have complete freedom over how you want to approach the exfiltration missions, be it killing NPCs, online foes, or simply going on a supply run to stock up.
The new DMZ mode functions similar to Escape from Tarkov
Photo Credit: Activision
“We've built a massive living world in Al Mazrah with challenging enemies, a deep mission system, side quests, secrets, and more. As we look to the future, we hope to reward players for exfiltration in new ways as we work towards new uses for cash and items,” Activision said in a blog post.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 trailer
The Warzone 2.0 trailer was dropped in mid-September, as part of the Call of Duty Next event, showcasing glimpses of the new map, with drones that could blast choppers into smithereens and an EMP knife, which creates a small pulse to damage vehicles. The sequel also brings an all-new third-person mode, which received mixed responses during its beta period on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
“Following feedback from [Modern Warfare 2] beta, aiming down sights will now stay in third person POV for low-zoom optics. Only high-zoom optics (beginning with the ACOG and higher) and special optics such as Hybrids and Thermals will revert to first-person POV. We believe this will enhance the third-person experience while keeping the gameplay balanced,” a report from last month stated. Let's hope the feedback is implemented in the upcoming Warzone 2.0 as well.
The publisher also dropped a launch trailer, focused on some explosive action on the battlefields on Al Mazarah, which you can check out below.
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