Warzone 2 is the next entry to Call Of Duty’s battle royale franchise and promises a series of enhancements and reworks across the board. These enhancements include a new map, revamped gunplay, weapon tuning and much more.
Many of us at VeryAliGaming have played through several matches of Warzone 2, learning the ropes, exploring the map and scoring wins! This article will review what works and what doesn’t regarding Warzone 2’s Visuals, Gameplay, Content and Audio.
Our earlier concerns about Warzone 2 being more of a reskin than a sequel to the original Warzone were quickly shut down after a few matches. Various small and significant changes to the Warzone formula keep the flow of games fresh and different.
The core gameplay loop in Warzone will still be familiar to skilled players, albeit with a few reworked systems. Below we’ll review the significant Map, Combat and Looting changes.
Warzone 2’s combat may seem familiar to Warzone 1 at first glance, but it is significantly different in several ways. For starters, Warzone 2 enhances the Gunsmith system by introducing the ability to tune weapon attachments, adding a new layer of customization. Moreover, unlocking attachments is now shared across all weapons instead of linearly playing with an individual gun. Players can also test out their weapons in the newly added firing range.
Warzone 2’s gunfights feel more realistic and hard-hitting compared to the arcade-like gunplay of the original. We appreciate this change and prefer the heavier, higher recoil gunfights; however, it will take a little getting used to. Moreover, players must carefully traverse Al Mazrah as the time to kill is significantly shorter than in Warzone 1.
We don’t like Warzone 2’s combat’s visual shaking of weapons and gunfire smoke when firing. Moreover, enemies are significantly harder to see and track after firing weapons which is frustrating.
Another aspect of Warzone 2’s combat that worries us is the weapons tuning system. While it introduces deeper customization, we feel it makes the game harder for developers to balance. In other words, overpowered weapons and Metas will appear sooner in Warzone 2’s lifecycle.
Al Mazrah is Warzone 2’s new map and a stark difference from Caldera from Warzone 1. An expansive desert primarily dominates Al Mazrah with villages, caves and wetlands. Furthermore, players will find a reasonably sized City on the North side of the map and a Fortress on the south side. Placing high-tier loot and dense areas at the end of the map ensures players find action all over the map and don’t encounter emptiness.
Players can also explore Strongholds and Black Sites for valuable loot, provided they deal with the challenging AI roaming those areas. While there are no subway stations, players can take the Train that circles the entire map. Moreover, vehicles in Warzone 2 run out of fuel and need to be refuelled at the many gas stations around Al Mazrah.
Overall, Al Mazrah is a well-balanced map that maintains the game’s flow from beginning to end. Furthermore, Warzone 2’s locations contain a healthy dose of close-countered sections to promote weapon types other than ARs. However, we do wish the new 2v2 Gulag included more weapon variations.
Looting is wholly revamped in Warzone 2, and players must manage their backpacks efficiently to preserve space. Moreover, players can carry additional weapons, ammo, killstreaks and more, provided they have room. Similarly, player loot isn’t dropped on the floor but is available in enemy backpacks after a kill.
We can’t say we’re huge fans of the new looting system, as it introduces glitches and complications during combat. Looting is tedious and slow compared to Warzone 2’s other systems and slightly harms the flow of battle.
Warzone 2 also removes the ability for players to purchase their loadouts. Instead, players can rush to the loadout drops available to everyone after a few circles are complete or buy their weapons from Buy Stations. Perk packages are also not customizable, and players must choose between existing ones. We personally don’t like these changes and feel they restrict Warzone 2 to limited gameplay styles.
Visuals And Performance
Warzone 2 runs on Infinity Ward’s improved IW9 Engine and has to render the entirety of Al Mazrah for 150 Players. Running Warzone 2 is no small feat, and those on PC should check out our optimized settings to maximize FPS. We’re especially impressed by Warzone 2’s performance on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series systems.
Visually Warzone 2 looks striking, with detailed and semi-photorealistic environments and several post-processing effects. We especially love the attention to detail Infinity Ward has put in animating the different weapon reloads. Furthermore, aquatic combat and the impressive-looking water reflections that come with it are highly welcome.
This time, Console players are treated to a FOV and Sharpness slider via Fidelity FX. Setting Sharpness higher will help older consoles compensate for blurriness when the image is reconstructed at lower resolutions.
While we have no complaints about how Warzone 2 looks, we feel the colours may be a little washed out. The colour scheme used in Warzone 2 is a little muted compared to Warzone 1 and may not be liked by everyone. Furthermore, rendering such a large map makes some areas look emptier and less detailed.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X see a rock-solid performance at 60FPS with minimal stuttering. Additionally, 120 FPS modes are also available; however, they are unstable, and VRR is recommended to maintain FPS. Xbox Series S sees the same treatment as Series X, albeit with lower graphics settings and a slightly worse-off performance though it is still very playable.
Running Warzone 2 smoothly at high settings on PC requires a beefy setup. Our testing found that installing Warzone 2 on an SSD and having at least 16GB of RAM is necessary. Moreover, a 6GB or more VRAM graphics card will help significantly. PC Performance was never Call Of Duty’s strong suit, and we expect several patches to improve it over time slightly.
While Warzone 2 performs adequately on PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, the older base consoles struggle to maintain 60 FPS. In our testing, PlayStation 4 fared better and held 60 FPS in most areas, while Xbox One saw massive stuttering. Last-gen consoles are becoming obsolete and showing their age, evidently with Warzone 2.
At present, we believe Warzone 2 only meets the bare minimum requirement to be a sequel. Several quality-of-life improvements are missing from the base game that the original Warzone had. Features such as a Combat Record or a Play Again option aren’t necessary but improve the user experience. Resurgence is also missing at launch and is a significantly loved mode by the community.
Arguably the most noteworthy addition to Warzone 2 is the DMZ mode. DMZ is similar in gameplay to Escape From Tarkov and aims to act as a slower, more methodical mode. In DMZ, players extract weapons and fend off other players or AI scattered around the map. While DMZ shows promise, it requires more content and premise before it picks up mainstream traffic.
Warzone 2 at launch is limited in content and may fail to retain traffic if updates take longer. We wish future updates focus less on cosmetics and more on gameplay changes and additions though that is to be seen.
Music And Audio
Audio is vital for competitive shooters, as hearing footsteps is essential. Unfortunately, Warzone 2’s footstep audio is hit or miss regardless of the quality of players’ headsets. While footstep audio is loud, triangulating the direction of the footsteps is complex and requires patches to fix.
Apart from footstep audio, the rest of Warzone 2 sounds spectacular and immerses you in the situation. Weapons sound punchy, movement and traversal have rugged sounds, and the audio disorients upon fighting underwater or in caves. We have no complaints about the audio variety and quality of Warzone 2.
The Music in Warzone 2 will mainly play in the lobby or before the match starts. We can’t say the music is anything special, but it gets the job done. While the music isn’t as memorable as the older community loved Call Of Duty games, it doesn’t get in the way or distract players.
All things considered, Warzone 2 is a marvellous addition and improvement to the original Warzone. As it stands, Warzone 2 feels more like a slight revamp of existing Warzone systems rather than introducing a plethora of new features. What matters is that the core gameplay loop is fun and should get better with patches. However, we wish more content and quality-of-life improvements were available at launch.
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