Two years after the original Call of Duty: Warzone entered the battle royale arena, its sequel, Warzone 2.0, has arrived with a new map and some enticing new game modes. Or at least it would offer those things if network and server issues didn’t prevent me from playing a single full, clean match since Wednesday’s launch. Those might just be the typical issues of the release window and I’ll hold off on my full review until things have settled down 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 a battle royale at its core, bringing back many of the mechanics and base features of the first game while introducing a few tweaks of its own such as: B. two or three smaller circles that eventually converge into one. It’s not all familiar, however, as the all-new Al Mazrah map integrates some of Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer stages well, and the new DMZ mode that takes place on it offers a welcome change from Warzone’s usual last-person-standing structure .
But while these additions are intriguing to me, I’ve only been able to play a handful of matches on PC where performance has been what I’d call “nearly decent” – and even then I’ve faced plenty of micro-stuttering and latency issues, that kept Warzone 2.0 from feeling smooth. Some people reportedly have fewer issues than others, but my game would randomly spike to 999 milliseconds of latency and my feet would be glued to the ground for a minute, leaving me unable to move, making surviving during fights at times near impossible.
Somewhat surprisingly, DMZ was the only game mode I was able to play consistently without experiencing connection issues, but even that had spikes in latency during games. DMZ is the new loot and extract sandbox mode, no doubt inspired by the success of games like Escape from Tarkov, and it’s actually really fun and refreshing to play between battle royale matches. It was exciting to fight against large groups of NPCs and infiltrate fortresses with my teammate while keeping an eye on potential enemy players running towards us. It kept me on my toes unlike the usual battle royale mode and made me jump back into the Al Mazrah map for more loot and keys to unlock keeps over and over again.
Part of that appeal could be due to the fact that the Battle Royale mode itself is currently the most frustrating thing to try and play. Matches contain the same whopping cap of up to 150 total players in any mode: solos, duos, trios or quads. However, my lobbies often didn’t fill up enough to launch, so people got impatient and left before they did. This meant that most of my time trying to play a battle royale match became an endless cycle of queuing and re-queuing to find a server that would fire.
If I could participating in a game, I was able to at least get a feel for how the mode plays. It’s largely the same as the original, but this was already a very fun battle royale with solid looting and shooting mechanics that only improved over time. An interesting new feature here is that squad-based lobbies actually let you recruit enemy players to your team if you lose a teammate at some point. This is a clever way to give weakened teams or solo laggards a chance and keep more people in a game for longer. It’s also just plain fun to befriend in a battle royale, which is a bit unexpected in such a cutthroat format. In Unhinged Trios mode, you can even invite up to six people to join your team mid-game, living up to its “unhinged” description in the chaos that ensues.
I’m still early in my time with this, but so far Warzone 2.0 seems like a fun evolution of its predecessor when I’m able to get onto a decently stable server and actually play something close to a full match. I’m already feeling the new DMZ mode in particular, but I haven’t been able to play enough to find out if that feeling lasts. I’ve had more disconnects and latency issues than any actual playtime, with release instability still persisting as we head into the weekend. Hopefully the Warzone 2.0 server and desync issues can be fixed soon so I can actually play more of it and I’ll be back with my final review in the next week or two.