We played Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile and it might just change COD forever - MrLiambi's blog


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Monday 21 November 2022

We played Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile and it might just change COD forever

Call of Duty Warzone felt like a game-changer when it came out in early 2020, bringing free-to-play COD shooting to the masses for the first time on console and PC and widening the series' appeal massively.

Now, with Warzone 2.0 fresh out of the gates and iterating on the original in a bunch of ways, it's the turn of Warzone Mobile to shift into the ever-rotating COD spotlight. We recently played the game for a couple of hours and got time to talk to Activision's vice president of mobile, Chris Plummer, about how it's going to fit into the world of Call of Duty.

All new, some old

Warzone Mobile has made a genius call right off the bat by launching with a single Battle Royale map in the form of Verdansk, the original Warzone map and a long-gone favourite among its fans - this is the best Battle Royale map ever, in some players' eyes.

It's a version of Verdansk from before some map-shifting changes, looking to our eyes like the iteration from around Season 3 or 4 of the first Modern Warfare life-cycle, and it's so, so good to be back. It's got enough points of interest to be varied, but also a nice variety of terrain, from tight urban areas to open fields that are risky to cross.

Warzone Mobile will launch with a few squad sizes to pick from, from solos all the way to quads, and the team working on it has tested a variety of different modes that could crop up down the line. For now, it's mainly Battle Royale and only Verdansk, but Plummer didn't rule out Rebirth Island or Fortune's Keep appearing for smaller map players.

He was also coy about Warzone 2.0's Al Mazrah, so we'd bet on that map coming over to Warzone Mobile at some point, too.

This means the game could become a one-stop shop for COD action, especially given the surprise news that it includes 6v6 multiplayer at launch on a couple of maps, and that this too will expand over time.

This is all thanks to closer feature parity between mobile and console than ever before - Warzone Mobile runs on the latest COD tech, scaled down for mobile. This means new features like enhanced reload animations and movement from MW2 are present and correct.

It also means that the full Gunsmith system should make it into Warzone Mobile, although possibly after launch. This will include weapon tuning, according to Plummer, making it the full experience.

This all makes the situation a bit awkward when it comes to the pre-existing (very popular) COD Mobile, which Plummer was adamant wouldn't suffer for Warzone Mobile's arrival. When you think about how much future-looking work has gone into this newer game, though, it's not hard to imagine which will be prioritised.

They'll run in parallel for at least a while, though. Warzone Mobile will have the massive advantage of a shared battle pass and progression system for MW2 and Warzone 2.0, though, along with shared weaponry and cosmetics, so it's safe to say it looks like the future of COD on mobile.

Hands-on time

How does it actually play, though? Well, the short version of it is that this is a remarkably impressive port of the Warzone experience, tested by a writer who's played more than 650 hours of the main game.

Touch controls are always a key variable for a mobile FPS, and Warzone Mobile feels similarly solid to COD Mobile - it's got a huge range of options for you to tweak, too.

From auto-shooting and movement assists to automated elements, you can build a custom control scheme that should suit you to a T, and that's before you consider the fact that controller support will be built-in too.

Controller and touch players are likely to be matchmaking in separate streams, but this might change depending on player feedback, according to Plummer.

The game looks impressive, too, with lighting that feels realistic without pushing your phone into overdrive, although it will get a little hot over long sessions (depending on your phone, of course). By necessity, environmental detail isn't the highest, but we were impressed by the quality of both gun and operator models, which are vital.

That mixture of scale and detail is hard to nail, but it works really well here. This is even further enhanced when you drop into 6v6 modes, which look as close to the console experience as we have yet experienced, right down to the UI and designs.

Once we found a control scheme that we liked, we had a great time with looting and shooting, swapping between weapons and moving around the map. Since we were in a limited playtest there were a fair few bots to mow down, but this was nice for a power trip, and fights against actual humans proved challenging and fast-paced.

The amount of weaponry to get to grips with is as impressive as in a mainline game, too, and while we weren't able to access the full gunsmith experience, we can imagine it'll be as detailed too. We were even told that we could have shared loadouts with Modern Warfare 2 - this would make Warzone Mobile a worthy download even if only to edit a gun build on the fly, in our mind.

The future now

It's a weird one to try to work out how big Warzone Mobile will be - after all, COD Mobile is already massive, so its interaction with that existing playerbase is a bit hard to predict.

Leaving that dynamic aside, though, this feels like it could be a massive moment for Call of Duty. It'll finally have the all-platform cohesion that it's been missing.

Like Fortnite, its most dedicated players will be able to hop between long sessions on console or PC and shorter stints on mobile or tablet, with daily challenges on each speeding them through a unified battle pass.

From our time with the game, the feeling of playing it should align with what people want and expect from an updated Call of Duty on mobile, and that's all you can really ask.

There are still plenty of factors that will only become clearer when the game is released, of course, from file size to its performance on lower-end phones and more.

The platform that Warzone Mobile looks like it offers, though, is one that will clearly be an asset to the franchise over the next few years. Now, it just has to get into the public's hands.

Source : https://www.pocket-lint.com/games/news/activision/163431-call-of-duty-warzone-mobile-preview-interview

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