Activision’s grand plan for Call of Duty involves integrating traditional games into the series with the phenomenally successful Battle Royale Warzone. It is an idea that in principle benefits players, with progression across games for soldiers, weapons and even the combat pass. But in practice it has been a messy business.
When Black Ops Cold War began its integration with Warzone, the battle royals received a fleet of weapons from Treyarch’s shooter for use on the field. The players predicted weapon balance chaos, and it turned out, with three weapons from Black Ops Cold War that overwhelmed the Warzone meta during the Christmas holidays. Three weeks later, Warzone guard Raven released a nerf for the DMR 1
Shooting metas change when new weapons are added, and Call of Duty is no different. But what’s interesting here, is this new nerf update from Raven begins the beginning of a gunfight difference between games.
Raven’s recent adaptations to DMR and co are exclusive to Warzone. The cannons remain untouched in Black Ops Cold War multiplayer. So, Call of Duty fans who play both games now have to contend that DMR works a little differently in Black Ops Cold War than it does in Warzone.
Overall, gun integration has been poor. Players have complained about weapons statistics that do not make sense, poor quality skins and broken numbers. I’ve mentioned the broken meta – considered by some to be the worst Call of Duty meta ever – Warzone suffered over Christmas when the Black Ops Cold War weapon came into force. The Raven’s nerve is in place, but established Call of Duty content creators who are pushing for changes in the weapons balance have revealed that the ultra-powerful Black Ops weapons in the Cold War remain ultra powerful. Call of Duty YouTuber Xclusive Ace reports in the video below that the DMR may be a little more accurate after updating, which is quite the thing.
It’s a difficult situation given Activision’s cross-platform, cross-game strategy here. When you start up Black Ops Cold War, Warzone or Modern Warfare, you get a triangular menu screen that gives each game a bit of the virtual property. It’s a unified front, a message to Call of Duty fans that no matter what game you play, the ecosystem has you covered.
But season one of Black Ops Cold War and Warzone has not gone as smoothly as many players had hoped. Fans of Black Ops Cold War who have no interest in playing Warzone are not thrilled by the constant gameplay in the battle against Battle Royale. Confusingly, Warzone has two AK-47s, one branded Black Ops, the other Modern Warfare. I mentioned the menu screen, but there’s more: you have to play Warzone to unlock some Black Ops Cold War cosmetics, which is annoying if you own Black Ops Cold War and do not play Warzone.
For example, at level 30 of the season, you release one match-taking Bad Blood skin for Park, as well as the Park’s combat mission. This mission includes four objectives which, when completed, unlock two skins, an emblem and a calling card. The fourth goal requires players to play Warzone.
“Just wanted the skin at the end, so I did all the challenges (several times because they barely tracked), but since they do not let you see the challenges in advance, I found that I had to play a completely different game for one thing I wanted out of this, “said redditor iceyk111.
“It’s not a devastating problem, but I hate Warzone with a burning passion (no insult to some Warzone players, but it’s simply too slow for me) and would appreciate alternative challenges for people who do not want to switch to ALL OTHER GAMES!
Speaking of combat, I’ve already reported on how Modern Warfare deserves a next-generation update and a full second year. As it looks, season six is the last, with only clippings of new content to shoot for. While Modern Warfare players can buy and level the new season one match by playing Infinity Wards games, no new Modern Warfare content is included. It feels like Modern Warfare is being left behind in this new, integrated future.
Raven’s decision to set Warzone’s Black Ops Cold War weapons separate from Black Ops Cold War itself triggers an interesting question: should Warzone break away from the annual Call of Duty series to become its own, completely separate ongoing game , with its own set of operators and weapons? I can not see it happening myself, given Activision’s insight that Warzone is the ultimate store window for new Call of Duty games. After all, the company revealed Black Ops Cold War during a Warzone event.
Perhaps more reasonable is that all Call of Duty games should be built on the same engine. Infinity Ward did wonders with 2019’s Modern Warfare and Warzone. Black Ops Cold War, which runs on a different engine, feels like a step back in many respects. If the Call of Duty games were built on the same engine, weapons would in theory at least feel consistent across the different experiences. I’m waiting with interest to see how 2021’s great new Call of Duty game, no doubt an effort from Sledgehammer, tackles this issue. Are players facing Warzone, which is getting an influx of new weapons from yet another new game in just ten months? If so, will Black Ops Cold War be left behind after just one year, as Modern Warfare has done?
Activision presents Call of Duty as an open church, but it is clear that at this early stage in the new way, there are more than a few loose ends. Meanwhile, players in every game – Black Ops Cold War, Warzone and Modern Warfare – feel that their favorite would do better as a lone wolf.