A new poll of Call of Duty players suggests that the original Warzone 1 is considered the better battle royale game, compared to Infinity Ward’s Warzone 2 which launched last year. With rumours regarding CoD 2023 and the continuation of the Modern Warfare 2 story, it seems that shooter fans remain less than impressed with Warzone, despite the Season 2 Reloaded release date and the addition of DMZ mode.
A poll held by Twitch partner and Call of Duty Twitter account Modern Warzone asks CoD players which game they prefer, Warzone 1 or Warzone 2. Precisely 68,161 people have responded, with a staggering 80% saying they prefer the original Warzone over its 2022 sequel.
In a follow-up vote, Modern Warzone asks about Rebirth Island and Verdansk, two fan-favourite game modes from the original Warzone, which are no longer playable in the relaunched version of Warzone 1, Warzone Caldera. “If Call of Duty re-added Rebirth Island and Verdansk to Warzone 1, would you go back to WZ1 or stay on Warzone 2?” the poll asks. With 48,275 responses, 83% of people say they would go back to the first Warzone.
So what’s gone wrong? Movement has been changed a lot between Warzone 1 and 2 – whereas in the original you could run, dodge, and slide-cancel ultra quickly, in the sequel, you’re much slower and more cumbersome, which makes reacting to incoming fire and getting into cover a lot harder. There’s also the issue with time-to-kill or TTK. In Warzone 1, you could absorb more damage, whereas Warzone 2 sees you sent to the gulag with just a couple of hits.
Al-Mazrah doesn’t have the same exciting points of interest or multi-tiered areas as Caldera or Verdansk, and, although they’ve been ironed out since launch, Warzone 2’s original fussy looting and loadout systems cost a lot of early goodwill.
A lot of the systems in Warzone 2 feel like they were designed chiefly to benefit DMZ, the Tarkov-like extraction mode that completes Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer suite. Quicker deaths and slower movement feel more appropriate in a game mode premised on the idea of “all or nothing” – when everyone is competing for guns and loot, with the incentive to grab what you can and exit ASAP, knife-edge health and combat feel suitable. But in a battle royale game, where you want to enjoy big fights and last the distance, it’s just too punishing.
Can Warzone 2 pull it back? With CoD 2023 reportedly a continuation of the Modern Warfare 2 story, potentially even dubbed ‘Modern Warfare 3,’ it seems unlikely that a transformative overhaul to Warzone will arrive anytime soon. More likely is a series of tweaks and improvements over the next couple of years. Maybe, one day, Warzone 2 will be the game we wanted.