Activision hyped its Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 Season 3 update considerably ,with numerous blog posts showcasing what to expect, along with a content creator call that detailed a slew of highly requested features. Now that the update is live, some members of the game’s community are left feeling misled, as Season 3 isn’t quite the radical change they were expecting.
While it does include new features and fix some of the sequel’s long-standing issues, Warzone 2.0 is still packed with problems — many of which make the game less approachable. Season 3 is a step in the right direction, but considering just how low the bar was before its release, it’s not as impressive as it perhaps needs to be at this stage in the game’s life, especially from a massive studio such as Activision.
Despite its plethora of issues, Season 3 does offer enough new content and features to at least justify checking out the update. With it, comes the new FJX Imperium sniper, the Cronen Squall battle rifle, and the return of one-shot snipers (though with a massive caveat). It also includes the Massive Resurgence mode, which allows players to respawn on the big Al Mazrah map. It’s a nice addition, as it encourages more aggressive playstyles on Al Mazrah since players aren’t penalized as hard for being eliminated.
Beyond that, the update does offer smaller, yet notable features that make a world of difference, such as the introduction of the Tempered plate vests, which allow players to reach max armor with only two plates instead of three. Likewise, certain movement elements were improved upon, adding a speed boost to sliding and a reduction of firing delay after diving. All of these features are much needed and make the game better, at least conceptually. In practice though, some of these ideas still need work.
You can look to Season 3’s new one-shot snipers as an example of that. To earn a one-hit elimination with a sniper, players must utilize explosive rounds on a bolt-action rifle. These rounds severely impact the weapon’s bullet velocity, but deal enough damage to down a fully plated enemy. The issue is that unlocking the explosive round attachment is a long, arduous process that many players will have to grind for at the start of the season.
Prior to the update’s release, Activision didn’t disclose just how the one-shot mechanic would work, so players weren’t able to grind ahead of time to unlock the attachment. The entire process of earning attachments is still wildly complicated, and it’s easy to see why a newcomer would be turned off. Sure, the one-shot sniping mechanic works well … if you spend hours upon hours to actually earn the attachment.
The Season 3 update is also packed to the brim with connection issues, making it unplayable at times due to lag. This doesn’t happen often, but it did occur multiple times during my play session, leading to many botched engagements in the heat of battle. Sometimes, the game will freeze momentarily, but only for some players. When this happens, you might get eliminated while the game is frozen, which is absolutely maddening.
The issues don’t stop there. My very first Massive Resurgence match failed to load in Buy Stations for me, despite them being available for my teammates. Other times, it takes painfully long to simply load into a game. The issues go on and on. It’s as if Warzone 2.0 is still in beta.
A major problem has to do with the way Activision set expectations for this update. For instance, the patch notes — while extensive — weren’t very detailed, which seems like a way for Activision to have its cake and eat it, too. In the past, Raven Software was known for its highly detailed patch notes, which would highlight changes down to the millisecond. But the Season 3 patch notes use vague terms like “increased” or “adjusted.” Activision also held a content creator call prior to the update’s release, promising major movement changes and even improvements to the game’s time to kill (TTK). Sadly, none of these features were implemented, causing confusion and disappointment.
The final nail in the coffin is that Activision seems increasingly focused on selling store bundles, particularly during Season 3. New during this update is a DLC bundle called BlackCell, which gives players COD points, battle pass tier skips, and other cosmetics for $30. Earning the new Season 3 weapons also takes a while, further encouraging players to spend real money. On top of that, a Bomb Squad bundle was added for DMZ players, giving them access to a fourth Active Duty Operator slot that cannot be earned by simply playing the game. Since Warzone 2.0 is free-to-play, it makes sense to see so many store bundles available — but given the game’s state, it’s egregious and borderline insulting to expect the community to spend real money.
While Season 3 does address some issues, Warzone 2.0 still has a long way to go before it’s on the level of the original Warzone.
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