While we don’t know much about 2021’s Call of Duty installment, we do know it’ll be heavily integrated into Warzone, the series’ standalone free-to-play battle royale. The next Call of Duty game is reportedly called Vanguard and will send players back to World War II with a Pacific-themed map in the works for Warzone.
This could have a major impact on the state of Warzone, particularly in the flow of each match. The game has evolved substantially since launching in March 2020, with map alterations ranging from small and subtle, not to mention massive facelifts like Season 3’s implementation of Verdansk ‘84.
There are certainly benefits to both approaches. Changing too much could alienate hardcore players, while not changing enough could make Warzone to feel stale.
A new data-mine corroborates the WWII setting while also hinting towards a Warzone map refresh rather than an entirely new area built from scratch. If the information in the data-mine is true, it could give every type of Warzone players exactly what they want.
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Meet in the middle
The addition of Verdansk ‘84 was the most substantial map change in the history of Warzone. It wasn’t a fundamentally “new” map but included enough new points of interest and features to keep things fresh — all while still keeping the general overall layout of Verdansk. It even had a yellowy visual filter overtop to remind us of the ‘80s.
The ‘80s time period was recent enough to make Warzone feel familiar yet new. However, going back to World War II could feel too different.
According to a reputable data-miner who goes by “Glitchy” online, however, the new Warzone map will have the following points of interest:
- Radio Station
- Sub Pen
If these are, in fact, the new points of interest that will be added to Warzone when Vanguard launches, the WWII map change could be in line with Verdansk ‘84 rather than a total replacement.
Some of the points of interest in the data-mine can be easily compared to the current version of Verdansk. Airport would become Airstrip, Farmland would turn into Farms, TV Station would be Radio Station, and the neighborhoods of Promenade might change to Village. And some of the POIs such as Caldera could be entirely new to give the map some flavor.
The general outline of the Pacific WWII map itself could still have the same layout as Verdansk while having new points of interest in line with a 1940s aesthetic — along with some alterations to buildings or other structural revamps.
Keep in mind, this isn’t necessarily a confirmation of what’s to come, but given the reports and the credibility of the data-miner, it’s at least an indication of what Warzone could look like this fall.
Changing to a World War II setting could be alienating. But given the possible new points of interest, as well as the way Verdansk ‘84 was handled, the new Pacific map could strike a balance that makes sense for as many players as possible.
What about Rebirth Island?
It’s not frequently discussed, but Call of Duty: Warzone actually has two maps: Verdansk ‘84 and Rebirth Island. The less popular Rebirth Island is smaller and rewards a faster, more aggressive playstyle.
Although this map is beloved (and wasn’t changed much after the Season 3 update), we’d love to see Raven Software and Sledgehammer Games experiment with more substantial alterations to Rebirth Island when Vanguard launches. In fact, Rebirth Island could be totally replaced altogether, as long as it kept the same fast-paced and balanced nature intact.
It would make sense for Activision to experiment with more drastic changes with Rebirth Island instead of with Verdansk. This would appease those looking for something totally new while keeping Verdansk’s general layout the same for veteran players.
Ultimately, with a live service game such as Call of Duty: Warzone, striking the right balance of familiar and new can be tricky. But there should be plenty of new things to look forward to in Warzone when Vanguard launches. Will it be enough to keep everyone happy?