Following yesterday’s Warzone nuke events, Call of Duty’s Season Three has officially begun for both Black Ops Cold War and Warzone. Season Three introduces a “new” Warzone map, while Cold War gets new multiplayer maps, weapons, operators, Zombies updates, and more. There’s also a new 100-tier Battle Pass to grind. It’s a lot of what you’d expect from a new season of Call of Duty content, but it also launches with a few interesting events.
Today, Activision closed off Warzone’s three part “Operation Rapid Sunder” event with the Destruction of Verdansk Part 2. While the second part of yesterday’s event took place on Rebirth Island 15 minutes after the destruction of Verdansk, part three travelled back to Rebirth Island 10 minutes before the nuke went off. It was a limited-time mode that let teams fight for control of a nuclear detonator. It seems as long as a player was holding the device, a detonation metre would fill up. The game ended once the metre reached 100%, and boom, players witnessed the nuking of Verdansk from the coast of Rebirth Island.
The match was pretty short, but then there was a cinematic cutscene that showed time in reverse. The nuke flew away from Verdansk, and then a view of a globe spun time backwards until we ended in 1984. Players were then immediately dropped into a new match, but this one was played on the newly introduced 1984 Verdansk.
Players can now join the normal Warzone playlists of standard solos, duos, trios, and quads for 1984 Verdansk. The money-based Plunder mode is also available.
As the name suggests, the new map is mostly a 1980s reskin of the old Verdansk map, leaving many popular points of interest, such as Superstore, Hospital, Stadium, and Farmland. While this might be underwhelming for a “new” map, it does bring a slightly fresher look to Warzone. But, wow, 1984 Verdansk is a lot of the same, even down to some of the smaller buildings like the little police stations.
However, there are drastic changes to the Stadium, which looks more like an old school stadium with a smaller, much more open design instead of its past massive, dome style. Downtown is redesigned a bit, and the Broadcast skyscraper building now has some unfinished levels to make the space more open and accessible, so maybe it won’t be as campy and claustrophobic. The landscape throughout Verdansk is a little greener, I guess? But overall I was hoping for more vibrancy throughout this ‘80s redesign.
You can now drop to locations such as Summit and Standoff from the old Black Ops games. And I’m sure there are some hidden details and Easter eggs to uncover, as players begin to explore this new(ish) map.
Today’s Warzone closer event wasn’t a huge surprise due to leaks, but the map really did need a refresher. It’s just too early to tell if travelling back to the ‘80s will be enough.
Operation Rapid Sunder might be over, but there’s now a limited-time “Hunt for Adler” event, which continues from Season Two’s narrative that saw Black Ops operator Frank Woods leading a CIA strike team in the search for captured operative Russell Adler. It was believed Adler was being held prisoner in the jungles of Laos. The rescue mission was a bust, and Season Three’s new intel shows that Adler is actually in Verdansk.
The new “Hunt for Adler” limited-time event provides players with unique in-game challenges in both Black Ops Cold War and Warzone to learn of Adler’s whereabouts. Completing the intel challenges will also unlock event rewards. It’s basically like the normal multiplayer and Warzone missions we’ve seen in the past, but I’m happy to see an event tie in with Call of Duty’s ongoing narrative for Black Ops Cold War. Plus, completing the challenges will unlock reward items, such as weapon charms, calling cards, a new operator skin, and more.
If Adler’s story event doesn’t interest you, there’s still plenty more content added to Black Ops Cold War, including new multiplayer maps. “Yamantau” is a standard 6v6 multiplayer map set in the ruins of a Soviet observatory on Mount Yamantau. “Diesel” is a desert location, and it will be available for both standard 6v6 modes and 2v2 and 3v3 Gunfight. The classic “Standoff” map from Black Ops 2 didn’t arrive today, but players can expect this fan-favourite to return later in Season Three. Lastly, “Duga” is a new large-scale map set in the Ural Mountains. Duga is available now in the Zombies Outbreak mode, but it will also become available for the Fireteam multiplayer mode later in the season.
Sticks and Stones, the classic Black Ops series party mode, is now available to play in Cold War. In this free-for-all mode each player is armed with the R1 Shadowhunter crossbow, a ballistic knife, and a tomahawk. Points are earned by getting kills with the crossbow and ballistic knife, while eliminating enemies with the tomahawk will reset their score to zero. The first player to reach the score limit or the player with the highest score when the timer expires wins.
There’s also a new scorestreak that was added to Cold War’s multiplayer. The Strafe Run is a lethal scorestreak that’s appeared in some past Call of Duty games. The streak works pretty similarly in Cold War, with a pair of jet fighters raining bullets down onto a targeted area of the map.
Season Three’s Zombies content might be disappointing for fans waiting for a new standard map to play. This season keeps the focus on more content for Cold War’s objective-based Outbreak mode. Outbreak is not only getting the addition of Duga added to the map pool, but there’s also new vehicles, more objective opportunities, and the addition of world events.
Overall, there’s a lot of stuff packed into Black Ops Cold War and Warzone with Season Three, and the last two days of events are already way more interesting than the entirety of Season Two. I hope that Activision can keep the momentum from the last few days, and work to apply more map updates to keep Warzone feeling spicy, while also keeping the maps flowing for multiplayer and Zombies.