Call of Duty: Warzone players have strong feelings about many aspects of the game, but perhaps the most fundamental divide is over the maps: are you an OG Verdansk operator or more in the hectic Rebirth Island style of play? That debate will be refueled with today’s big update taking place alongside an event called Rebirth Reinforced, which overhauls the layouts, appearance, and adds new elements of Rebirth Island.
The update comes with a genuinely interesting potted history of the mapwhich was first seen in Zombies DLC for COD: Black Ops II in April 2013. It was then simply called the island prison, the theme that persists to this day, before becoming known as Alcatraz and later appearing in Black Ops 4. – particularly notable because this was the COD that introduced the battle royale Blackout mode, a test run in Warzone, which offered Alcatraz as one of the maps.
The story goes into some detail of the map’s points of interest and what worked and what didn’t in various iterations – which fits very well with the explanation of why the developers made the changes they did. It gets pretty granular, but to give you an example, the prison yard area has always been a deathtrap on Renaissance Island: open, no cover, surrounded by viewpoints.
This might make sense in terms of how an actual prison yard is designed, but of course this is a silly shooter. So now the courtyard has some canopies and tents inside it, a fortified wall with guard posts and a huge wraparound multi-level walkway that connects to a water tower and the prison steps. All of this might seem pretty obvious, but I find the troubleshooting process interesting and I also find it hard to remember what maps used to look like after playing modded versions of them for years: so if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty of the changes, the map history is worth reading.
The rebirth of Rebirth Island… comes with an event alongside it that sees the community earning kills to unlock Weapon Trading Stations on the island and XP whips. There will be three more events like this, each unlocking additional map features, including comm stations, ATVs, and golden chests full of loot.
After all this excitement, Activision also announced that Snoop Dogg will be added as an operator in the game. This isn’t his first time: the rapper previously recorded a voice pack for COD Ghosts. Yes, the press release comes with a quote.
“The DO Double G is back in Call of Duty and this time I’m in the game! Excited to be working with the COD team to bring some fly features to you all. You can play like me and grab those sick items that have Snoop written on them . Check out.”
Snoop Dogg comes in a gold-embroidered outfit and carries a gold-plated, diamond-encrusted SMG that has a “mini-concert” death effect and somehow gets “even more flashy” as you kill other players. He also recorded new lines for it. I can’t wait, but unfortunately I’ll have to wait: the Snoop Dogg Operator Pack will be released on April 19, and it comes with its own Operator Progression Track, alternate outfits, and tons of other rewards. You can read more about everything here.
Warzone might not make as many headlines as it once did, but this game and the wider series remains an absolute juggernaut. The latest pared down news on COD is that after Vanguard’s disappointing reception, the main series will ‘skip’ 2023: This year’s entry, the sequel to Infinity Ward Modern Warfare, remains on track (and will receive two years of support to fill the gap).
So 2023 is going to be all about the continuation for Warzone, which will again be free-to-play and is being developed by Infinity Ward: the big hook, supposedly, is a new “sandbox” mode. Also, inevitably, one day there will be Snoop Dogg.