Warzone 2 will never match the original and that’s okay

Liam Mackay
Warzone 2 operators in deployment plane

There’s a ton of hype for Call of Duty: Warzone 2’s release but we’re going to have to accept that it’ll never live up to the original, and there’s nothing Infinity Ward can do to change that. And that’s totally okay.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was March 2020 and Infinity Ward had just dropped their free-to-play battle royale game, Call of Duty: Warzone. With everyone told to remain indoors, gaming became a wonderful respite for many, taking their mind off the state of the world and virtually connecting with friends.

Alongside Zoom quizzes and binge eating, for me and many others, Warzone was a central part of that experience. I’ve never had more friends online at once, and we all played Warzone together.

Verdansk wasn’t without its flaws, but it was the place where my friends and I would drop Stadium every time, shoot RPGs at every car we saw, and — this only applies to me — try as hard as I can to reach and maintain that illustrious 2 K/D (I did!).

Helicopters flying towards verdansk stadium

But those times are over now, we’re all back at work and Warzone just wasn’t the same after it moved to Caldera. My core group of friends and I still game together all the time but the four of us haven’t been on Warzone together since before Vanguard was released. I can’t say it’s the same for everyone, but I’ve seen many share the exact same experience.

With Modern Warfare 2 now here, Infinity Ward are launching Warzone 2.0, a totally separate, brand-new game, on November 16. It’s bringing things back to basics, dropping all of the bloat that the original acquired with Cold War and Vanguard’s releases, featuring only content from Modern Warfare 2.

But the truth is, no matter how good Warzone 2 will be when it releases on November 16, it just won’t match that experience. And it’s not the game’s fault at all, it’s launching in a completely different climate — both in terms of the world and gaming as a whole.

warzone 2 player leaning out of vehicle

When Warzone was first released, we had no expectations and nothing to really compare it to. Blackout never took off the way it should’ve, Fortnite and Apex Legends didn’t appeal to everyone, and PUBG especially didn’t. It was a totally brand-new experience so everything felt fresh, new, and fun.

And Warzone 2 just won’t feel that same way as players’ expectations have changed. Gamers are going to be looking for perfection in a way they just weren’t with the original, so even though it might run better, have fewer cheaters, and have better balance, the flaws will likely poke through sharper than they did with Warzone 1.

But it’s okay that Warzone 2 won’t match the original. Playing Modern Warfare 2 (2022) after work doesn’t feel the same as playing Modern Warfare 2 (2009) after school, and it probably never will again. We can always look back at those times and appreciate them, the good and the bad.

Image Credit: Activision

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