Warzone Pacific Season 2 review: Caldera finally finds its stride
Call of Duty: Warzone Season 2 was delayed to give the developers time to include more bug fixes and get the game in the best shape possible. It’s finally here, bringing major quality of life changes and new mechanics to Caldera. But was it enough to be worth dropping in again?
While Warzone’s brand-new map breathed fresh life into a battle royale that was in danger of going stale, game-breaking bugs and glitches and a downright frustrating Holiday event soured the experience for many.
Acknowledging that they “f**ked stuff up,” Raven Software delayed the Season 2 update to include even more bugs and fixes. Season 2 has been live for a few days now, giving us plenty of time to get to grips with the new mechanics and features. So, was it worth the wait?
Major Quality of Life improvements fix Caldera
After delaying the Season 2 update by a fortnight, Raven Software released a mountain of patch notes detailing the new additions, weapon balance changes, and bug fixes.
These included some incredible changes that the community has long been asking for – most notably the way Gas Masks no longer force you out of ADS and Armor Plates fill up empty slots first.
While the new POIs haven’t been game-changing, the new mechanics, specifically the Redeploy Balloons, have been the best changes in Warzone Season 2. Caldera’s hilly, almost vertical, layout makes rotating around the map much slower than it was in Verdansk. But the Redeploy Balloons shoot players in the air and allow them to glide wherever they please, seriously cutting down the time spent running around, making Warzone much less of a chore.
While these improvements are great, it’s a shame to see that some major issues have been pushed back to the Season 2 midseason update. These include issues such as invisible skins, console performance, and Modern Warfare still being broken.
Season 2’s Vanguard Royale is the Warzone mode I’ve always wanted
Raven Software spent time ensuring that Vanguard Royale plays differently from the regular Battle Royale playlists, and these changes have reignited my interest in Warzone.
You can no longer get UAVs from Buy Stations, Stun Grenades are banned, and the Loadout Drop comes in much earlier. All of these changes have created the Call of Duty battle royale game I’ve been asking for.
The Perk meta has been extremely stale thanks to UAVs and Heartbeat Sensors. In normal BR, if you don’t have Ghost, you’ll be hunted down and there’s nothing you can do about it. Now, you can take any Perk you like, and bizarrely, players aren’t as afraid to move around anymore because of it.
Loadout Drops coming in earlier have also been much better for pacing. You no longer feel like you need to scramble to find $10k as soon as possible, as you can be comfortable in the knowledge that you’ll be able to pick up your loadout soon.
I was dreading the Bomber plane’s arrival, especially with its ability to destroy Loadout Drops, but they haven’t really seemed to affect the game. In fact, if you prefer to play boots on the ground, you can almost forget they’re there. The same goes for the new Nebula V Ammo which is much less of an issue than Dead Silence and Stopping Power.
Unfortunately, Vanguard Royale will be relegated to only the Quads mode on February 24, but it’s by far the best experience in Warzone Pacific Season 2.
Warzone’s performance remains an issue
I haven’t avoided freezing issues this time around though, as there’s currently an issue where you freeze almost soon as your feet hit the ground – and trying to pick up loot only makes it worse. The devs did acknowledge the issue, so it will hopefully be fixed soon.
Judging from the community, console performance only seems to have improved marginally, and you’ll likely need to wait for the mid-Season 2 update for the rest of the issues to be addressed.
If you haven’t dropped into Caldera in Warzone Season 2 yet, we highly recommend giving it another shot. Raven Software really stepped back and looked at what Warzone needs and have nearly hit the nail on the head.
The Redeploy Balloons allow you to fly around Caldera with ease, and the changes to Vanguard Royale have created the Call of Duty battle royale I’ve always wanted.
At the end of the day, performance remains an issue and Warzone still feels bloated by the ever-growing pool of 150 weapons to choose from. As for Warzone Pacific Season 2 specifically, though, it’s been a very strong addition to Call of Duty’s battle royale.
Reviewed on PC
Image Credit: Activision