Everyone expected Activision to dabble in the battle royale genre eventually, and they sort of did with the Blackout mode in Modern Warfare, but it turns out that was just the warm-up. The CoD series dives right into the trend with Call of Duty: War Zone, a separate release you don’t need to own Modern Warfare to play.
Call of Duty: War Zone consists of two modes: your basic Battle Royale, where a swarm of up to 150 soldiers is gradually reduced to just one, and Plunder, an offshoot where the goal is simply to amass the most loot. Plunder is possibly more brutal as you have an extra incentive to eliminate rivals — you’ll get their cash.
Perhaps the starkest difference War Zone has to its well-established competitors is that death is not truly the end. If you perish on this battlefield, you go to a place called Gulag where you can fight another player in a one-on-one battle…the winner gets to head back to the map. If you lose this, you can still be resurrected but that’s up to your teammates, and whether they want to spend the in-game cash.
Like Apex and Fortnite, Call of Duty: War Zone costs nothing. You can download and begin playing right away (well, it actually launches tomorrow, so not RIGHT AWAY) and to make its bread, the game will bug you for Battle Passes and other stuff that actually does cost money. You know how this works by now.
Call of Duty: War Zone hits Playstation 4, XBox One and PC March 20 at 11 AM Eastern, 8 AM Pacific — for those who own Modern Warfare. Everyone who doesn’t can download it four hours later at 3 PM Eastern / 12 PM Pacific.