Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile hands-on preview

Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile hands-on preview

It’s been over two and a half years since we first parachuted into Verdansk, but Warzone’s first map is still in the hearts of fans. After a gripping saga that spanned two Call of Duty games, welcomed an outbreak of zombies, and culminated in a cataclysmic event that wiped the map from the face of Warzone, it seemed unlikely we’d ever see it again. in all his glory again. Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile has different ideas though, and by bringing us back to a 120-player lobby version of Verdansk, it focuses on the ambitious task of bringing one of the most popular battle royales to mobile devices. .

While Warzone 2.0 moves in a different direction, Warzone Mobile instead chooses to focus on refining a familiar experience for a new platform. We return to the dawn of Verdansk and it feels good to be home – falling warm in old haunts like Downtown and Hospital is almost comforting after a long time away, although there are trade-offs to be made. to find.

To keep the pace fast and the duels fast, Warzone Mobile implements a bunch of toggleable automations to remove some of the clunkyness that comes with playing a shooter on a touchscreen. Auto-fire, jump over obstacles, and sprint lock are just a few of the new options available, along with other buttons that appear onscreen to perform unwieldy interactions, like riding uphill. long stairs. Although there are a good number of on-screen prompts, the user interface is intuitive and easy to grasp. As someone who plays Warzone with a keyboard and mouse, I was surprised at how comfortable it is to play on a touchscreen. Adjusting to these controls takes a bit of practice, but it feels good enough for a quick on-the-go session. That said, Activision is working on implementing controller support, so there’s no need to force yourself into making this adjustment if your preference is a pad.

Warzone Mobile still looks unmistakably like its older sibling, and it’s encouraging to see that the experience has been streamlined and optimized for phones without losing the game’s identity. but there’s also a shorter 10-minute mode that’s perfect for those who want to dive in and out. Much like Warzone’s existing rotating playlists, Warzone Mobile also supports Solos, Duos, Trios, and Quads, which will be cycled to reduce queue times. Core features such as the Gulag and Cash System return intact, but new features introduced in Warzone 2.0 such as the ability to pause mid-reload and slide to subject are also making their way. Really, the only compromise is the addition of AI bots to combat long queues. This is quite common for online mobile games though, and with the size of Warzone’s fan base, I don’t see it as too big of an issue in the long run.

Warzone Mobile is shaping up to be a worthy companion to today’s Call of Duty heavy hitters.

This pocket version of Warzone was designed to sit alongside Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0, with cross progression for weapons and the battle pass. This is a huge step forward in unifying the trio of games and great news for players considering how long it takes to unlock and upgrade weapons in MW2’s multiplayer modes. Rather than creating a separate set of loadouts in Warzone Mobile, players can take advantage of their Modern Warfare 2 weapons and attachments and still earn XP. It works both ways, so newly unlocked items in the mobile version can then be used in MW2. For those who want to push through the season’s battle pass, Warzone Mobile also lets you rack up more XP as it offers its own set of daily challenges. Plus, exclusive content will be up for grabs, kicking off with a new Operator, making die-hard fans dive in every once in a while to expand their cosmetics collection.

Alongside the battle royale mode, Warzone Mobile launches with two classic multiplayer modes – Domination and Team Deathmatch. These 6v6 matches take place in locations far from Verdansk, condensing Warzone’s sweaty firefights into small arenas. As a big fan of Call of Duty multiplayer, I found those tight levels and intense encounters emulated the frenetic feel of those modes quite well. Unlike battle royale, due to its fast-paced nature, multiplayer is considerably more difficult on a touchscreen, as it’s much harder to latch on to enemies and quickly turn to react to those on my flank. However, I soon found myself comfortable with the rhythm of these rounds. Using the touchscreen to deploy killstreaks and throwables might feel a bit sluggish, but I can see how using a controller would make this experience much closer to what we’ve come to expect on PC and consoles. from Call of Duty. The inclusion of these traditional multiplayer modes is welcome as it gives players the chance to adapt to some of Warzone Mobile’s quirks and quality of life adjustments in a casual match before venturing into the unforgiving conditions. of the battle royale.

Overall, I’m impressed with what I’ve seen from Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile. It unifies the current Call of Duty roster while delivering a map that fans are desperate to revisit. I expect it to serve as a way to top up my XP when I want to play Warzone, but I can’t dedicate myself to a full session on PC. That’s not to say it’s not a complete experience on its own, though. It’s still a faithful version of Warzone, and I could see mobile players jumping around with a controller to get the most out of it, and in a pinch I’m confident others will adapt to the touchscreen and pass always a good time playing casually.

Squeezing Warzone onto mobile devices isn’t an easy task, but Activision managed to bring it to the platform without compromising the game’s DNA too much. It still looks a lot like Warzone, with each new tweak ensuring that the experience translates to mobile as easily as possible. In a world where Warzone Caldera and Warzone 2.0 exist, I wasn’t convinced we needed a new iteration of the game. But Warzone Mobile is shaping up to be a worthy companion to today’s Call of Duty heavy hitters, opening up its iconic Battle Royale map to a whole new platform of players in the process and delivering a healthy dose of nostalgia to others.

Emma Matthews is IGN’s Junior Syndication Editor.

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