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Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 will debut as a new free-to-play battle royale mode on November 16 with a brand new map and a new extraction experience called DMZ.

The game will feature Al Mazrah, a new map set in the Middle East that is built for the modern warfare setting of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Many of the parts of the map will be familiar to players who are already playing Modern Warfare II’s multiplayer.

And the details of the environment will also be familiar as Warzone 2.0, as well as next year’s Warzone Mobile, are built with the same proprietary game engine as Modern Warfare II, which debuted on October 28. And the huge Al Mazrah map will have 18 major points of interest that include some of the maps in Modern Warfare II, like Sarrif Bay.

The oil refinery in Warzone 2.0.

While Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II has been a great success with $1 billion generated in revenue for the premium game in its first 10 days, Warzone 2.0 promises to offer a renewal for the game that became a huge hit during the pandemic when people craved social experiences in online games. More than 125 million people played the free-to-play Warzone, and this launch represents Activision’s chance to get them back into the game. And while Activision Blizzard clearly wants to sell premium games, Warzone is the best chance to get people coming back every day of the year.

I was one of the folks who turned to Warzone, which debuted just as lockdowns started in March 2020. I played it regularly with a crew of friends and acquaintances and strangers. And it was good to come back to it often, in between major releases of other games. If they ever did a Call of Duty metaverse, I’d be up for it.

But Warzone 2.0 is going to be quite fun in the meantime, with the upgraded graphics, underwater fighting, vehicle combat, and more.

DMZ and more

The observatory in Al Mazrah.

One of the new experiences that will entice players back is the DMZ experience, which is an extraction mode similar to Escape From Tarkov’s gameplay or the Dark Zone experience in Tom Clancy’s The Division.

DMZ takes players to an open-world, narrative-focused extraction mode where operators have free reign to complete faction-based missions, take on additional side objectives, engage with enemy operators or AI combatants and search for valuable items. Then they survive by heading toward extraction.

Custom loadouts return

The cradle of civilization.

Players will have quicker access to their custom loadout’s primary benefit, the primary weapon. A new backpack system will be fully integrated for DMZ and streamlined for battle royale modes.

The Gulag is where you go for a chance to re-enter the battle royale after you’ve been eliminated. The new one will be a 2v2 environment where randomly paired duos must coordinate to take down their opposition. It will also include a jailer, who will appear in the middle of the match to help speed up combat. (OK, now, as described, that sounds ridiculous. Go figure).

Third-person combat has been introduced in Modern Warfare II, giving players a wider field of view. And so third-person playlists are coming during the season to Warzone 2.0.

Modern Warfare II Season 01 overview

Plenty of spots for snipers.

Reimagined versions of the Shoot House and Shipment maps are going to be coming for Modern Warfare II’s first season for multiplayer play. Those are among the most chaotic maps imaginable where you spawn near enemies and the action never stops.

Players will also have to conquer a new Battle Pass as they choose map sectors to unlock both free and premium items in whatever order they decide.

The season will introduce four weapons and six operators. Two new weapon platforms and two trios — one of elite soldiers and one of football’s finest — are coming.

A new Special Ops mission and Raid Episode 1 will debut during the season. A seasonal Prestige system will feature new challenges and rewards for those who clear the military ranks.

The Al Mazrah map

Al Mazrah is the new Warzone map.
Al Mazrah is the new Warzone map.

Activision had previously described the new map as a metropolitan area and rural outskirts within the Republic of Adal, the new Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 battleground. The place isn’t really identified, but it’s described as a part of the cradle of civilization.

This massive metropolitan area plays a gigantic role within the Modern Warfare II universe, featured within the campaign and a pivotal part of the events following it. Up to 150 soldiers will drop into the battle royale in this capital city of the region.

The points of interest include the Oasis, with pools of fresh water and palm trees. It includes Taraq Village, which has been reduced to rust and rubble where squads can duel in close combat. The Rohan oil refinery has elevated fighting areas for snipers. You can also explore a massive quarry in an industrial area with a dozen warehouses.

The port in Warzone 2.0’s Al Mazrah map.

The city of Al Mazrah has both high rises and modern buildings at its center. A place called Zarqwa Hydroelectric has renewable energy facilities. The marshlands were once home to a luxury resort that is now completely flooded due to rising river levels. Caves are in sight of a small village.

Atop the tallest mountain in Al Mazrah, several domed structures, including a destroyed one, are part of an old observatory. At the Al Sharim Pass, an old monastery and mausoleum overlook a modern village and zoo. The tallest hill contains several modernized buildings over the rest of the area, partially destroyed due to the elements and the war.

Sa’id City is one of my favorite Ground War maps, and it has an extensive modern mall (where we haven’t gotten to fight yet) juxtaposed by old apartments that housed generations of port workers. The area also contains a medieval-themed carnival and a minor league football stadium.

The Havid Port was the economic gemstone of Al Mazrah, ending the Rohan Oil pipeline out to the greater seas. Several large warehouse structures can be found inland, while the Port itself has few containers due to the international economic restrictions for the region.

The modern part of Al Mazrah.

A coastal village is submerged underwater with a crashed freight ship nearby. And the El Samman Cemetery makes me wonder if we’re going to have a zombie invasion again, though it seems unlikely as the new game has no Zombies mode.

Sariff Bay is home to some fisheries with a downtown section, a resort, and some islands. A big place called Al Bagra Fortress is similar to the fortress in the old Warzone map. This medieval structure looks like an intimidating place to fight.

And the Al Malik Airport has a terminal at the south tip of the city with modern architecture and an observation tower. If it all sounds like a massive place, it is, and I hope to see you there.

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