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Call of Duty: Warzone Season Five features gameplay changes such as a major change to the center of the map, as players will now be able to play inside the map’s stadium. Changes to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer are also debuting as Activision and its Infinity Ward game studio try to keep players engaged in the free-to-play battle royale longer during the pandemic.

Season 5 goes live August 5. The official trailer shows a soldier planting a bomb on the glass roof of the stadium, blowing the lid off the place. Players will now be able to fight and maneuver inside the stadium in the first major change to the map since the battle royale debuted in March.

That makes a lot of sense, as the stadium really just sort of functioned as a place for snipers with helicopters to camp out and let everybody else fight it out below. Now it will be more like a hot spot in the middle of the action. The game also added a train that runs through the map.

Aided by shelter-in-place rules, Warzone was downloaded more than 60 million times in its first two months. As a result, Activision’s development studio Infinity Ward has been making more changes to the battle royale than previously planned, including story-related beats that are hinting at the next Call of Duty game, which is believed to be Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

My latest exploits

Warzone has been a godsend for me since I’ve been sheltering in place since March. Social distancing and self-isolation contributed to Warzone’s success. It has come to the attention of a wider group, particularly parents or other household members who discover their gamer is obsessed.

It’s a compelling game, but it’s not easy to win. One hundred fifty players compete in a fight to the finish. You can play solo, or join teams of three or four squadmates. But only one team comes out as the winner as a shrinking circle forces everyone together on the battleground.

I recently won a second match in Warzone, but only because I played with the Warzone experts at Griffin Gaming Partners: Anthony “Stembo” Palma, James “Stvrgeon” Wing, and Pierre “PierrePressr” Planche. They created this highlight reel from the game.

And here’s the match from my view, including chopping folks up with helicopter blades.

At the end, I take credit for breaking the guy’s shields before Anthony took him out. Now we’ll have to work on fighting it out in the stadium. I’ve now got two wins and 61 top 10s out of 350 matches over more than four days of playing. (Yes, I never said I was good, but Warzone really depends on playing with people who are good teammates. They can carry even me to victory.)

Even though I am quite mediocre, I enjoy playing. It’s immensely fun, and that’s what matters to me. You may be intimidated by it at first, but if you tell your squadmates it’s your first game, they will likely be very helpful (if they’re playing with microphones).

The Warzone update details

Above: Fighting in the stadium in Warzone.

Image Credit: Activision

In the story, chaos is growing across the Eastern Ukraine city of Verdansk as the armistice between factions hits the breaking point.

A new faction, Shadow Company, makes its entrance by blowing the lid off the Acropolis National Arena to bolster the Allegiance in its fight against The Coalition. It looks like you’ll be able to run around everywhere in the massive place, including on the pitch and in the rows of seating. You can go into the underground parking structure or fight among the concession stands and in the lobby.

The interior of the Train Station will open up, and a giant freight train will move through the city, giving you the option to ride it from one side of the map to the other. Of course, if you get in the way of the train, it will run you over, and it may cut off your escape as you’re trying to flee the shrinking gas cloud. The train follows the main arterial roadway in a loop around the map.

Did they steal this idea from Apex Legends? OK, we won’t talk about that.

Multiplayer additions

Above: Season Five of Call of Duty: Warzone arrives on August 5.

Image Credit: Activision

For Modern Warfare multiplayer, players will get a new Ground War map, two standard maps, and a Gunfight map (dubbed Livestock, where you can fight one-on-one or two-on-two). If you own the full version of Modern Warfare, you can play the new maps.

The multiplayer maps include the Petrov Oil Rig, where you fight on the oil rig in a 6-vs.-6 multiplayer battle.

Suldal Harbor is set in the Middle East, where players can fight 6-vs-6 while weaving through a variety of dockside structures. You’ll see shipping areas, fish markets, and weather-beaten administrative buildings. This harbor is located within a large port city that boasts a medieval castle perched on a distant bluff.

The free-to-play Warzone users can experience Modern Warfare multiplayer for free on August 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific to August 12 at 10 a.m.

New modes and more

Above: You can ride the train in Season Five in Warzone.

Image Credit: Activision

Both multiplayer and Warzone will get some new modes. The Mini Royale mode reduces the number of players (from a max of 150) but quickens the battle royale fight. It lasts for the first and last five minutes of a usual match, meaning you’ll have to be constantly on the move.

The weaponry you discover lying on the ground or in Supply Crates has been updated to potentially provide new pre-Loadout Drop weapon tactics for your squad. You can expect to find eight Common, 13 Uncommon, 15 Rare, 19 Epic, and 25 Legendary variants throughout Verdansk.

You also get some new Wartracks, or songs that you can hear while cruising through Verdansk with vehicles. You can get three unique songs including Sepulchre to get you in the mood. You can equip one track to a specific vehicle in the Vehicle Customization menu (like Battle Horns); as soon you hop in, the music gets turned up. Your squad can listen to the beat while you drive. All three tracks are unlocked when you purchase the Battle Pass.

New Operators and Operator Skins are now available, as well as two new free guns (and more available to unlock) and other gear. One of the scenes shows players will be able to ride a cable (known as an exterior ascender) up to the top of a skyscraper, giving players a new avenue of attack against snipers camping on top of a building.

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