Call of Duty Modern Warfare launched Warzone, its Battle Royal offering, last month on March 10th 2020. And in an unprecedented move, made it free to play for everyone, even those who hadn’t purchased the actual game Modern Warfare. The take-up was swift and emphatic with six million players in its first 24 hours, and more than 50 million downloads in it’s first month. A new feature has brought about an online training phenomenon known as Gulag Gurus.
Warzone is similar to the BR game (Blackout) launched alongside the last COD title Black Ops 4, but with a few key differences.
Like Blackout, Warzone features a ‘last man standing’ game mode where players drop into a large world, with sections comprising of a mixture of previous COD multiplayer maps and new areas such as open areas of countryside and larger cities.
New features include 150 player lobbies at launch (up to 200 planned in the future), in game currency, looting, buy stations, contracts, balanced guns and armour and supply drops. Kill someone and their guns, armour, and cash remain on the ground for you to pickup.
Warzone finally manages to carve out its own identity with interesting spins on the existing formula.
>> Gamespot Review of Call of Duty: Warzone
The main new feature though, is when you first die.
Many players get frustrated with Battle Royal games. Random chance of armour and gun distribution means you can die within 60 seconds of landing – sometimes even before you land if you’re unfortunate enough to have a good player parachuting in behind you.
On your first death you get captured and send to the Gulag. The Gulag is a new feature where you fight one on one in a small showers map – there are 3 possible gulag map combinations.
— Call of Duty ANZ (@CallofDuty_ANZ) April 15, 2020
Fight an opponent in the Gulag with varying weapons. Watch others fight form a balcony encircling the Gulag. If one of your teammates dies and enters the Gulag behind you, they can even call out where your opponent is on the map. You can even use rocks to hit your friend’s opponent or signal his position.
Win the fight and you redeploy in and can join your team. Lose and you’re out. Your team can still buy you back in at a a buy station, if they can get the cash together.
Losing in the Gulag can be hugely frustrating! There is a mixture of positional luck, and marksmanship with usually a pistol.
OnBuy, an online marketplace, has launched a new service where players struggling to break out of the Gulag can hire professional coaches to aid them.
Gulag gurus and Warzone players who are good at the game can sign up via the marketplace to get paid £35/hr to play and provide a professional coaching service for players who are looking to improve.