By George Wood
My complete, all-consuming engagement to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare since I first strapped on my combat boots and unholstered my virtual firearm has been nearly uninterrupted, except for pesky responsibilities like tending to hunger, thirst, bathroom breaks and working to accumulate enough cash to keep playing. Even when I’m not actively trying to boost my personal Kill/Death ratio from pretty bad to average, I still have Modern Warfare on my mind. This manifests itself in a couple different ways:
- Watching terrific match highlights by top ranked shooters who are lightyears more deadly and bloodthirsty than I’ll ever be, and
- Trawling the interwebs for spicy new updates on developments and rumors related to the Modern Warfare universe.
It was only a few nights ago where I stumbled on some particularly juicy information, something that was inevitable but nevertheless glorious enough to set my heart racing faster than the P90’s rate of fire, (if you know, you know).
Two words: Battle Royale.
This is not a new concept within the Call of Duty series; Blackout mode in Black Ops 4 was the title’s first foray into this highly trending game variant and in my opinion it was done crushing justice.
Obviously, it was only a matter of time before Infinity Ward began development for Battle Royale within the critically acclaimed and massively popular Modern Warfare and I could not be more stoked after reading the news on it. Travel down the list below and prepare to get excited.
Big ups to Call of Duty data miner Senescallo for doing the good work for the rest of us, revealing secrets previously unknown and publishing it for all to peruse on the Modern Warfare subreddit. Of course, because this is a raw data mine leak and not an official drop from the people over at Infinity Ward there should still be at least some reservations on the details. Despite that disclaimer, the info seems to be legit or at least being perceived as such across the internet. Worst case scenario, the hype is for nothing but the sheer level of detail that was acquired seems to suggest otherwise. I mean, with the massive success that the game has seen thus far it’s almost more unbelievable to assume Modern Warfare would forego a Battle Royale mode.
1. 200 Person Warfare
Oh yes, you read that right. Blackout in Black Ops 4 barely broke 100 battling competitors in their version of the Battle Royale. Modern Warfare Battle Royale struts right in, ordering a sizable enough bloodbath that would make even the most sadistic Roman Emperor blush. This is utter chaos and a scale of mayhem that Ground War could never hope to achieve. In this case, quantity is a strong quality. Sure this will likely translate into loooong matches, (unless you’re like me and not very good), but there are many aspects to the upcoming game mode that will make the minutes fly by.
2. Gigantic Battle Royale Map
A large population of warriors engaged in contentious combat requires a sizable battleground. According to images available on Eurogamer, (unfortunately, the images are no longer available on Reddit), the warzone is quite expansive, surrounded by snowcapped mountains in a horseshoe shape with a large body of water to the south. Variety in overland terrain is essential to keep this game mode interesting for the months ahead when it is unleashed upon the trigger-happy public. Fortunately, the list of zones unveiled by the leak seems to guarantee a new firefight with each play.
The list of zones includes:
· Storage Town
· TV Station
3. Battle Royale in New Engine
One of the most radical changes Modern Warfare exhibited when compared to its predecessors is its IW 4.0 engine, allowing better streaming speeds on larger regions of maps, with a minimum 60 fps running speed. Obviously, this will be put to the test when compensating for 200 actively running and gunning players. Still, the graphic improvements have been noticeable when comparing Black Ops 4 and Modern Warfare, and there is no reason to believe things will be any different with their respective takes on Battle Royale.
4. Respawn via Gulag
Dying is a tricky business, but it can also open up the door for revival opportunity via ONE ON ONE GLADIATOR SHOWDOWNS. Enter the Gulag: The leak talks about “Respawn Tokens,” which each individual shooter holds at the beginning of the match and can use to resurrect themselves by competing in a sort of playable purgatory. Upon death, if the player holds a “Respawn Token” they are entered into the Gulag queue, which randomly chooses two of the dead to battle for the chance to jump back into the Battle Royale once again. Almost like a higher stakes loser’s bracket. Other players spectate in the grandstands, with a countdown displaying when it is their turn to do battle.
The catch? At some point during the game, apparently the Gulag shuts down and players can no longer join the fray. So really, you should still try to avoid dying if that much isn’t apparent. One other cool component that is mentioned in the leak is a random Gulag “jailbreak” where all those who have perished and are queued up in the Gulag line are immediately resurrected to commit some more acts of reckless virtual carnage. I can’t overstate how innovative I think this approach to respawn is.
5. Plunders System
Much like real life, no good prison-esque gladiator fighting is complete without some high-stakes side betting. The currency in this case is “Plunder,” which can be used to buy items that will aid in your survival from Plunder Boxes or purchase XP from ATM Machines. Plunder is a valuable game-changer, it can be acquired by looting the corpses of the fallen or completing missions (more on missions in a second). You can bet this Plunder on Gulag bouts as well, according to the leak. If you’re a savvy enough collector of Plunder, you can even claim the end-of-game title of “Best Plunderer.”
An interesting twist regarding the exchange of Plunder has to do with the ATM Machines one must use to gain XP. Should you exchange your hard-earned Plunder for XP, an alarm goes off and alerts all players in the vicinity of your whereabouts. You’ll need to execute a quick and clean getaway to avoid getting greased and providing your enemies with the valuable resource.
Talking about meta-games, solo players and squads can earn plunder and loot by participating in challenges within the match, including Timed Run, Assassination, Scavenger Hunt, Domination and more. Only one Mission can be taken on at a time, but whichever one you are tasked with is sure to liven up the already intense action on the field
There is always some form of loot offered in all the current iterations of Battle Royale games and Modern Warfare BR doesn’t seem to be any different. The data mine declares that loot can mean upgradable chest pieces and helmets, all weapons, kill-streak bonuses, weapon attachments and more. Each individual loot item also has an attributed rarity to it, so expect to see certain drops more often than others. Also, take care not to become a packrat: You can only carry two weapons at a time and there is limited inventory space for other loot items.
8. Mobile Armories
Want your goods back following death and then subsequent revival after a victorious Gulag match? You’ll need to locate a mobile armory to retrieve your load-outs. Not many other details are available on the mobile armories but it seems they will play a significant role in Battle Royale.
9. Perk System
Perks are a defining marker of success in multiplayer, a booster that separates the strong from the dead. There is a long list of available perks on the data mine, 20 to be exact. The list includes Medic Scavenger, Bounty Hunter, Deep Pockets, High Alert and more. Like other game modes, each player will have to experiment with the different options to decide which perks jive best with their tactics in-game.
10. Game Modes
As if 200 people wasn’t enough to keep track of, Battle Royale is also offering different ways to seize the victory: Solo, two-person Duos, and four person Squads. These different game modes affect multiple aspects of how the match plays out, but the end goal is still to remain as the last man/team standing. Besides these standard playlists, there is also custom games. Custom games apparently have a variety of features, such as changing circle size and the beginning of a match and the amount of damage you will take from a circle.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare only dropped a couple months ago, not to mention Season One being unveiled this past month. With this steady recent cascade of goodies, I would not be surprised if we don’t hear an official announcement from the developers until sometime into 2020. Of course, there is always the possibility that they’ll raise a stink about this data mining affair and axe the whole project (unlikely).
There are many variants of Battle Royale on the market right now, but if all the above aspects are implemented into the final product, I am so excited to see a tried and trending mode completely revamped. As if I needed another reason to be completely drawn deeper into the Modern Warfare universe.