Since Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0’s launch, Activision has slowly made improvements to the shooter, with each season being more fun than the last. It’s been a slow burn, but with the launch of Season 3 Reloaded, Warzone 2.0 finally feels like it’s in a decent spot. There’s still much to improve upon, but given the sheer number of fixes and quality-of-life features that have been added with the latest season, I’m finally optimistic about the future of this game.
Ranked is surprisingly fun
The most notable addition to Season 3 Reloaded is Ranked, a mode that has been highly requested since the original Warzone. This features a robust ranking system that gives players a greater incentive to improve and perform well, while also adding a much more competitive feel. Since the original Warzone days, there has always been a lack of incentive to improve. Sure, winning a match is a rush, but after pouring hundreds of hours into the game, it’s easy to get bored. With Warzone Ranked, climbing the ranks places you into different categories, from Bronze all the way to Iridescent and Top 250, while also yielding cosmetic rewards along the way. Each subsequent ranking places you into slightly more skilled lobbies, adding a bit more challenge as you climb.
This is key, as the lobbies are far more consistent in Warzone Ranked than in the standard mode. While the standard mode does feature skill-based matchmaking (SBMM), it seems to be much looser, giving players a wide array of opponents to battle against. This might seem like a nonissue, but it does sometimes cause casual players to come across experts who absolutely wipe the floor with them, making matches feel less consistent. In Warzone Ranked, you’re far less likely to come across players who are more (or less) skilled than you, making it more consistent across the board. Sure, you probably won’t encounter below-average players in Ranked, but most gunfights will feel similar, allowing you to learn and adapt easier.
From my experience, even Bronze-level matches were challenging, but almost all players felt evenly matched, allowing me more opportunities to actually improve. It’s hard to get better when facing off against players with a variety of skill levels in standard mode, as it often feels like it comes down to luck.
Warzone Ranked doesn’t necessarily alleviate the game’s problems, but it does offer enough to keep longtime players invested.
Inching closer to greatness
Beyond the substantial new ranked mode, Warzone 2.0 Season 3 Reloaded is packed with quality-of-life improvements that make a huge difference overall. A huge portion of the new features return from the original Warzone, such as Deployable Buy Stations and lootable Perk Packages, which are welcome additions. The game currently still has a lack of Buy Stations, making the Portable Buy Stations practically essential, especially for the final stages of a match. Being able to toss one down to get stocked up on supplies or buy back teammates can truly bring you back into the fight.
Likewise, the lootable and buyable Perk Packages are another fantastic feature, as they help with the game’s economy. Oftentimes, it’s hard to scrounge up the cash to buy a Loadout Drop to acquire your Perks, so being able to purchase them for $3,500 is an ideal solution. You can also loot Perk Packages from downed players, making it easier to regain if you were just eliminated. What’s neat is that Perk Packages are now treated as items, and you can store extra ones in your backpack. This means you can swap Perk Packages on the fly, allowing you to adjust your strategy whenever you want. This might end up being overpowered, but thus far, it’s a nifty addition that gives players choices.
Another long-overdue addition is the ability to finally buy unlimited UAVs from Buy Stations — but with a caveat: UAVs have been nerfed. Now, the UAV pings will only come from the player who called in the killstreak, which makes them significantly less powerful, especially in team-based modes. UAVs are also more expensive now, so it feels balanced.
Season 3 Reloaded also includes movement changes that bring it much more in line with the original Warzone. It’s not one-to-one, but it certainly feels better now, with improvements to weapon raise delay speeds and sliding, as well as more fluid mantling. Hopefully, Activision will continue to make movement changes to help Warzone 2.0 feel better in terms of its movement, which was a major complaint throughout the first few months the game was on the market.
For some players, it may be too late, but Warzone 2.0 is in a much better spot now than before. It has a long way to go, but it’s heartening to see Activision is finally implementing highly-requested features to make the game better.