One of the players to complete the Call of Duty: Warzone in-game event Wednesday summed up the race across Verdansk looking for a weapon blueprint and trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold war about as well as anyone can.
They meant it in a good way, I assure you. A thrilling sprint across the Warzone map included killing players, looting, finding a specific spot with a map key, using that key to find coordinates on the map where a blueprint was and, finally, locating a soldier tucked away within a large square of the map to claim your blueprint and see the final cutscenes.
With a worldwide multiplayer reveal coming up on Sept. 9 and the Cold War release on Nov. 13, there isn’t much time to make use of the in-game rewards, but the drop into Verdansk for the « Know Your History » event was well worth the 15 minutes it took. I completed the event solo with a bit of time to spare.
Here are a few notes from the journey, including reminders of the absolute audacity of some Call of Duty bros.
The first step, which involved killing five players and looting for intel, was about as easy as it gets. This’ll be a breeze, I told myself, until I checked the map. The next step sent me about 1,700 meters away a long haul without wheels or a chopper around. I managed to dodge some rockets, yeet myself off a building and make it to a busted-up ATV to make up some time, but it was about as hectic as landing at Superstore in a normal Warzone lobby.
There were people camping the key with heartbeat sensors, because of course there were. Call of Duty players are awful people. It was a reminder to always be ready for a gunfight and bring a Ghost loadout no matter what. Lesson learned, I ran back in, slid under a proximity mine and let the other team take me out so I could get a flying head start to the next location.
I once again got a bad draw and landed E6 — Hospital — as the location of my blueprint. Verticality was not a fun concept for this challenge. I did wind up having a bit of luck during this event after all, though! My friends let me know ahead of time that I wasn’t looking for anything in a loot box; instead, there was a soldier somewhere near the hospital with blueprint in hand, camping even harder than the tools at Farmland on the map key. I ignored everything else, including two terrifying brushes with full teams on trucks, and found my target on the ground floor of a warehouse with 45 seconds to go. Exhale.
During the final rush to Stadium, I learned that you cannot let your guard down in Call of Duty because, again, Call of Duty players are the absolute worst. My friends were able to complete their sprint to the cutscene without any obstructions; I, meanwhile, was beaten to death and then tactically crouched on by some guy who decided to sum up what Call of Duty fans are like during an immersive non-combat experience. I was treated to a nice overhead view of Stadium as the background voices played out, which at least let me focus on the dialogue a bit better.
Unlike Bungie’s first post-Activision live event in Destiny 2, this was short, action-packed, interactive and had a payoff that players expected going into Verdansk.
Overall, this was a great experience, even if the usable reward seemed a bit underwhelming. That SKS blueprint could come up clutch for Officer Challenges this season, though, and while there were plenty of naysayers in the postgame lobby after the Cold War trailer, many players seemed pleased by the execution. I’d love to see something like this come back each season for, say, things like the roof coming off Stadium.
With Warzone’s future unclear as the franchise moves into Treyarch’s hands, this might be a one-shot idea. But there is untapped potential in the immersive live events space, when players have a chance to earn something through actually interacting with what’s going on, and Activision and Infinity Ward checked all the right boxes on this one. Maybe that trend can continue in the months to come and when Cold War goes live.
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