Call of Duty: Warzone has transitioned into Season 5. The break into the new season brought some of the biggest map changes seen in Warzone. Since its Mar 10 launch, Infinity Ward has continually spruced up the meta and addressed balancing issues. However, players were waiting with bated breath for the game to introduce some impactful changes to the Verdansk map.
Season 5 of Warzone sees the Verdansk stadium open up for the first time. It also opened the doors to the Train Station location while adding a functional train that travels across the map. Adding to that, some of Verdansk’s tallest buildings now have ascension zip lines for easy access to the rooftops.
Naturally, Season 5 also included a new Battle Pass, new weapons, and a new Mini Royale game mode. But it’s the changes to the map, which affects the overall gameplay, which is most important. With Warzone recently hitting 75 million downloads, this was the update a significant portion of the player base was waiting for. The Season 5 Warzone map changes should be the standard Infinity Ward uses moving forward.
Blowing the roof off a major point of interest
The Verdansk stadium opening up should not come as a surprise to many players. It was highly rumored in the lead up to the new season and the Call of Duty Twitter account itself began teasing the significant map change. Now, the stadium’s roof has been blown open, exposing the stadium field and bleachers for players to run around and grab loot from. The stadium has also opened up two of the ground floor entrances and has an accessible underground parking garage.
For all intents and purposes, the allure of the stadium ran its course within the first couple of seasons. The roof became a hotspot for snipers to perch on and camp for a significant portion of the match. The ground floor exterior offered very little in terms of cover and meaningful loot. Given that the stadium takes up a significant portion of the eastern side of the map, something needed to be done.
The changes to the stadium have made the location a viable drop spot in the game. There’s an ample amount of area to explore and tons of loot to grab. The stadium has higher vantage points in the bleachers. Teams can also use the concourse to gain a rotational advantage over other teams and flank them if they are holding the area. On the field, there are also two helicopters to grab if your team is lucky enough to survive that long. All in all, the stadium has really come a long way and the changes have been extremely refreshing for me.
Full steam ahead
Not only did the stadium open its doors, but so did the train station. Though, the interior of the train station is a lot less exciting than the stadium.
Teams can now travel through the station, picking up loot rather than being forced to navigate through the central corridor as they were in previous seasons.
The train station was never a major pain point. The various levels of elevation and surrounding train cars and buses offered enough variety that playing in the area never got stale. The reworked train station is a welcoming addition that adds something new to the western side of the map.
The more consequential change is the introduction of a functional train. While Warzone has never lacked methods of traversal, the train adds a new dimension to how players get from one point of the map to another. The train circles the southwestern side of the map on a loop. Teams who are brave enough to land on it will be rewarded by high-tiered loot, and will likely look down the barrel of another aggressive team.
As someone who enjoyed the addition of the train in the third season of Apex Legends, I was delighted to see Call of Duty adapt it for Warzone. During matches, it’s one more thing to be conscious about, especially as you can see it approaching on your mini-map. Due to how much cover the train provides, you never know how many players are stowed away on it.
It’s the little things
The addition of ascension ziplines was a genuine surprise. After four seasons, I did become a bit bored with having to continuously run up flights of stairs. This was especially true if playing the offence against another team. Those holding the rooftop would typically hear your footsteps and be waiting for you as you opened the door. Now, you have the chance to surprise them using the zipline. Sure, doing so will cause a bit of noise, but it does give players additional options.
Also, the fifth season of Warzone continues the trend of incorporating an Easter Egg hunt for players to complete. Looping back to the stadium, three keycards labelled P2-16, CL-19 and EL-21 can be found. Each one opens up a door within the area, letting players interact with a server to get a code. Once obtaining the codes, players can head to the boardroom. Type the code into the keypad and it will open the door, leading to the ‘Enigma’ blueprint. Standard bunker key cards also make their return on the map, allowing players to access bunkers for high-tiered loot.
With previous seasons of Warzone not quite giving players those meaty map changes we’ve been craving, Season 5 has been quite refreshing. I’ve become incentivized to continually explore the stadium, find the keycards and learn the ins and outs of travelling by train.
This propelled the momentum of Warzone into the summer. While competing with the likes of Fortnite and Apex Legends over mind share, it’d be quite advantageous to keep the foot on the pedal. The changes seen in Season 5 of Warzone should be treated as the standard for the game moving forward. Considering we have yet to see the resolution to the Bunker 11 nuke Easter Egg, I expect to see big things in future seasons.