With Call of Duty: Warzone’s first year being an unmitigated success, many fans are curious about when a new map is coming. Here’s everything we know so far about a new battle royale map, potential release date, and how it will interact with Black Ops Cold War.
When Rebirth Island was released in Warzone, it’s probably fair to say that some players were slightly disappointed. The map, which is based on the ‘Rebirth’ mission from the original Black Ops, was never intended to be a major new battle royale map, but it still left some players feeling slightly under-changed. A big map, the size of Verdansk (or slightly larger if recent rumors are to be believed), is expected to come later.
Rumors have already been swirling about another new Warzone setting, despite Rebirth Island only just launching with Season One in mid-December. That update also saw Black Ops Cold War integrated into Warzone, but that’s far from the end of BOCW’s influence in Warzone.
Ural Mountains Warzone Map
The most prominent rumor surrounding a future Warzone map is that it will take major influence from Black Ops Cold War’s Fireteam: Dirty Bomb maps.
The current maps in Treyarch’s new mode are Alpine, Ruka and Sanatorium, all set in the Ural Mountains in Russia. Ruka has the code name ‘wz_forest’ in the game’s files, while Alpine’s is ‘wz_ski_slopes’. Similarly, fans have noticed that Sanatorium is down as ‘wz_sanatorium’ in the game’s files.
As a 40-player game mode, the maps in FTDB are considerably bigger than a standard 6v6 map. Speculation suggests they would fit together as different POIs in a larger battle royale map. According to current speculation, Sanatorium would be in the south-west, Alpine the south-east and Ruka at the heart of it.
This new map would therefore be an easy transition. Fireteam already uses several of Warzone’s mechanics, like parachuting, down-but-not-out states, pings, armor and looting.
Given the links with Black Ops Cold War, we could well see even more of a crossover between the battle royale and the 2020 CoD installment. More weapons will make the switch as Treyarch add them, with scorestreaks and vehicles also possible.
Fireteam maps have vehicles like the T-72 Tanks, Dirt Bikes, Buggies, Snowmobiles and Helicopters, some of which are already available in Warzone. Rumors also state that, like Black Ops 4’s Blackout battle royale, there will be water traversable by boats.
Finally, there are suggestions that some historic CoD maps could feature as POIs. Summit and WMD, for example, are both set in the Ural Mountains. In fact, WMD is set on Mount Yamantau, a mountain specifically name-checked in a recent Rebirth Island easter-egg document. Some fans have taken this as a hint of WMD’s future return.
Will Zombies return to Warzone?
If the latest rumors are to be believed, we may be seeing more hordes of undead taking over Warzone when the new map eventually makes its debut. Speculation began on February 11, when a new machine popped up in Warzone Rumble’s Verdansk hospital.
This particular machine first appeared in Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies mode, and was used to gain rewards after completing challenges. When approached, the prompt reads ZAI/ACTIVATE_ZOMBIES, which could be a teaser or an indication that it’s not supposed to be there yet.
Some players have also experienced screen distortion when entering an office on the new Rebirth Island map, which is something that previously happened in August 2020 when teasing Warzone’s crossover with Black Ops Cold War, suggesting something big is on the way.
Warzone new map release date, Season 2
At the time of writing, these details remain strictly rumors, with the potential implementation of a Ural Mountains map still some way off. Leaks and rumors have hinted at a March 2021 release date, which would coincide with Warzone’s one-year anniversary.
Some fans were hoping to see a new map implemented at the start of Season 2, but that looks increasingly unlikely given the changes coming to Verdansk in that update. Our only confirmed new POI is the Vodianoy cargo tanker ship that’s approaching the Port.
You can already see the new Vodinoy cargo ship off the coast of Verdansk in #Warzone!
— DEXERTO Call of Duty (@DexertoIntel) February 18, 2021
It seems unlikely that Raven would implement major map changes, only to make them obsolete shortly after with a brand new map. There is, though, some potential for the ship and its ‘unknown cargo’ to be an early narrative step towards a new map.
This fits with Activision’s advertising of Season 2 using the slogan ‘The End Begins’. The end of Verdansk, perhaps?