'Call of Duty: Warzone' finally nukes Verdansk map
By Mike Hume
The long rumoured (and long awaited) nuclear event finally wiped the city of Verdansk off "Call of Duty: Warzone's" map Wednesday with a special, limited time event in the game's battle royal mode. Players were dropped into the map as usual and given a single instruction: to "survive." After players died, they respawned as zombies and were instructed to hunt down the living players as a timer ticked down from 11 minutes to zero.
The survivors were told to evacuate to escape the ever-expanding contaminant clouds the zombie horde brought into the game with its appearance at the start of Season 2. Planes dropped three juggernaut armor crates onto the field to aid the living, while gunship choppers hovered overhead firing at zombies. Despite those measures, no players survived the players-turned-zombies onslaught in the round we played. That triggered a second countdown, which ended with a nuclear missile impacting the ground and exploding near the soccer stadium.
The run-up to the nuclear event spanned the entirety of the two-month second season, though nuclear warheads were discovered inside of several bunkers scattered around the Verdansk map last year. At the end of Feb. 2021, three concrete monuments around the city were revealed to be missile silos. That revelation coincided with the introduction of zombies to Verdansk, which first appeared at the site of a shipwreck on the map's southeast shoreline near the prison. Over the course of the season, the horde migrated, spawning at a number of different points of interest on a path to the northwest corner of the map by the dam.
Beginning this past week, the various points of interest at which the zombies appeared began radiating a contaminant that damaged players and ultimately turned them into zombies if they lingered in those zones too long without a gas mask. Those zones grew both more numerous and expansive as the week progressed, culminating in Wednesday's event when they overtook nearly the entire map before the nuclear blast.
Now, Warzone players have just one map available, with several limited time modes (Resurgence Quads, Mini Royal Duos and the TDM mode King Slayer) on Rebirth Island, set at night, 15 minutes after the destruction of Verdansk. The mushroom cloud of Verdansk glows in the distance, and there is also a new point of interest on the map called "Control Center" where there was previously a building under construction.
The event is similar to the one Epic Games used to reboot the "Fortnite" map in 2019, pulling players into a black hole and leaving them wondering when and how the game might return. From 3 to 5 p.m. ET, the nuke event, dubbed "The Destruction of Verdansk Part 1" was the only mode playable in "Warzone." Unlike the "Fortnite" event, when no users could play the game for over a day, "Warzone" users still have access to Rebirth Island, which features a smaller map and lower player count, with more close-quarters fighting.
Neither Raven Software, which manages the majority of work on "Warzone," nor Infinity Ward, which largely created the battle royal, has publicly said when "Part 2" may begin, nor what is next for the game and its main map. Internet speculation has posited for months that the next battle royal map will set Verdansk in the 1980s, mirroring the timeline of the latest main line installment of the Call of Duty franchise, "Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War." The latest update to "Cold War" seems to confirm that. An intro cutscene for that game, added Wednesday, culminates with a line of dialogue that "intel [on character Russell Adler's whereabouts] points to Verdansk."
The Washington Post