(Pocket-lint) - Call of Duty: Warzone has settled into its new 1984 time setting, which updated the familiar Verdansk map with some new locations and a lick of new paint.
Now, though, Season 5 has kicked off, bringing a new slate of content and changes. Here's everything we know about the next season of Warzone.
When did Warzone Season 5 start?
First up, the key timing - Season 5 started on 12 August 2021, and the season looks set to last for about two months, with the Battle Pass kicking off with a 57-day countdown active.
What's new in Season 5?
Season 5 hasn't brought the most titanic set of changes that Warzone's seen, it's fair to say. Here are all the details.
New story developments
The Call of Duty marketing machine started to spin up before the season launched, with Treyarch posting the below clip to get things started:
“This is Wraith... the Verdansk tests are looking good."
After the destruction of the Jumpseat satellite constellation, critical data stolen from Yamantau is passed to an Operator with the unique skills to execute Stitch's endgame.
The countdown to Season Five begins. pic.twitter.com/BL7dtwdTCI
It makes it clear that the overarching story that's been playing out is continuing, with the mysterious red doors only getting more powerful. Hopefully, we might even find out how the ruddy things work. It swiftly followed that up with a story trailer for the season.
The trailer showcases the new main operator that's been added, called Kitsune, along with the akimbo Tec-9 pistols she's toting.
We've got a couple of new weapons, aside from the Tec-9 machine pistol, including the EM2 assault rifle and the Marshal handgun (plus the Cane melee option). The Tec-9 and EM2 will be unlockable in the battle pass when it comes out, although we'd also expect to see some blueprints in the store early doors.
The bigger news is the addition of two new Warzone-specific perks. The first, Tempered, makes you quicker to armour up by having each plate hold 75 points of armour, so that your maximum is two instead of one. It also refills your armour when you first equip it from a loadout drop. That could be big for more quickly resetting during a fight. It's in the same slot as Ghost and High Alert, though, so we'd imagine it'll be a niche pick.
The other is Combat Scout, which will live ping and highlight any enemy you're doing damage to for your team - this could be great for playing with random teammates, as communication can be a challenge, while more experienced squads might see it as a little redundant.
Meanwhile, High Alert has been updated to counter Dead Silence by negating its effects, and Cold-Blooded has also been tweaked to counter Combat Scout.
Map update and new gulag
The map update for this season looks minimal, with new mobile broadcast stations dotted around Verdansk sending out the codes that Kitsune put live in the cinematic trailer, but we're getting another new gulag at least, based on the multiplayer map Rush.
Shortly after it started, Season Five hosted a big event called The Battle for Verdansk to announce Call of Duty Vanguard - the event saw players battling together to destroy an armoured train and earn cosmetic rewards, before debuting Vanguard's first full trailer.
That might not be all, though - we also know that there's an event called The Numbers planned, which is seemingly separate from the last event. That hopefully means that we're in for another proper live event at some point.
Given that Vanguard is going to bring a new map to the table entirely, that could even mean that we get some sort of event to say a final farewell to Verdansk (even if its actual destruction already happened further forward in the timeline).
What was new in Warzone Season 4 Reloaded?
Season 4 Reloaded, the previous patch, also wasn't a huge update on the content side - there was a new weapon, the OTs 9 SMG, and a Mace option for melee fans, plus a new operator, Weaver.
We also know that the red doors added in Season 4 might be getting more complicated, although not exactly how. One thing they'll get is the rare chance of providing a new killstreak, the sentry gun, which will scan and shoot enemies for a minute once you deploy it.
That could shake the meta up a little, and we'll have to hope it's balanced and genuinely scarce. Beyond that, the real meat of this update for keen players comes in the form of sweeping balance changes to a huge number of in-game weapons.
The #Warzone Season Four Reloaded update is going live soon!
Includes various Gameplay changes, Bug Fixes, a big ol' Weapon balance pass, new Accessibility features, and more.
The Patch Notes can be found here:https://t.co/rTxbRBzJiA
Screenshots in the thread below: pic.twitter.com/O5coHGDeFm
You can see the full range of buffs and nerfs in the extensive patch notes but, in short, it looks like Raven Software is making good on its promise to lengthen the time-to-kill in Warzone from its previously brutal levels.
There are major changes to damage multipliers on loads of assault rifles and SMGs in particular, and it'll be interesting to see what that does to the meta in the coming weeks.
What did Season 4 add?
Looking back to Season 4's main launch, Raven Software fully detailed the main changes that arrived as part of themupdate, and there were absolutely loads of points to check out.
The #Warzone Season Four update is going live soon!
New Battle Pass, new Operators, new Weapons, new POIs, and...
The Patch Notes can be found here:https://t.co/lL99ezRul4
Screenshots in thread below:
The biggest visual change was the arrival of a variety of crashed satellites at various points around the Verdansk map, which added some interesting cover and combat opportunities. Plus, there was a new vehicle for the very first time since launch - a dirt bike that's perfect for a single rider with one passenger.
There was also a new gulag map, which was welcome - it's based on the central part of multiplayer map Hijacked, so will be familiar to some in layout. Finally, the Black Ops series' signature red doors started to appear around Verdansk, zapping players around to rewarding loot.
We also got new operators, as usual: Jackal and Salah. They brought new weaponry to play with too, in the form of the C58 assault rifle, MG 82 LMG and a stealthy nail gun,. There was also a seasonal event called Groundfall which brought some challenges and cosmetic rewards for a week or two.
Big news was also there on the technical front for PS5 players - the game finally added support for 120Hz displays for improved framerates, like the Series X. We'd been under the impression this wouldn't arrive until a full native PS5 version is eventually released, but Raven seems to have cracked the code somehow.
The biggest changes in some ways might be those detailed in Raven's super-extensive patch notes, though, which included loads of detail. There have been big changes to how barrel attachments work on Cold War guns, making them more viable than ever, as well as big balance changes to individual weapons (and yet another nerf for the beloved AMAX!).
Perhaps most interesting of all, it looks like we've finally got a major adjustment to the much-hated Roze skin, Rook - its all-black advantage seems to have been shaved away by a new greyer colour-scheme. Here's hoping people don't just migrate to a new sweaty skin if this change really does work!
What arrived in the mid-season Season Three Reloaded update?
Looking further back, Warzone's Season 3 update may have been sizeable, but it still left plenty to be fixed and updated, so Raven Software didn't wait too long to bring a sizeable mid-season update to bear.
The patch brought some new content, including unlocking the new AMP63 SMG, which players had been looking forward to equipping and levelling up.
We also got some major tweaks to a number of weapons including initial balance passes for the popular AMAX assault rifle, the FARA, Sweetsweeper shotgun and the Bullfrog SMG, all of which had felt a little overpowered at times.
More have arrived, in the form of changes to how suppressors work on Cold War weapons, and some tweaks to make Cold War snipers feel more viable compared to their Modern Warfare counterparts. Plus, and this is hugely welcome, there's been a major reduction in the spawn rate of Stopping Power rounds.
Most pressingly, though, the Reloaded update brought a new content drop focusing around a couple of 80s action icons - Rambo and Die Hard's John McClane. The below trailer gives a good sense of the madness that kicked off before the event ended.
There was a load to sink into, including the arrival of Die Hard's Nakatomi Plaza in Downtown with a host of new minor objectives to complete in and around it. It's the tallest tower ever in Warzone, so sniping is still hugely fun from its peak.
There are plenty of other points of interest, including survivor camps in homage to Rambo, where you could collect dog tags as part of another new mission type. On top of that, there were new weapons arriving and an in-game event to make everything feel easier to follow.
What was new in COD Warzone Season 3?— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) April 19, 2021
Looking back to when Season 3 kicked off, it brought a lot of changes to the formula that has made Warzone so popular, with plenty of different elements to consider.
New Verdansk 1980s map
Warzone players have been waiting for ages to be able to explore a full-sized new map for the game, with the smaller Resurgence Island map not big enough to really count for much. For a long time, the common assumption was that we'd get a map set in the Ural mountains, bringing in a bunch of multiplayer locations that were set in that locale.
However, recent leaks have indicated that this map was shelved a while ago, in favour of the new version of Verdansk that replaced the current map at the start of Season 3. This, as we now know, is set in the 1980s, tying the game into the timeline used by Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War.
The map's layout is largely the same, but key landmarks are noticeably different, with a less built-up Downtown, a stadium's more a building site, and no dam at all - instead, there's a tall bridge to navigate now instead, along with a Summit installation. There's loads more to explore, too, so it'll take a while for everyone to get used to each change.
New operators and weapons
A mainstay of Warzone's battle pass system is the introduction of at least one new operator to act as the front for the season. Past passes have introduced Naga, Captain Price and Ghost, among many others.
We're already seeing a lot of players running around donning the new skins released in the battle pass, in particular Wraith, who has been heavily featured in the promotional material.
Similarly, after the huge drop of new weapons when Cold War integrated with Warzone in late 2020, the trickle of new weaponry is back to a more reasonable and manageable rate (after all, many of the Cold War weapons still don't feel fully balanced even months down the line).
Battle passes and new seasons have typically introduced two new weapons, and they're also generally included as free tiers to ensure that everyone has the same chance to unlock them without having to fork out any COD Points. The new season brought even more, though, including the PPSH-41 SMG, Swiss K31 sniper, the Ballistic Knife melee, CARV.2 rifle, and AMP63 SMG as well - a bumper crop of new hardware to use.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 7 April 2021.