Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Season 1: Warzone new island and new gulag explained

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Black Ops season one is finally right around the corner from launching next week.

After being delayed out of originally launching on December 10, we're now just a few days away from the debut season in Black Ops Cold War. There's a ton of new content to get excited about, including new maps, new weapons, and a brand new Warzone experience.

When does Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War season one go live?

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War season one goes live on Thursday, December 16. It'll be going live at exactly the same time across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.

As for the specific time that Black Ops Cold War season one will be going live at, it'll be launching at approximately 11 p.m. PT on December 15. Therefore, it'll be available in the very early hours of December 16 for east coast US at 2 a.m. ET, and at the slightly saner time of 7 a.m. GMT for the UK and a little later in Europe.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War season one Operative

As usual with new Call of Duty seasons, there's a brand new Operator to content with. For Black Ops Cold War's debut season, Vikhor "Stitch" Kuzmin will be joining the fight as a new character.

If you're trying to recall whether you've seen Kuzmin in Black Ops Cold War previously, you haven't. However, the newcomer is said to have a history with none other than Russell Adler, who it's said took Kuzmin's eye. You can probably guess who Kuzmin's gunning for in Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

(Image credit: Activision)

New Warzone Rebirth map in Black Ops Cold War season one

We already know that Black Ops Cold War is crossing over with Warzone in a big way when season one kicks off, but there'll be a brand new Warzone map available on December 16. At launch, there'll be a limited-time event centred around Rebirth Island, featuring up to a dozen free rewards for players to obtain.

As for Rebirth Island itself, it's a much smaller map than what we're used to with Verdansk. It's so small that it actually features a similar player count to Mini Royale, and will support Trios and Quads modes at launch.

Additionally, there'll be a new Resurgence mode launching with Rebirth Island. Not entirely unlike Plunder in the way that players can respawn every 30 seconds, this mode gives all squads a limited number of lives, and tasks everyone with being the last team standing.

Finally, there's two brand new Gulags to content with on Rebirth Island. One Gulag will be a smaller version of the Nuketown multiplayer map, while the second is a tiny map featuring a metal detector. Both new Gulags certainly sound like a lot to deal with.

Every Black Ops Cold War season one multiplayer map

There's 8 brand new maps slated to join Black Ops Cold War as part of season one. Right now though, we only know the names of two new maps: Raid and Pines. The former you might recall as a pretty significant location from Black Ops 2, while the latter is based in a New Jersey mall.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

(Image credit: Activision)

Black Ops Cold War season one battle pass integration with Warzone

One of the headline features of Black Ops Cold War season one is the brand new battle pass. While we don't yet know any details on what the battle pass itself will contain, we do know that this one battle pass can be progressed through both Black Ops Cold and Call of Duty: Warzone.

If you purchase the new battle pass, you'll be able to level it up through both Call of Duty games. Additionally, all rewards that you obtain through the battle pass will be shared across both Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, so you'll be earning rewards for two games at once.

Gunfight returns for Black Ops Cold War season one

If you weren't already aware: Gunfight is one of Call of Duty's more tense modes, and it's back in action for Black Ops Cold War season one. The returning mode pits two teams of two players against one another, and tasks teams with winning using randomized loadouts.

At launch, there'll be four maps available for Gunfight. You'll be fighting underground on U-Bahn, host carnage in Game Show, infiltrate Soviet HQ in KGB, and fight around a massive missile in ICBM.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

(Image credit: Activision)

New Fireteam map in Black Ops Cold War season one

As for Fireteam, the mode will be getting one new map in Black Ops Cold War season one. The new map, called Sanatorium, explores an experimental Soviet health retreat featuring water combat in a lake, as well as sprawling hills and a large dock. You'll want to be on the lookout for documents detailing information on the secretive Project Golova.

For our up-to-date list of the best weapons you can get your hands on in Black Ops Cold War's multiplayer portion, you can head over to our full Black Ops Cold War best guns guide for more.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.