I don't know what all the fuss was about for Hans Gruber. His failed attempts to eliminate John McClane over the course of Die Hard's 132 minute runtime made it seem as though the man was invincible, but I've just dropped onto Nakatomi Plaza in Warzone Season 3 and killed him three times before I'd even reloaded my starter gun.
It helped, of course, that these John McClane's weren't nearly as resourceful or combat-proficient as Bruce Willis' on-screen original (one of them had his gun pointed in the air while gyrating madly across the room), but the point still stands. After defeating Leatherface, Jigsaw, and pound shop Marty McFly over the last year, Warzone Season 3 Reloaded has offered up yet another cinematic icon for me to repeatedly come to blows with across Verdansk.
Best of all, giving Bruce Willis a good day to die hard is just an added bonus for Warzone's '80s Action Heroes event, which is already proving to be one of the most entertaining updates to the Call of Duty battle royale since its launch.
Warzone's latest mid-season update is a big one; themed around the action cinema scene of the '80s, Season 3 reloaded introduces new points of interests, operators (Rambo is available to purchase alongside McClane for the not-so-low cost of 2400 COD Points), killstreaks, weapons, challenges, and modes to Warzone and Black Ops Cold War. There's also a host of balance changes rolled into the 15GB patch, too, and while they're certainly welcome, it's the new Warzone game mode, Power Grab, that I'm already far too obsessed with to appreciate anything else.
The mode essentially rolls elements of Kill Confirmed and Buy Back into the classic Battle Royale experience on Verdansk. Players can pick up dog tags dropped by enemies to progress through an escalating ladder of rewards, which range from UAVs and Advanced Gas Masks to Respawn Tokens. Every player starts the match with one Respawn Token, which gives them the right to infil back into the game after death, but you'll need to earn more if you plan to continue playing beyond your second life. Alternatively, your teammates can bring you back either through a Buy Station, or by collecting enough dog tags, which are also found in Supply Boxes and Contracts around Verdansk.
As the match draws to its conclusion (which arrives much faster, as the gas circles are fewer and smaller than in normal battle royale), players will have the option to fight over a flag that spawns in the final circle, which grants the ability to exfil via helicopter. Alternatively, you can play more aggressively, and win by eliminating all other enemy teams, including those attempting to make a quick getaway in that aforementioned chopper.
Power Grab thus continues in the tradition of Resurgence mode, rewarding more aggressive plays by increasing the opportunity for recovery after death. That isn't to say that you should always run into every encounter with guns blazing, but players can afford to take more risks, and the result is a battlefield populated with more frequent pockets of action than you'd typically find in traditional battle royale, where every potential firefight must be weighed and considered before undertaken.
The mode also places a premium on co-operation and active play, since the more dog tags a squad can accrue, the more powerful they become, with a greater chance at bringing their teammates back into the fold when death eventually strikes. That system subtly prompts players into working together when attacking other squads, as one-man Rambos (if you'll pardon the time-sensitive pun) won't be quite so capable of wiping out other teams, let alone make dog tag runs without the necessary protection from their allies.
Combine these combat dynamics with the big new hot drop, an authentically recreated Nakatomi Plaza, and you can see why Power Grab can be a lot of fun with the right squad. Dropping down onto the skyscraper's roof and causing chaos amidst its vents, elevator shafts, and gold corridors is a blast, especially with the mode's abundance of killstreaks to throw at every enemy you see. You can't have an '80s mode without plenty of explosions, after all.
Both Nakatomi Plaza and Power Grab are listed as limited time additions in the Warzone patch notes, which is a shame. With its towering presence and complex structure, the skyscraper makes for a welcome centrepiece to Verdansk's revamped Downtown area, though the riches within the building's new Warzone Vault could perhaps be limited beneath its current $100,000 threshold to avoid any players dominating the game through the sheer power of cash flow.
Similarly, while Power Grab may be removed from out lobby screens before Warzone Season 4 comes into effect next month, Raven Software should at least consider keeping the mode in its backend rotation for now, swapping it out between the likes of Juggernaut Royale and King Slayer to keep fans entertained between core BR and its Rebirth spin-off.
Like that of Resurgence, Power Grab is a mode which hits that inimitable sweet spot between the tense tactics of battle royale and gun-ho carnage of classic Call of Duty. Given how crucial Rebirth has been in sustaining Warzone through some of its toughest dry periods, Raven would do well to understand the value of Power Grab beyond its current seasonal focus.