Warzone Season 2 Reloaded sets a high bar for future updates

Warzone Season 2 Reloaded
(Image credit: Activision)

Warzone Season 2 Reloaded is one helluva update. While Call of Duty: Warzone's mid-season updates are usually reserved for a new mode, a new POI, and weapon adjustments, Season 2 Reloaded is offering up changes worthy of an entirely new season. Activision could have pitched this as Warzone Season 3 and I'd have accepted it. 

The latest Warzone mid-season update completely rejuvenates the beloved Rebirth Island map. This isn't just a cosmetic facelift: there are new POIs, new sightlines, and new areas that are ripe for firefights. While the map has gotten some small changes since its inception back in 2020, we've never seen Rebirth Island change this much, and with the Rebirth Resurgence mode remaining popular through every Warzone integration, these changes have massive implications. Warzone Season 2 Reloaded is the best update we've gotten yet, and it's only going to get better. 

Rebirthing an island 

Warzone Rebirth Island

Stronghold replaces Security in the new Warzone Rebirth Reinforced update. (Image credit: Activision)

Dropping into Rebirth Island the first time may be disorienting at first. Not only are there new buildings, two giant ships docked on either side of the island, and other random additions, but it's all bathed in a brand-new light. That's not a metaphor – Raven Software has literally changed the way the map is lit by swapping the position of the sun in the skybox, which drastically shifts the way the shadows are cast. It's such a major difference that I initially think the Season 2 Reloaded update swapped the layout of Rebirth Island, but no, it's just being lit from a different angle – and it looks great.

The newly oriented sun highlights the myriad changes that make Rebirth Island even more fun to play around on, especially in the new Rebirth Resurgence Solos mode. The new ship docked by the Nova 6 Factory has a sightline that directly lines up with the factory's roof, easily peers into the houses over at Headquarters, and – if you're equipped with the right scope – poses a threat to Prison roof campers. You wouldn't think a single ship could dramatically alter the power dynamics of a map, but boy, does it. 

The Rebirth Island facelift also addresses some pain points that have lingered despite the map's popularity. Players frequently complained about the flatness of Security Area – if you were there at the wrong time (chiefly when the ring was collapsing) it felt like you were the fish and it was the barrel, as players at both Control Center and Living Quarters could use the high ground to pick you off with ease. Now, however, the Security Area is known as Stronghold, and there are multiple buildings providing the area with some much-needed verticality. I've already been in a few tense firefights while ducking in and out of Stronghold's buildings, and can say with confidence it's been drastically improved.

The Rebirth Island update also addresses a major pain point that has plagued players since the map's debut: the Courtyard outside of Prison, which was yet another area that fed kills to rooftop campers. The Call of Duty blog post even calls it "a death trap – an open space with little to no cover, even on top of the wall surrounding it." Now, however, the Courtyard has tents, cover areas, and a brand-new wall complete with guard stations, which adds another platform up to a player favorite camp spot: the water tower.

Every single change made to Rebirth Island feels purposeful, intentional, and measured. As such, Rebirth Island feels faster than ever before – and that's exactly how it should feel considering you can constantly respawn on it. Previous map changes have felt somewhat lackluster, even ones that were part of major season rollouts and not mid-season updates. Verdansk '84 didn't feel like enough of a declarative change from the original Verdansk, and adding Die Hard's Nakatomi Plaza only temporarily added some freshness to the map. But this new Rebirth Island feels inspired, and it's an absolute blast to play on. 

Small, yet effective changes 

Warzone Rebirth Reloaded is faster than ever before

The supply ships that flank Rebirth Island are perfect for close-quarters firefights.  (Image credit: Activision)

Rebirth Island is the crown jewel of Warzone Season 2 Reloaded, but the update introduced a few more great changes. Right now, players are taking part in a community-wide killing spree in order to earn Weapon Trade Stations on Rebirth Island. The new feature will allow you to swap out your existing weapons for brand-new guns, money, tactical grenades, and more. Plus, you'll get an entire clip in the trade, which means these new stations will be late-game saviors once they're added to the map. In order to unlock it, however, we'll need to "earn enough kills after the update," which is a brilliant way to keep players engaged.

Then there's the addition of a new Legendary floor loot item, the Deployable Buy Station, which also has the potential to swing the late-game pendulum towards a player lucky enough to find one on the ground. The station can be deployed anywhere, has the same contents as a regular Buy Station, and will show up on your map as a new icon. Imagine being able to call one of these in when you're the last person alive on your team, giving you a chance to buy your squad back and head into battle with a full crew?

There's also the reintroduction of the polarizing Juggernaut, which always shakes up a match – but now you can get one on Rebirth Island. Running into a juggernaut on a giant battle royale map is a helluva lot different than running into one in a much more crowded map, so expect the metal murderer to ruffle some feathers. I've yet to encounter a Juggernaut on Rebirth Island, and for that, I'm grateful. 

Warzone has had its ups and downs since its 2020 debut, and the most integration with Call of Duty: Vanguard has had the devs admitting they're "not happy" with the "bloated" state of the game, either. But Raven Software has proven it understands its player base and what that bae needs with the Warzone Season 2 Reloaded update, which hopefully renews the community's trust. This game is in good hands, and the latest update proves that.

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Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.