Why you should wait to play Warzone in 2022

Big in 2022 Warzone
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Warzone recently underwent its biggest overhaul to date, replacing the revised Verdansk map with a Pacific-themed space and a shift of the weapon meta to better integrate with Call of Duty: Vanguard. That certainly seems like the path developer Raven Software should be taking to keep its battle royale fresh and fun, but the journey has been rather rough.

The Warzone map change came long after players had grown tired of Verdansk and was poised to inject some much-needed freshness into play. A brand-new map brings new POIs, new strategies, and new scenery, but its launch has been plagued with problems like visual glitches and server issues. In fact, it was so messy that our Warzone Pacific first impressions could only speak to its potential, not its current state.

Sadly, it seems like Warzone is still struggling nearly a month after what was meant to be a  reinvigorating update. The Festive Fervor holiday event introduced a new enemy (Krampus) that did little more than irritate players and bugs still persist, with streamers and other high-profile Warzone fans complaining of 'dev error' messages and frustrating glitches. It's important to note that the holidays may have interfered with Raven Software's ability to work on updates, but with a month under its belt, Warzone Pacific isn't looking too hot. So, should you be playing Warzone in 2022? Let's look into it. 

Why you should play Warzone

Warzone Pacific

(Image credit: Activision)

At its best, Call of Duty: Warzone is a top-tier battle royale offering an impressively deep loot pool and an endless supply of nail-biting moments. Integrating new Call of Duty titles into 

Warzone has proven difficult in the past (like the Black Ops Cold War integration that ushered in a frustrating meta and map update that failed to revolutionize play), but it's what makes Warzone unique when compared to other battle royales.

Apex Legends is about looting. Fortnite is about building. And Warzone is about weapon builds and perks. With the ability to outfit your character with items across three different Call of Duty titles, Warzone gives players a bevy of weapons and abilities to help get the upper hand on the battlefield. This means that everyone's Warzone experience is slightly different, as players can fully customize their look and loadout – sharpshooters can wield lethal sniper builds, while those who prefer close combat can run faster and quieter while wielding melee weapons. A huge part of Warzone is what you make of it, which allows room for various types of PvP players to enjoy themselves. For that reason alone, you should play Warzone.

But the other part of Warzone is the game itself – its design, structure, matchmaking, and pacing. Those parts are out of the player's hands, and in the game's current state it's those parts that are the reasons why you shouldn't play Warzone… at least not right now. 

Why you shouldn't play Warzone

Warzone Pacific

(Image credit: Activision)

Warzone Pacific's launch was inconsistent, to put it mildly. Some players had issues getting into games but were greeted by a shiny new map upon finally connecting to the servers, while others – like myself – found games right away but on a half-rendered, visually murky map. It was difficult to suss out how the new pacing felt or learn the new gun meta when my games were mired by muted environments and visual glitches. 

So, I abandoned Warzone for Halo Infinite, and was quite glad I did. A top post on the Warzone subreddit details the issues persisting today, including "partly rendered rocks and trees" and "constant shocking frame rate drops" on console, which were precisely the problem a month ago.

Then there's Festive Fervor, which is thankfully over as of January 5. Raven Software's decision to add Krampus to the Caldera map so shortly after its debut meant many players never had a proper chance to explore the new map without getting chased by the Christmas demon. For most, Krampus persists throughout the entire match, chasing them around every corner of the map and just absolutely eating bullets.

You can imagine how the community reacted when Raven quietly extended Festive Fervor. Creator and Warzone player XSet Loochy tweeted, "Why do we keep dragging this out? I want to play the new map without Krampus. The entire community does. Krampus has left the BIGGEST sour taste in my mouth about Caldera." 

The final word

Warzone Pacific Season 1

(Image credit: Activision)

With Krampus gone and the holidays over, perhaps Raven can focus on making some much-needed updates to Warzone that will fix its glaring issues. There's great potential in the new map, and with the Vanguard Royale playlist, Raven seems to have finally figured out how to integrate new weapons without breaking the entire meta. 

Until the bugs are exterminated and the pay-to-win skin is eradicated, however, I'd steer clear of the Warzone unless you're looking to give yourself a stress headache. 

Big in 2022

(Image credit: Future)

All throughout January, GamesRadar+ is exploring the biggest games of the new year with exclusive interviews, hands-on impressions, and in-depth editorials. We're also checking in on big games from previous year to see how they're faring in 2022. For more, be sure to follow along with Big in 2022

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.