Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek’s Apex Legends climb has taken a backseat for Warzone, and as the streamer spends more time in the Call of Duty battle royale, he can’t help but admire Infinity Ward’s “impressive” game.
With 150 players, two different modes in your generic battle royale and the cash-based Plunder, unique revive mechanics with Gulag duels, the free-to-play game has been a hit with everyone.
Warzone smashed through 15 million players within four days, equalling the growth of battle royale competitor Apex Legends. The Respawn-developed battle royale based loosely in the Titanfall universe appeared out of nowhere, racking up 25 million unique players in the week after its release.
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) March 14, 2020
Given how much negative press Modern Warfare received, Warzone’s rise in its first week has helped turned the game’s misfortunes around. While there are a number of reasons behind its success, shroud pinned it down to one thing — it’s just fun.
“It’s fun,” he simply put in a recent Mixer broadcast. “It’s chaotic as f**k, and you get flanked by no sound all the time, but besides that, it’s fun.
Being fun isn’t enough though — a game can be fun for one round but fall off afterwards. What makes Warzone stand out, and keep shroud coming back, is its vast scale. With 150 players, a massive map, and tons of loot, the game blows its competitors out of the water by size alone.
“I give this game the exception because of its scale. I don’t give Apex [Legends] the exception at all — that should not be how it is — but this game? Holy f**k.”
“This game is impressive just from a development standpoint. What they managed to achieve is pretty nuts. [It runs better than Apex with] four times the population, four times the loot, the chaos, the map size — everything. It’s impressive.”
Shroud singling out Apex Legends isn’t a surprise. The streamer has been on the grind on World’s Edge and King’s Canyon for weeks, and has found more problems with the game than anything else.
Warzone isn’t without its flaws, but to the FPS veteran, that’s part of the flair. Infinity Ward could have turned around and tried to make a hyper-competitive battle royale in Modern Warfare to replace Blackout, but it wouldn’t have felt like CoD.
By taking itself a bit less seriously — from sound design to gameplay — Warzone has a unique experience unlike any battle royale on the market.
“[The sound] was concerning for a second, but then I realized this game is not made for that kind of scale so I bet it wasn’t even thought about,” he said.
“It’s CoD, how are they supposed to dictate somebody shooting 600-1,000m — that’s never going to happen. They treated this as more of a fun thing rather than super serious and that’s why they could get away with stuff like that.”
Shroud isn’t the only major name to commend Warzone. Dr Disrespect, who used to work as a Call of Duty level designer, described the battle royale experience as “silky smooth” and heralded the map as one of the best he’s played.
Whether Warzone can maintain his attention for the weeks to come remains to be seen, shroud is absolutely digging the new game mode for now, and might stick it out for a bit longer rather than returning to King’s Canyon.