Warzone Season 4 review — Best gun meta yet & feels like an action movie

warzone season 4 reviewActivision

Warzone is all about guns and, after nerfing the MG 82, Season 4 has the best gun meta yet. While the map changes are unexciting and the anti-cheat remains MIA, this season of Warzone is as action-packed a movie as ever.

Metas, maps, and mechanics dictate the staleness of a battle royale. Before Season 3’s Verdansk ‘84, Warzone was severely lacking in the former two. 

But Season 3 gave us a refreshed map and the game’s most diverse secondary meta ever. And now, the new season has only continued that upward trajectory, albeit without doing anything very ambitious otherwise.

Three new guns, relentless weapon tuning, and the flashiest Battle Pass yet. Season 4 may have only brought a few map changes (Red Doors, Satellite Crash Sites), but the ante has been upped. Notorious ailments remain, but this season has brought the game’s widest loadout variety, fun cosmetics, and… a Dirt Bike. 

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The latter might not seem very exciting, but it did give us the greatest Warzone highlight of all time.

Warzone Season 4 trailer

The best gun meta in Warzone history

Everyone has their favorite Warzone guns. Some people miss the M4-A1, RPG days. Some miss the Grau. Very few miss the months of R9-0, DMR, and AUG oppression. Season 3 was already the game’s most varied meta, then Season 4 — after a big bump in the road — took that even further.

To launch the season, they introduced three guns, tuned 15, and adjusted a number of attachments on all Cold War snipers and assault rifles. The new MG 82 was unbelievably broken, so they nerfed it (an impressive) six days later.

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While the FARA 83 and Kar98k are the two main primary options right now, a number of others are getting tournament and regular play (e.g. the C58 and Swiss K31). And, continuing Season 3’s trajectory, the secondary meta is incredible: Cold War MP5, XM4, Milano, MAC-10, Nail Gun — you name it. A shooter’s central draw is the shooting and this season has more shooting options than ever before.

xm4 warzone season 4Activision
Lock and load, the XM4 is even deadlier in Season 4.

Oh, they also finally made it possible to save Cold War gun classes. Special shout out for that.

Map changes aren’t anything special

Dropping into the exact same map can be a bore and that hasn’t been entirely solved in Season 4. They added fast-travel, loot-goblin Red Doors, some Satellite Crash Sites, and a Hijacked Gulag. They’re all kind of cool, but none really get the blood flowing.

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One nice change though: the vault was removed from Nakatomi Plaza, meaning the quasi-limited-time-mode with a Specialist Bonus and $100,000 is finally gone. Altogether, the devs didn’t ruin the map, but didn’t do much to give it life either.

Bigger budget action movie: Fun Battle Pass, fun Dirt Bike

Warzone is cool because it feels like an action movie. And that feeling has only elevated in Season 4 — with a bigger budget and more outlandish options. If you want a wild time, look no further than reactive Operator skins, sillier emotes, and the now-infamous Dirt Bike.

I mean, come on, that Dirt Bike play is as close to an action movie as you can get in a multiplayer title. 

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Past that, the two reactive Operator skins are fun (one through the Battle Pass) and there are other goodies. When has a game’s BP ever come with a middle-finger emote, animated ganja-smoking calling card, and an Illuminati pyramid charm? It’s part funny, part kitsch, and all self-aware action cinema.

The same sore spots: Anti-cheat, SBMM, dev errors

Some issues are low-priority, like the primary gun meta (I miss you, M4-A1) and map changes (’84 wasn’t introduced long ago). Some are even lower-priority, like the song selection for the ‘80s playlist in Season 4’s BP (which could use some more bangers). But then there are the three longstanding problems that have yet to be remotely addressed.

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Solves for Warzone’s anti-cheat and dev errors are still MIA, over a year after its release. Additionally, the SBMM situation has zero transparency — so kill-race tournaments are chalked and pubs are absolute dice rolls. 

The community has loved the transparency about weapons and mechanics, so let’s see some progress on these issues too. Separate ranked and quick-play queues like Apex Legends? Custom lobby codes like Fortnite? There’s a lot of potential here, but radio silence from the devs. Those things ought to change in the near future.

Rating: 8/10

Overall, Warzone is about shooting and shooting in Season 4 feels more dynamic than ever. The transparency about, and responsiveness to, the gun meta is unprecedented and that’s enough for a strong grade — despite the relative quiet start to the season (I guess we can’t always have a nuke).

Past that, the action-movie cosmetic and mechanic elements are tremendous, but drawbacks persist. If the devs worked on those as much as they do purchasable cosmetics, this season would have approached a perfect score.