Warzone Season 2 Reloaded is one hell of an update. While Call of Duty: Warzone’s mid-season updates are usually reserved for a new mode, new POI, and weapon tweaks, Reloaded Season 2 features changes worthy of a whole new season. Activision could have presented this as Warzone Season 3 and I would have accepted it.
Warzone’s latest mid-season update completely rejuvenates the beloved Rebirth Island map. It’s not just a cosmetic facelift: there are new points of interest, new sightlines, and new areas ready for firefights. Although the map has undergone a few small changes since its inception in 2020, we have never seen Rebirth Island change. this a lot, and with the Rebirth Resurgence mode remaining popular through each Warzone integration, these changes have massive implications. Warzone Season 2 Reloaded is the best update we’ve had yet, and it’s only going to get better.
Resurrect an island
Coming across Rebirth Island for the first time can be confusing at first. Not only are there new buildings, two giant ships docked on either side of the island, and other random additions, but everything is bathed in a whole new light. This isn’t a metaphor – Raven Software literally changed the way the map is lit by swapping the position of the sun in the skybox, which drastically changes the way shadows are cast. It’s such a big difference that I initially think the Reloaded Season 2 update changed the layout of Rebirth Island, but no, it’s just 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, especially in the new Rebirth Resurgence Mode Solos. The new ship docked by the Nova 6 factory has a line of sight that lines up directly with the roof of the factory, easily peeks into headquarters houses, and if you’re equipped with the right scope, poses a threat to the campers on the roof of the prison. You wouldn’t think a single ship could drastically alter a map’s power dynamics, but damn it, it does.
The Rebirth Island facelift also addresses some pain points that persist despite the map’s popularity. Players often complained about the flatness of the safe zone – if you were there at the wrong time (mainly when the ring was collapsing) you felt like you were the fish and it was the barrel, as players in the control center and living quarters could use the high ground to pick you up easily. Now, however, the Safe Zone is known as Stronghold, and there are several buildings providing the area with some much-needed verticality. I’ve already been in a few intense firefights while entering and exiting buildings in Stronghold, and can confidently say it’s improved significantly.
The Rebirth Island update also addresses a major issue that has plagued players since the map’s early days: the courtyard outside the prison, which was yet another area that fed rooftop campers. the Call of Duty blog post even calls it “a death trap – an open space with little or no cover, even above the surrounding wall”. Now, however, the courtyard has tents, covered areas, and an all-new wall with guard posts, which adds another platform to a player-favorite encampment: the water tower.
Every change made to Rebirth Island feels purposeful, intentional, and measured. As such, Rebirth Island feels faster than ever – and that’s exactly what it should feel given that you can constantly respawn there. Previous map changes have looked somewhat lackluster, even those that were part of major season rollouts and not mid-season updates. Verdansk ’84 didn’t seem like enough of a declarative change from the original Verdansk, and the addition of Die Hard’s Nakatomi Plaza only temporarily added some freshness to the map. But this new renaissance island is inspired and an absolute pleasure to play on.
Small changes, but effective
Rebirth Island is the crown jewel of Warzone Season 2 Reloaded, but the update introduced a few other significant changes. Right now, players are participating in a community-wide slay in order to earn weapon trading stations on Rebirth Island. The new feature will allow you to trade in your existing guns for new guns, cash, tactical grenades, and more. Plus, you’ll get an entire clip in trade, meaning these new stations will be late-game lifesavers once added to the map. However, to unlock it, we will need to “gain enough kills after the update”, which is a great 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 at the ground. The station can be deployed anywhere, has the same content as a regular Buy Station, and will appear on your map as a new icon. Imagine being able to summon one of them while you’re the last person alive on your team, giving you a chance to redeem your team and head into battle with a full crew?
There’s also the reintroduction of the polarizing Juggernaut, which always rocks a match – but now you can get one on Rebirth Island. Falling into a Juggernaut on a giant battle royale map is very different from falling into one on a much more crowded map, so expect the metal murderer to ruffle some feathers. I have yet to encounter a Juggernaut on Rebirth Island, and for that I am grateful.
Warzone has had its ups and downs since its 2020 debut, and the biggest integration with Call of Duty: Vanguard has had the the devs admit they’re “unhappy” with the game’s “bloated” state, either. But Raven Software has proven it understands its player base and what it needs with the Warzone Season 2 Reloaded update, which hopefully renews the trust of the community. This game is in good hands, and the latest update proves it.
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