Activision has finally ushered in the next generation for its highly anticipated free-to-play battle royale, and while plenty of folks are excitedly dropping into the new Al Mazrah map, it’s fair to say that Warzone 2.0’s launch has been a bit of a mess so far. From stuttering and choppy gameplay to crippling lag to a smorgasbord of error messages that render the experience nigh on unplayable, the first 24 hours of Warzone 2.0 has largely been a bust.
To be frank, it’s a shame, as you’d expect a little more polish from such a behemoth publisher as Activision, which is easily one of the largest and most affluent around. But the truth is, I feel that Warzone 2.0’s rough launch is endemic to what the industry holds for the future of online-centric Games as a Service-style titles.
Yes, I know, Warzone 2.0 will be patched and fixed up over the course of the next few weeks and months, but this “release it now and fix it later” attitude is undoubtedly beginning to get on my wick. I can’t be the only one, right? Surely, it’s time to call a spade a spade: this approach to rushing a game to release before it’s fully cooked is pretty unacceptable, no? What happened to the days of releasing a game when it was, well… finished.
I mean, let’s just look at the first Warzone as a case study. Released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC back in 2020, it launched in largely pristine condition compared to Activision’s latest offering. I’m genuinely boggled by how poorly Warzone 2.0 performs compared to its immediate predecessor on last-gen hardware, no less.
Another case study that is quite apt to mention is Overwatch 2, which was released last month to a host of launch day issues, much akin to Warzone 2.0. Sure, the in-lobby waiting time to get into the action may not necessarily be as egregious as Blizzard Entertainment’s bumpy launch day, but it still flies in the face of an acceptable state to release a game.
From the handful of hours I’ve played Warzone 2.0 so far, much of my experience felt like I was playing a slideshow from before the inception of the TV. The stuttering gameplay was migraine-inducing, and the lag was dreadful. There were even parts where the geometry of the map hadn’t been rendered properly and kept disappearing and reappearing in front of my very eyes. *sigh*
Oh, and that’s before even mentioning the missing features like partying up with your mates. Why is it so hard to get into a party with your friends? It feels like you either a) need to be a rocket scientist, or b) need to sacrifice your own newborn child in some dark ritual if you want to play the game online with your buddies. Oh, and the menus – much like MW2 – feel like they’ve been designed by an AI bot that thinks Netflix is the gold standard of UI design. Sub-optimal!
Of course, in a few months, once the dust has settled, Warzone 2.0 will likely be running well and will be all fixed up thanks to ongoing patches and updates. But first impressions count and, oh boy, am I disappointed with my early hours with Warzone 2.0.
But how about you? Tell us, how has your experience been with Warzone 2.0’s launch so far? Let us know in the usual place down below to let us know.