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COD Warzone Mobile Review: A misfiring mess

Open fire!

After years of anticipation, Activision’s battle royale title COD Warzone Mobile, finally went global on March 21, 2024. Like countless others eagerly awaiting its release, I was filled with excitement to dive into the gameplay and test it out. Behold, fans weren’t happy with the game and even before I could start playing, the game was bombed with negative reviews. Although this made me resist diving into the chaos that is COD Warzone Mobile, I couldn’t help but play it. I simply had to see for myself whether the game truly deserved the flak it was receiving. So, after wrestling with the game for quite some time; believe me, it was a battle in itself, it’s time to gather my honest thoughts and present a review of Warzone Mobile. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

The gameplay brings a good promise to the table, a different battle royale feel

Let me start first with the gameplay, an aspect that I believe all players have formed a solid opinion on by the time my review is out. The gameplay did get flak for being non-existent by many users, but I should tell you, the core gameplay isn’t a dud by any means. Problems aside, there is huge potential, and in the current scenario, it can offer extra fun with the game modes it has currently.

Warzone Mobile gameplay
Image via Activision

Battle Royale is a genre loved by many, and Warzone Mobile tries to offer the best experience with a feel of as if you are there on the battlefield, capturing the gritty essence of battle. Some features stood out to me, such as the absence of dog tags or false revivals, along with each weapon possessing its own distinct identity, avoiding the issue of them feeling too similar to one another. This aspect alone is a notable positive for a pocket action title.

Graphics is a hit and a miss: Some Awes, Some Naws

Next up, another trolled aspect of the game, even its competition Arena Breakout did it officially. Graphics can elevate an average game or diminish the value of a great one. In the case of Warzone, there’s a mix of highs and lows, but pinpointing the exact issue preventing all aspects from reaching their full potential has proven difficult for me, to be honest.

Prison Verdansk Warzone Mobile
Image via Activision

The cutscenes, oh my, breathtaking. I’m a big fan of animations in games, and I never skip them because they add an extra layer of enjoyment for me. The voiceovers accompanying these cutscenes are well done, especially the one that pops up once you are killed, and getting carried to a prison cell for a chance to revive yourself. What’s particularly noteworthy is that these cutscenes seamlessly blend into the gameplay without interrupting the flow, and visually, they are stunning.

On the flip side, the core gameplay suffers from some notably poor visuals. I’m not too sure if it’s the players’ devices that are goofing it up, but while I was playing I noticed some rough edges that bordered on comedic rather than serious issues. The update cutting down the higher graphics quality options didn’t help either.

Optimization attracts plenty of ‘heat’

As someone who owns a flagship smartphone with a powerful processor, I expected Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile to deliver stunning graphics and smooth performance. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case, especially with the optimization. I use my iQOO Neo 7 Pro which isn’t even close to being a year old, and the heaviest of the games run amazingly well with it, with max settings but Warzone Mobile had other plans.

Warzone Mobile gameplay snippet
Image via Activision

The frame rate is inconsistent, leading to choppy gameplay and frequent stuttering. Additionally, the game seems to tax my device’s hardware excessively, causing it to heat up rapidly during extended play sessions, and mind you, this device works efficiently well when it comes to heat dissipation. If these issues persist even on devices equipped with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, I can only imagine the challenges faced by users with lower-end devices.

I’m not entirely sure about the experiences of iPhone users, but based on my friend’s feedback, his iPhone 13 Pro provided a decent enough experience. Additionally, I’ve seen suggestions from iPhone users indicating that they haven’t encountered significant optimization issues with overheating. I see it as a possibility that iOS devices may have received a cleaner version of the game. Still, the graphical fidelity of Warzone Mobile falls far short of what I was hoping for.

Clunky Controls and UI come with adrenaline-rushing music

Controls present a mixed feel, and I wasn’t particularly happy with the adjustments it had. The features are cool, and there is a lot of customization within the equipment apart from the mapping. I found myself needing to tweak the HUD often to feel comfortable, especially making several options invisible on screen. Responsiveness does matter with the network connection you have, still, I felt in some instances the controls lacked the necessary punch during critical moments in gameplay

Warzone Mobile controls
Image via Activision

I’m a very consistent critic of User Interfaces, and if the loading screen isn’t simplistic or fancying my taste, I will end up disappointed. Although I see the UI presentation as decent enough, with good button gaps and neatly presented, navigating it has been a frustrating experience. You have plenty of segregations that don’t help beginners, and the icons at the top don’t indicate what exactly the options are.

I can’t fault the music and sound system. The game features a dynamic soundtrack that increases during intense play, enhancing the adrenaline-pumping experience. The soundtrack is also top-notch, with realistic gunshots, explosions, and environmental noises immersing me in the action. It works better with earphones, but without them, it was clear enough, maybe my dual speakers helped.

Thankfully no ads to spoil an already ruined experience

Warzone Mobile packs for purchase
Image via Activision

Many options for purchases, you can see the store glittering with skins, cosmetics, and whatnot. There are plenty of packs available in the store, and I’m not too sure of getting them to try, but if you are a fan, why not? True to Activision’s style, there are no advertisements, mirroring the experience of their other games.

Final Verdict

With the review concluding, let me tell you, overall, Warzone Mobile, sadly, reinforces the message to avoid making empty promises. I mean, the visuals, the cutscenes, and all the extravaganza it had before launch, the experience falls short of expectations. Many eagerly awaited its release, only to be disappointed that it does not live up to its promises, YET.

I used “yet” because, despite the passage of time since its development, there is still potential for change. Let me take a prime example of this: Call Of Duty Mobile. Look, it had its fair share of problems, though not tangled with issues like Warzone Mobile, it managed to address its shortcomings and evolve into the successful game it is today.

I see the new updates that the makers are introducing have slowly improved the game, not perfect, yes, but we’ll take it as an improvement. Optimization should be the main concern to note, followed by the rest of the bugs. Hopefully, the roadmap for Warzone is the same, since I want to see this title succeed, just like any other action title.

COD Warzone Mobile Review by GamingonPhone

Gameplay Mechanics - 6.5
Gamemodes - 5.5
Graphics and Music - 7
Controls and UI - 6
Performance Assessment - 6
Free-to-Play Elements - 8

6.5

Average

Warzone Mobile could have been a potential game changer in the Battle Royale genre now plagued with multiple issues that spoils an experience that was hyped.

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