Activision recently revealed that two new crossover characters will be joining the fight in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Warzone and Mobile on the 20th of May - John Rambo and John McClane. Ignoring the criticism levied against the actual in-game models which were leaked, let's instead consider the question: why stop there?
Live service battle royale games are the perfect platforms for some zany crossovers, as proven by a particularly popular other game in this genre. While there isn't any official news on the matter, we're going to go ahead and assume more action heroes are on the way for the game - here are a few we'd want to see show up in Verdansk.
Frank Martin (The Transporter)
Former soldier turned private driver for hire, Frank Martin is the protagonist of The Transporter franchise, revolving around the more adventurous jobs taken on by the character. These usually end up being more than just simple deliveries, otherwise he'd hardly make this list. Sticking to a strict personal code of conduct, Frank tries to do right by his morals despite often having to work together with criminals.
As evidenced by the movies, his military background means Frank is experienced with weapons, explosives and tactics. You might think he'd have to hang up the suit and go back to the flak vest for dropping into Verdansk, but who said you can't be stylish when battling your way through a combat zone?
One of the strangest examples of an extreme tonal shift in a franchise, Machete is actually part of the Spy Kids universe. Unlike the family-friendly spy comedies aimed at kids, the Machete films are unrestrained in their over-the-top violence and gore, depicting Uncle Machete - real name Isador Cortez - when 'he's not watching over the kids". In one of the movies, he disembowels an opponent and uses their intestine as a swing rope.
While his preferred tools of the trade are bladed weapons, Machete is more than proficient with firearms. Adding him to Call of Duty: Warzone would necessitate the addition of his bike with a minigun strapped on the front.
Robert McCall (The Equalizer)
Action heroes being retired soldiers trying to live a quiet life, only to be violently pulled back into the fight is one of the most common tropes - uh, we mean framing devices - in the genre, and Robert McCall from The Equalizer is a perfect example. Honest and good-hearted to a fault, he can also easily kill a group of armed assailants with random objects in the room.
The skilled efficiency and ingenuity displayed by McCall when faced with a dangerous situation, whilst lacking a weapon, is underpinned by how dangerous he is when he does enter the fray armed. This improvisation is a perfect thematic match for the looting mechanic in battle royales where the only weapons you have are the ones you find.
John Wick (John Wick)
Arguably a chip off the same block as Frank Martin, this stylish and highly skilled fighter is a professional assassin instead of private driver. The expertly choreographed fight scenes across the John Wick films show just how intimately he knows his way around weapons, being able to DIY a functioning revolver using nothing but antiques displayed in a museum, or dispatching a squad of armored henchmen with small weak spots.
Though he too likes his sharp suits, they never get out scot free by the end of either movie, so the grit and dirt of Verdansk doesn't mean he'd have to compromise the iconic appearance to kick some serious operator butt.
Come on, you knew this one was going to come up - you can't have a list like this without Arnie. Sure, Dutch from Predator would have also been a valid choice, but with the game already sporting Rambo, we went for the more varied option. You'd think that a metal killing machine from the future would be a bit OP when faced with regular flesh and blood soldiers that usually star in Call of Duty, but this would just be a skin, after all.
A Terminator operator would be a fun opportunity to add some dynamic damage effects, where at full health the 'skin' would be undamaged, however as you take shots more and more of the metallic skeleton would be revealed. Bonus points for a "I'll be back" voice line whenever T-800 gets sent to the Gulag.
Bryan Mills (Taken)
We all know the iconic and meme-worthy monologue about Bryan Mills' very particular set of skills uttered in the first Taken, and the fact that the ex-CIA operative has fought his way through three films and more recently a prequel TV series proves he is more than capable of holding his own against overwhelming odds.
Sure, open warfare is a great deal different than the close-quarters urban shootout Bryan usually finds himself in, but there are plenty of opportunities for CQC in Warzone as well where he can become a nightmare for his opponents.
The Punisher (The Punisher)
Call of Duty can cop comic characters too - and few come to mind before the Punisher when you think about a gun toting action hero, though the term 'hero' is really really being stretched here. Frank Castle's skewed morals aside, he's definitely among the most iconic Marvel characters without bona fide super powers (though having survived everything he has, there's definitely some metahuman in there).
Maybe mercilessly gunning down droves of enemy combatants instead of mobsters would be a nice change of pace for the vengeful vigilante.
There are dozens of other great candidates for appearing in future Call of Duty crossovers, but no list could possibly get them all, so feel free to shout out anyone you think we missed. We'll have to wait and see if any other action heroes join McClane and Rambo in Warzone, but for now those two will be dropping into Verdansk on the 20th of May.