Call of Duty: Warzone will never be the same again. Following the launch of Season 3, the bombs have dropped, the nuke event is over, and the brand new - or should we say, brand old - Verdansk '84 map greets players in a new era of the standalone battle royale.
In the wake of Season 2's zombie event, nuclear warheads have decontaminated Verdansk and leveled the entire area. However, that doesn't mean players have to say goodbye to the map which started it all. After a brief period when Rebirth Island was the only playable map, the clock was turned back on Verdansk, showing us a version of the city and surrounding areas as they were in 1984.
We've compiled all the intel you need to know about the updated terrain in Call of Duty: Warzone. Welcome to Verdansk '84.
Call of Duty: Warzone launched following Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in early 2020 with one map - Verdansk. The location was already explored to a degree in the campaign of Modern Warfare and in some multiplayer maps, but grew to become the star of the free to play battle royale spin off. It's been the main map of the game ever since with some slight changes over the course of the year - bunkers were opened, the stadium became accessible and a subway system became operational, among others.
When Black Ops Cold War launched, Rebirth Island joined the roster as a smaller arena of players to battle it out, but Verdansk - largely unchanged - remained the star of the show. It only makes sense that things needed a bit of a shakeup after all this time.
Verdansk '84 is now live in Warzone - properly that is, following the brief period when it went live prematurely - offering a new take on the classic map over 100 million players have come to know and love. Much of it will be familiar, but there are several huge changes to landmarks, layouts, locations, hot zones and more which will completely alter the usual strategies which players have learned to rely on.
Presenting us with a version of the city of Verdansk and the surrounding area as it was in the year 1984, the designers paid attention to make sure that the architecture reflected this era, as do all the props and scenery you'd find strewn around the map. Many landmarks from the pre-nuke map have not been built yet, or are still under construction. The utilitarianism and brutalism typical of Soviet cities is apparent in the new version of the map, making the old new again.
Verdansk '84 is more than just a new coat of paint, though. A number of technical changes and tweaks have happened behind the scenes, which ought to improve performance across the board. The way loot hot-zones, tactically beneficial drop zones and other strategic elements of the game area have been optimized should make each match more dynamic than they ever were on the previous maps, promoting more engagements between squads.
To get a better sense of how things have changed before diving into our in-depth guide, check out this brand new trailer for Verdansk '84:
One interesting detail Activision has highlighted - the original Verdansk map will never, ever be restored to Call of Duty: Warzone. It's gone forever. All we'll have is Verdansk '84 and whatever map updates might follow in the future - Modern Warfare era Verdansk will not be seen again.
Ever since the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the story integration between it, set in the 80's, and Warzone, set in the modern era, was tough. To maintain a sense of continuity among the titles and to keep up the close ties that were established between the previous title, Modern Warfare, and Warzone, shared plot points were used throughout seasons, and Cold War operators could be used in Warzone by players.
The past two events, which consisted of the zombie outbreak and then The Destruction of Verdansk gave the developers the perfect excuse to yank Warzone back in time and bring it into the same era as Black Ops Cold War, making story integration much easier, as evidenced by Season 3's shared The Hunt for Adler event, wherein challenges directly related to the on-going Cold War story can be completed in the battle royale as well.
That, plus every popular battle royale needs to shake things up a bit every now and then - and hey, everyone loves the 80's, right?
Cities change a great deal over the course of four decades, which is the amount of time the clock has been wound back in Verdansk. Many of the most iconic landmarks and locations are either under construction, significantly changed or gone entirely to be replaced by something else that completely transforms the tactics and strategies you'll need to use in order to secure victory. Let's take a virtual tour around the biggest alterations that make Verdansk '84 a brand new experience.
First up, the Gora Dam: it's gone. Where once the imposing, towering structure stood we can now find a large Viaduct spanning the gap between two mountains, one of which is home to the new Gora Summit military complex. Gora Summit borrows many design elements and parts of its layout from a multiplayer map players will remember from the original Black Ops, albeit significantly scaled up. Between the two halves of the complex and a central 'island', you can expect some high-end loot here, which will make the blend of long distance firefights across the chasm and the close-quarters battles inside the buildings a guaranteed combat hot zone.
A pair of major landmarks that were popular spots for dropping, looting and fighting are barely recognizable. The Verdansk Regional Airport is a smaller, undamaged version of its bigger international counterpart from before the nuke, while the much smaller Old Stadium is mid-demolition as the city prepares to clear the construction site for the one we've fought through plenty.
Two mines let you take the fight below ground, one of which is a wonky, old and abandoned shaft where the ancient architecture may be as much of a danger as enemy operators, and the other is a sprawling salt mine complex built where the quarry used to (will?) be. The Salt Mine has several interior locations, as well as buildings that are locked for now, but the developers hint at future events causing them to open up.
In downtown Verdansk, some of the most popular urban landmarks have been reimagined. The Broadcast Tower is just a semi-constructed husk consisting of less than half the final number of floors, dwarfed by the huge crane next to it. Conversely, the super store is in pristine condition - it's just been given an age-appropriate makeover.
Spread out around the outskirts of Verdansk are all sort of new farmsteads, bunkers which have been re-sealed only to await another event that opens them up, and a massive Grid Radar Array which represents the largest landmark of the map in its current form.
Verdansk '84 may be new ground for players, but we can definitely see this version of the map becoming just as iconic as the original, if not even more so.