Verdansk as you’ve come to know it is gone. A nuclear blast has wiped out a zombie outbreak that recently corrupted the land. In its cleansing wake, Activision has rewound Verdansk back to its 1984 version to explore how the Cold War events affected that city. Warzone Season Three rises from these ashes, and with it comes a host of exciting map updates, including reimagined retro interpretations of iconic locations.
The throwback blast of Warzone is just one piece of the Season 3 picture. New Operator Wraith joins the fight – a stone-cold killer featured in the narrative cinematics around the destruction of Mt. Yamantau. Yamantau is a new snowy Multiplayer map that takes place in and around buildings after a devastating avalanche, Sticks and Stones mode returns for a more laid-back MP experience, and will challenge your tomahawk-throwing precision. Diesel is a new 2v2 Gunfight map that doubles as a tight-quarters 6v6 map. The Strafe Run scorestreak rakes the battlefield with airplane machine gun fire. That’s just a sample.
Welcome to Verdansk ‘84
Every building, surface, and object on the Warzone map has been revisited and retouched to create a fresh Warzone environment. For starters, It’s now springtime in Verdansk. Cherry blossoms line the streets, and vivid green flora makes the map a newly vibrant destination.
Seven existing locations return with new points of interest, including the Airport which was destroyed in modern-day Verdansk. In Verdansk ‘84, the Airport is fully furnished, sun shines through intact windows, and has an entirely different mood than before. The Airport control tower still stands tall in the location, creating a power position for players who want to control the area. However, the new layout of the airport allows players additional cover to counter-snipe anyone camped out in the tower.
The Verdansk Stadium is still under construction in 1984, complete with a crane towering over the location. The dome, previously blasted open, is completely absent in 1984, creating an open-air battleground.
We had a chance to chat about three of the most high-profile Verdansk map changes with Miles Leslie, Creative Specialist at Treyarch, and Amos Hodge, Associate Creative Director at Raven Software. Read on to learn about what these locations were like previously, how they’ve been updated in Verdansk ‘84, and tips for success.
There’s a moment that happens almost every day in our multiplayer playtests – where someone jolts out of their seat, laughs, and says to no one in particular, “Did you just see that happen?” These amazing and unpredictable moments in gaming are the sparks that occur when playing with others; future memories ready to be replayed and retold.
We started Firewalk Studios in 2018 with this kind of spark at the heart of our games.
It’s why I used to stay up until 2 AM playing Phantasy Star Online night after night with the same group from Server 9. Or how the neighbors who showed up at my NYC apartment to complain about the noise, ended up jamming with us in Rock Band instead.
For others on our team, it was spending nights with their crew searching and finding the perfect last armor set piece in Diablo II, making the online qualifiers in competitive Halo tournaments, or skipping studying for a math final to play in a Left 4 Dead 2 LAN party.
As a next-generation AAA studio and part of the ProbablyMonsters family, we’ve carefully assembled an amazing and diverse team of best-in-class talent who are focused on creating these moments. Everyone here brings a deep passion for games and the art of making them. We have a saying at Firewalk: build a great team, build a great game. One leads directly to the other. The ProbablyMonsters’ world-class operations teams and infrastructure has allowed us to focus on doing both better: fostering a sustainable development culture where people come first and delivering great games.
Our collective leadership team is no stranger to building memorable multiplayer experiences. Ryan Ellis, our Game Director, was a Creative Director on Destiny. Elena Siegman, our Executive Producer, was a producer on Guitar Hero II, Bioshock Infinite, and multiple Destiny releases. Our deeply talented team has helped bring to life franchises like Mass Effect and Apex Legends. Combined with my own experience (and, er, thousands of hours played) on Call of Duty and Destiny, we’ve had the opportunity to deliver some of the decade’s biggest experiences to gamers – and we’ve loved it.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce a partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment for our new, original multiplayer game. For our team, the opportunity to create new worlds and inspire more amazing moments for players around the world is the fire and ambition that keeps us going. The PlayStation team has a deep love and respect for the medium of games, and some of the best expertise and capabilities in the world to help make big ambitions a reality.
We’re already hard at work on development and have been having a ton of fun playing our game as a team. In fact, while we continued to grow our team during this challenging last year, it was our daily online playtests that provided the most consistent point of joy and connection for our crew. The fun and laughter of playing together brought us closer, even if we were physically apart. Our goal is to be able to deliver that same joy to gamers and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on when the time is right.
We’re very fortunate to love what we do – making games. There’s more game-making in front of us, but in the meantime, we’ll keep playing the incredible games this industry creates and generating a few more sparks of our own.
See you out there.