Call of Duty’s Season Four update has arrived for Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, bringing a new limited-time event, as well as more maps, modes, operators, and a little Black Ops magic.
Season 4 introduces the limited-time “Ground Fall” event, which brings new mission objectives for both Black Ops Cold War and Warzone. Ground Fall continues Cold War’s ongoing narrative, specifically following the events of the recently released Season Four trailer, which shows that Stitch is still trying to cause trouble in Verdansk, with a contact in South Africa forced to take down satellites for him. Now the crashed satellites need to be investigated during Ground Fall.
Completing the Ground Fall objectives will earn rewards such as emblems, calling cards, weapon charm, and some XP. Completing every challenge earns an epic secondary weapon blueprint. There are only six challenges total, and the event ends June 24.
Season Four also adds three new multiplayer maps to Black Ops Cold War. “Collateral” is a desert locale, where a CIA satellite has crashed into an abandoned village. Collateral has a large 12v12 version with vehicles, but there’s also “Collateral Strike,” which is a trimmed down version of the map made for standard 6v6 matches. “Hijacked”, the popular superyacht map from Black Ops 2, is now a part of Cold War’s map pool, and finally, Amsterdam is a small map for Gunfight 2v2 and Face Off 3v3.
For fans of Cold War’s large-scale Fireteam playlist, Multi-Team: Sat-Link is a new Fireteam mode that requires players to power up satellites and keep them online for as long as possible to gain points. This plays a lot like the Fireteam: Dirty Bomb mode, but there’s no radiation spilling onto the map from nuclear devices. Instead of bombs, your squad must capture and hold satellites for points. The team that reaches the score limit first gets the win. As usual with Fireteam modes, this is played with ten squads of four on the large-scale Ural Mountains maps. Personally, I wish this mode was something a little more innovative, but it seems like it’s just altering an existing Fireteam mode to thematically fit the Ground Fall event for Season Four. It isn’t a bad mode; it just doesn’t stand apart from the already existing Fireteam modes.
Season Four also adds the classic Black Ops party game, One in the Chamber, which works the same as previous games. This is a free-for-all mode where players only have one bullet to start, and they only receive another bullet after earning a kill. The last player standing wins.
As always, this new season brings another 100-tier battle pass. Season Four’s battle pass includes two new weapons and a boatload of cosmetics. If you’re into the flashy stuff, new operators can be unlocked in the pass or purchased in cosmetic bundles.
For Zombies, Season Four keeps the focus on Cold War’s Outbreak mode. Zoo is the new Outbreak map, but don’t expect to feed any animals here, as this zoo is filled with the undead instead of lions, tigers, or bears. (Honestly, it seems like a missed opportunity not to include a zombie bear.)
Cold War’s ongoing Dark Aether storyline also continues in Outbreak, as the new “Operation Excision” storyline quest went live today at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Completing the quest will provide more of the narrative, as Operation Excision serves as the prologue for “Mauer der Toten,” Cold War’s next standard survival map, which is set in war-torn East Berlin after zombies have devastated the city. Players can expect this map later in Season Four, likely with the mid-season update.
Thanks to Stitch taking down those satellites, Warzone gained some new points of interest with the arrival of the Ground Fall event, as the satellites crashed all around Verdansk. There are also Sat-Links that can be located and secured to complete objectives for the event. You can also gain helpful items to use during the match, such as powerful killstreaks, vehicles, and field upgrades.
Visually, Verdansk ’84 feels like much of the same. The crash sites don’t make a huge impact on the landscape. However, there are a lot of good changes for Season 4.
A major weapon tuning pass was made for many guns from both Cold War and Modern Warfare. Weaker and previously less popular guns like the Groza and FN Scar 17 assault rifles received buffs to make them more viable, while the overpowered and widely-used options like the CR-56 AMAX and Streetsweeper were nerfed. Warzone feels at its best with there’s a good range of gun options, instead of lobbies being dominated by just one or two guns, so it’s great to see these balancing updates.
A new fast travel system has been implemented in Verdansk. There are special red doors found around the map, which can teleport players to another area of the map. The doors have several possible spawn locations in major points of interest such as Stadium and Hospital, but they aren’t guaranteed to be there each time. These doors transport you to an interior location with plenty of loot, including items like Advanced UAV scorestreaks and gas masks.
Additionally, the dirt bikes from Cold War’s large-scale maps have been added to Warzone. And armored trucks are back in Verdansk, which is very similar to the trucks used in Warzone’s previous Armored Royale limited-time mode. These are found by interacting with the SAT-Link devices that randomly crash land in each match. Capturing this device works like Warzone’s Recon Contracts: just secure the device and you’ll earn a reward. A reward cache will either give you an armored truck or the HARP scorestreak.
The Ground Fall event doesn’t feel like anything truly captivating, but I’m hopeful that there’s more to this Season Four narrative than just visiting these crash sites for challenges. In the Season Four teaser trailer, we got some of the Cold War story from Stitch’s perspective, and he specifically mentioned that the satellites needed to be destroyed because they were blocking his broadcast, and also that Stitch needed to get the test subjects ready. The broadcast Stitch mentions, along with the red doors we’re now seeing in Verdansk, all seem to be teasing a bigger Warzone story arc, with Stitch potentially using the test subjects to bring back Black Ops’ brainwashing Numbers program. Maybe when Ground Fall ends on June 24, we’ll get a second event that focuses on the broadcast and possible sleeper agents activated in Verdansk.
Overall, Season Four is off to a quieter start than Season Three, but it was always going to be hard to outshine last season’s nuking of the original Verdansk map and the mid-season ‘80s Action Hero event. Call of Duty’s updates continue to be a fair mix of new and throwback content, and I’m really enjoying the balance here. Instead of one mode getting all the attention, there’s something new whether your preference is multiplayer, Zombies, or battle royale.