(Pocket-lint) - The next generation of Call of Duty: Warzone is on the way, taking in huge upgrades over the current version and wiping the slate clean on progression and stats.
Developer Infinity Ward already furnished us with a few details and then Activision announced more during its Call of Duty: Next event.
Here's what we know so far.
Warzone 2.0 release date
Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 will be available from 16 November 2022 - a couple of weeks after the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
This was confirmed at COD: Next, an event that may well become a fixture for Activision annually, given how much interest it generated.
That release date is a relief compared to rumours of a 2023 launch, and gives us a few weeks to level up in MW2's multiplayer before sinking into the new Warzone.
Warzone 2.0 trailer
While it hasn't yet had a fully dedicated trailer, Warzone 2.0 gets a nice slice of the action in the reveal trailer from COD Next that you can see below.
If you want to see more of the game in action, though, simply head to YouTube - a bunch of streamers got to play some rounds of Warzone 2.0 at Next, meaning there's a lot of gameplay out there from the likes of StoneMountain64, Westie and many more.
Warzone 2.0 platforms
It's been confirmed that the next generation of Warzone won't be leaving behind older consoles, despite hardcore fans' pleas - Infinity Ward has rightly pointed out that it would be abandoning by far the biggest slice of players if it gave up on the PS4 and Xbox One.
That means you can bank on Warzone 2.0 coming out on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One and PC. We're hoping at the least that we'll get full native versions of the game for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, though, for improved performance and resolution.
Will Warzone 2.0 be free?
The next version of Warzone will indeed retain the free-to-play status that made the first game such a smash hit.
That means you'll be able to play Warzone 2.0 completely for free, and it should also be the case that on PlayStation and Xbox you won't have to pay for online subscriptions to access its online modes.
Will your skins and guns carry over to Warzone 2.0?
Infinity Ward has confirmed that the move to a new engine is a fundamental one for Warzone, meaning that it's wiping the slate clean from a progression standpoint when Warzone 2.0 drops.
This means that whatever unlocks you've earned in Warzone so far will NOT carry over to the new game, and the same will go for gun and operator skins you might have purchased.
This may be a disappointment to some, but is only logical considering Warzone will have been out for 2.5 years by the time its sequel drops. Things can't last forever!
Will the original Warzone still exist?
Another interesting thing that has been confirmed is that the arrival of Warzone 2.0 will not destroy Warzone 1.0 - the current version of the game will continue to operate for the foreseeable future. This might be to avoid people falling off the bandwagon or just as a way to keep them having access to bundles they've bought.
Either way, it means that if you somehow prefer the older version of the game, you'll always be able to hop back in (if your hard drive can manage to host both at once, that is).
Warzone 2.0 new map
As revealed during Call of Duty: Next, there will be a new map in Warzone 2.0 - Al Mazrah, set in a fictional region of Western Asia.
Introducing Al Mazrah - the brand-new Battle Royale map for #Warzone2— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) September 15, 2022
Built for Next Gen
New Multi-Circle closure
Take on enemies at Strongholds
Where is the squad dropping first? #CODNext pic.twitter.com/aShCP7FqAq
As you can see above, it's a huge expanse (a tiny bit bigger than Caldera or Verdansk, from what we can tell using reference points), and contains a bunch of locations to explore. Dotted around the place are incredibly recognisable sections from iconic maps like Highrise and Terminal, making some areas more familiar.
Water is a much bigger part of the map, too, meaning that boats and swimming will be key in some parts, as we'll discuss below.
Warzone 2.0 gameplay changes
We know quite a lot about the gameplay changes coming to Warzone, since the changes incoming for Modern Warfare 2 should all apply to it as well - they share an engine.
This means that we'll be getting a visual upgrade, especially on newer consoles where a 120Hz mode will allow for improved smoothness and response times.
One huge change to the game's balance is that you'll no longer buy loadout drops to get full custom set-ups including perks and weapons. Instead, buy stations will now let you buy individual guns from your armoury at a higher cost, making it much more expensive to get geared up.
Swimming has been added to the game and features heavily in the environment, along with boats. Vehicles are getting upgraded more widely to feature more detailed damage like punctures, and when they blow up they'll leave a permanent husk for cover. They also use fuel, and can be refuelled using looted canisters or by visiting a fuel station, where you can also repair them.
There will also be a new circle mechanic, with the appearance of multiple circles during matches, which will then merge together as the match moves to the endgame, which should be cool.
Oh, and there's Gulag 2.0 - with 2v2 play, plus a "Jailer" roaming the map. Killing this AI to grab a key it drops will let you escape the match and return to the game. This has looked a little confusing from the gameplay at COD Next, so it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
The weaponry is modern but rooted in reality (at least at launch) with attachments that you can earn sometimes being applicable across different guns, a welcome change that should ease up the required grinding. Thankfully, a new firing range will make it easy to test how your build performs.
New equipment is arriving including remote cameras and EMP grenades, while you will now also be able to dive into a prone position while you're sprinting if needed.
You can also hang on ledges to peek over walls and barriers as you mantle over things, opening up new possibilities as you move around the map. There's also rappelling down buildings in MW2, although whether that'll come to Warzone is less sure.
Gunsmith will return for weapon editing and the level of detail seems to be stepped up even further, letting you redistribute your weapon's weight for better recoil but worse aim-down-sight speed, among other tweaks.
From what could be seen at COD Next, the current player count being tested is 100, a smaller one than Warzone 1.0, but with potentially a few hundred AI soldiers on the battlefield for you to fight as you play, defending areas and objectives.
The inventory system is also quite a lot more complicated and needs a bit more management than in Warzone 1.0.
You can read about all these changes and more, plus get detailed information about Al Mazrah and more, on the Call of Duty site, which has a tonne of info to share.