The Gulag is now a much more lethal place in Call of Duty: Warzone, but that's not necessarily for the better.
The Gulag is one of the most defining characteristics of Call of Duty: Warzone's battle royale modes.
Your first death in a BR match sends you there to fight another player who recently died themselves. Win and you get another chance at life. Lose and you'll be kicked back to the menu, or be forced to wait for your teammates to potentially buy you back.
Since Warzone's launch, the weapons available in the Gulag were specifically limited to pistols and shotguns, with not a single assault rifle or SMG. This tended to force players closer together, encouraging them to run to the middle and immediately clash. Most aren't usually familiar with pistols and shotguns, so fights typically had everyone scrambling to land accurate, consistent shots, or moving erratically to throw off their enemy's aim.
However, this week's big 1.21 update introduced automatic weapons to the Gulag for the first time. The tools now are favourite assault rifles like the M13 and dominant SMGs like the MP5.
While putting more capable weapons in the hands of players certainly has its benefits, not everyone is happy with the playstyle they tend to encourage. In a word: camping.
"It feels like such a spray and camp fight. It’s not fun, there’s no opportunity to rush or play anything similar, it’s just wait in your spawn," frustrated Reddit user AdvancedWolverine wrote.
"All my gulag fights tonight where people staying in their spawn mounted the whole match," Marrked agreed.
Having accurate long-range weapons also illustrates another problem with the Gulag: team callouts. While you've always been able to call out enemy movements to a teammate from the stands, the inaccurate nature of pistols and shotguns allowed for some manoeuvrability. When you mount your M4 on the side of a wall and hold an angle, there's very little the enemy player running into your sights can do about it.
There's also the argument that Gulag fights now play out like any other encounter in the game, whereas before it was a unique experience where everyone was forced to use pared-down weapons and fight for their lives, often requiring players to be a bit more creative.
The camping problem, however, does have a positive side effect in that allows equipment like stun and flash grenades to be more effective, since they more heavily counter campers over aggressive players. Of course, there's no guarantee the camping player won't also use stun grenades, but they do introduce some chaos into the fight.
The change has been divisive to say the least, but it doesn't seem like one of those things that Infinity Ward removes quickly after introducing, for now at least.
In case you missed it, we published an easy guide to unlocking bunker 11 and obtaining the MP7 blueprint inside. Hit it up if you're looking for a change of pace in Warzone.