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Against all odds, Warzone 2.0 and Modern Warfare 2’s battle pass is very good

The new Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0 battle pass is doing things differently – and I can only see the positives.

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0and by extension, Modern Warfare 2 – has an excellent battle pass. One of the best I have seen over the last few years, ever since Fortnite popularised the monetisation method and we’ve seen the reward-based progression incentives proliferate across the industry. Unlike other battle passes that we’ve seen, there’s a huge amount of player control over what you unlock and when, meaning we all start getting different items at different times, and can prioritise certain items over others.

Talk about setting the scene.

For example, if you play mostly as the operator Calisto and want to get more skins for the French-Spanish descendent of France’s last royal family pre-republic, you can choose to do so. You may ignore certain weapon skins or unlocks on your route to getting your new operator skin, but that’s your choice. You’re in control. You get to choose where you spend the tokens in the battle pass.

Isn’t that a better set-up than, say, Overwatch 2 – the most recent game that’s attracted complaints from users because of how egregiously-monetised and slow its battle pass is? Isn’t it better to be able to say ‘hey, I want more guns!’ and be able to get to work unlocking more guns? I know, as I get my head around the slowly-forming meta of Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0, that I want as many options available to me as soon as possible. And unlocking a ‘pro-tuned’ shotgun to take with me into the new Shoot House playlist has been a dream. Look and learn, Blizzard; your Activision buddies are embarrassing you.

And – it’s important to remember – this is only Season 1. The first go that Warzone 2.0 and Modern Warfare 2 are having at this. As it stands, there are 20 “Combat Sectors,” each of which hold five rewards. There’s also a bonus sector (marked on the map as A0) that unlocks an additional five rewards (including Season 1’s headline operator, Zeus) if you purchase the battle pass. You can play for free, but your reward tracks are severely limited if you choose to do so; that’s par for the course in any game set up with a battle pass, though.

We're closing in, lads.

What I quite admire is the inclusion of the Victory Sector; a final zone you can break down the barriers to when you complete all 20 sectors of the battle pass. This special, final area rewards players with Zeus’s gold-toting “Olympus King” model, a new M4 weapon blueprint called “Mortal’s Bane” (which looks dumb, by the way), and 300 COD points.

That last bit – that’s important. I’ve been playing quite a lot of Modern Warfare 2 over the past few weeks, and since the battle pass went live earlier this week, I have been floored by how willing Activision is to give away premium currency. There’s a bundle I’ve got my eye on in the shop – Tactical Human 1.0 with a sportswear-clad Nova skin and some cool weapons – and it’s 1800 coins. I have 1600 right now… all from the Battle Pass.

Compared to Overwatch 2, this is painless and great value. I would never have stepped foot in the CoD store otherwise (I don’t care that much about skins, despite what this page would have you believe) and yet here I am – opening up the store and browsing in between matches because I have some spare coins that would otherwise just go to waste.

Your big reward: a cool Zeus skin and more coins! And that's good, actually.

All this, for under £9 on a battle pass? It’s great. Yes, the token-earning process that you need to play through in order to actually unlock items may be a bit slow here and there, but between Warzone and Modern Warfare 2’s objectives speeding things up, and provide a nice cadence as you bounce around between modes… I really cannot complain.

I am currently working on MultiVersus, Overwatch 2, Marvel Snap, and Call of Duty battle passes – there’s a lot vying for my attention (on top of no less than three games coming up for review). And I keep coming back to Modern Warfare 2. That says a lot, to me. Activision has a lot wrong with it, but this… this might be the best thing it’s done in a while.

About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt

Features Editor

Dom is a veteran video games critic and consultant copywriter that has appeared in publications ranging from Daily Star to The Guardian. Passionate about games and the greater good they can achieve, you can usually find Dom listening to records, farting about in the kitchen, or playing Final Fantasy VIII (again).

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