Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile review — Warfare on the go

Call of Duty is one of the biggest brands in the world of gaming, and it makes sense that it should be available on the biggest platform. No no, I’m not talking about Switch or PC, I’m talking about cell phones. Sure, Call of Duty: Mobile exists, but Warzone has been the bigger entity. Beyond that, Mobile has been a separate ecosystem, and tying all of your properties together makes a lot of sense for your revenue stream.

To do that, Warzone Mobile has now been born. It’s been around for a moment, testing in other territories, but it’s now available to all. One of the first things you notice when booting it up is a pretty big install size, taking up nearly 10gbs of space on my Pixel 8 Pro. It’ll take you a moment to get things fully installed, as the game has to be started to complete, but once it does you’re off to the races, at least with some tutorial matches to get you used to the game.

Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile New Season Trailer

One of the most impressive features of Warzone Mobile is something Call of Duty has been doing for a moment, but that you wouldn’t immediately think would be that simple: cross-progression. This extends further than it ever has, with not only levels and weapon trees coming over, but your long list of purchased items like blueprints and operators, along with your battle pass. You won’t have to rebuy anything, and what you’ve earned through time spent in game will follow you into Warzone Mobile. It’s truly fantastic to exist in a world with this possibility. Even better, what you do in Warzone Mobile benefits you in Warzone or Modern Warfare III, with battle pass progression or weapon leveling traveling between all three.

Jumping into the game you’re going to find everything very Call of Duty. There aren’t many changes here, and there really shouldn’t be. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Your menus, loadouts, and most things are going to be what you remember. Obviously there are some tweaks to the formula given its mobile design, but you’ll know what you’re doing here.

This familiarity is also present on the battlefield. The HUD design is approachable, treading familiar ground to keep you from having to re-learn anything. The only thing you’ll have to re-examine is the mobile controls, which resemble many mobile FPS. There are a few phantom icons, like movement, which reveal themselves when you touch the screen, along with jumping, sliding, or firing your gun. Some of these can be automatic, where if you slide your thumb forward far enough with running it’ll engage an auto-sprint, and you can set your gun to auto-fire once you have an enemy in your sights. These are ways to get the most clean controls possible via mobile, and that’s appreciated.

That said, you’ll definitely be able to put in the best work with a controller. I’ve used both variants: a GAMEVICE Flex (our review here) controller which gives your phone a Switch-style form-factor, and synced a PS5 controller via Bluetooth. Between the two, the PS5 controller clears, although the Flex definitely gave me an upper hand compared to the mobile controls and may have gotten better over time. With the PS5 controller however, everything felt natural, as if I was playing the game on my console or PC.

After all, that’s the aim, right? Warzone Mobile is gunning for being a near-perfect representation of Call of Duty: Warzone, simply in a portable fashion. When it comes to gameplay, they’ve gotten there. When I used a controller, it was like playing the game on console. A focus has definitely been put on the gunplay, as it mimics Warzone extremely well.

I did notice right away that we’re playing Warzone 2.0’s style, however. If you were hoping to slide cancel all over the place, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. Modern Warfare III’s massive upgrade in movement isn’t here, and that’s okay given its mobile limitations, even if it’s missed. Otherwise, this is nearly a one-to-one recreation, and it feels good to play.

The sound design is also similar to what you’ll remember, and that’s fine. On mobile, louder audio cues are a good thing, given your phone most likely has crap audio. Playing on a headset will give you an advantage though, especially if you’re like me and running a SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7.

It’s also nice to return to Old Faithful, Verdansk. I’ll admit that I got into Warzone much later than my contemporaries, so I don’t have the same fond memories others do. That’s lent the experience an air of novelty, and I’m enjoying it. Parachuting down to Superstore or Stadium are highlights, and in general this is a fun map. With Season 3’s incredibly large content drop, Rebirth is also in the pool, meaning there are already two maps featured on Mobile. It’s almost staggering that a mobile game would have this level of content.

That’s not all either, with multiplayer available. This is much more limited in both maps and modes than Modern Warfare II or III – after all, it’s still WARZONE Mobile – but just being able to load in and run around Shipment or Rust has been fun. It’s an additional way to level up guns, take a break with something different, or grind the battle pass. Again, this is more of a bonus, but with seasonal content looming, it’ll be cool to see what maps get swapped in and out.

Speaking of multiplayer, it’s great seeing how it integrates friends into the experience. Your current friends list is brought into Warzone Mobile, making it simple to jump in with your pals. It’s as easy as playing on a dedicated device as well; my brother dropped in as my partner effortlessly. Spectating wasn’t an issue when we died either, watching each other’s gameplay without delay. Playing Warzone Mobile on its own is impressive. Doing it with your buddies makes it even better.

Personal screenshot from my Pixel 8 Pro

Warzone Mobile doesn’t land as well with its visuals. On Android, it’s gotten a bit better since the recent update, but it’s nothing compared to the PC or console version. Honestly, I don’t expect either of those on my phone – there are obvious limitations – but there are a lot of low textures and pop-in. Once you’re in an area it’s generally stable, but your view is not glamorous beyond the twenty to fifty yard line. I can at least give plenty of credit to the team in making the tiny, ant-like combatants register correctly, because I’ve been able to hit them from long distances without issue.

I also hope future updates will allow for improved settings. It’s a bit confusing when you boot in and look at the mobile controls, and the current format has you changing them via pictures that are pretty small. If you connect a controller, the game recognizes what the inputs should be, but there aren’t any settings available to customize controls. I’d like to see that capability in the future, especially as my preferred settings are not the standard. I like certain extras, like higher FOV and framerate, but the controls should be paramount.

An eternal hazard of mobile play,, you’re also at the mercy of stable internet. I’ve played mostly on gig up and down 5G wifi connections, so I’m definitely experiencing this in the best environment possible. That said, it’s no slouch at LTE. If you’re out and about, it will do just fine, especially if you’re trying to level up and you’re out in a no wifi area. On the stability side, not everything is your fault, as sometimes the loading from the server led to a few jerky moments.

I am excited to see the live service train still rolling with special weekly events for Warzone Mobile. With the cross-progression, I assumed it would just follow the same stuff Call of Duty proper was getting, but there are still exclusives inside. Some will cross over as well, so it’s worth your time to play a little bit of Warzone Mobile to grab skins, blueprints, and more to bring with you to Warzone or MWIII.

Lead Video Game Editor | [email protected]

David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.



Call Of Duty: Warzone Mobile

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Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is Warzone, but on the go. The visuals suffer, but the game plays just like you remember and it works. If future updates can address that and some settings, along with continuing the fantastic content pipeline, Warzone Mobile can grow the scene further.

David Burdette

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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