Call of Duty Season 3: Classified Arms brought interesting changes to Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Pacific with the inclusion of new field upgrades, weapons, and of course the Operation Monarch event that brought Kong and Godzilla onto the battlefield. There was even an opportunity for players to run for charity through the Call of Duty Endowment’s Veteruns event. All good things must come to an end, however, and as the sun sets on Season 3 there’s still plenty more for players to look forward to before the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 this fall.
Now it’s time for Season 4 to shine, however, and all that glitters may actually be gold as we see the Tier 1 Operators of Vanguard dissolve their loyalties in a bid to get rich quick. The Mercenaries of Fortune event is a massive update for the popular first-person shooter franchise.
Call of Duty Season 4: Mercenaries of Fortune release date
Both Vanguard and Warzone players can expect to see Mercenaries of Fortune content go live in their games on June 22. Vanguard players will receive the update first on June 21 at 9 a.m. PT with Warzone players receiving the update on June 22 at 9 a.m. PT at which time the content will be unlocked for both platforms.
Call of Duty: Vanguard Season 4 — Multiplayer gets new maps, modes, and operators
Vanguard’s Multiplayer fans will get two new free maps as part of the Mercenaries of Fortune season. USS Texas 1945, a reimagining of the U.S.S. Texas map from Call of Duty: WWII, will be available at launch and will challenge Operators to fight it out on a battleship just off the coast of Caldera. The map is well suited for long-range engagements on starboard and close-quarters combat amidst the interior cabins.
When the midseason refresh hits, players will get a second map, Desolation. This small- to medium-sized map is set in a dense village in the Pacific surrounded by large mountains. A central build surrounded by creekside fortifications will offer a variety of combat engagements.
Four new weapons are coming to multiplayer and Warzone alike. At launch, players can unlock the Marco 5, a high-mobility SMG that has high hip-fire accuracy and close-range stopping power. These are ideal for run-and-gun players who will be rushing into close quarters combat with the enemy. The Marco 5 does have noticeable recoil and severe damage fall off at longer distances, so keep this little guy close to your hip. Better yet, keep two as the Marco 5 is the first Vanguard weapon to feature the Akimbo proficiency.
If you prefer suppressive fire, the UGM-8 is a highly mobile LMG with an equally high fire rate that can lay down serious suppressive fire against your foes. The UGM-8 is ammo hungry, so it is best paired with Fully Loaded or Scavenger to prevent the well from going dry in the middle of a fight. The UGM-8 will be available at the launch of Season 4. Later in the season, the Vargo-S assault rifle will join the armory. The Vargo is a versatile workhorse AR with a high-fire rate, steady aim and quick reload even before it has been kitted out. Players can also expect to see the Push Dagger on the battlefield, a stealthy new melee tool with a T-shaped grip that allows for increased push power.
The blueprints for these new weapons just may show up in Blueprint Gun Game, which will be making its Vanguard debut during Season 4. The first operator to progress through all 18 diverse weapons gets to claim victory. Eliminating an enemy cycles the player to the next weapon, while melee kills setback other players without advancing the aggressor. The final elimination requires taking out another player with a throwing knife for the win. There’s no perks, killstreaks, or custom loadouts allowed.
Of course, you can’t have a new season of content without new operators. Special Operations Task Force Immortal joins the lineup of playable Operators, with the legendary quartermaster Captain Butcher at the helm. Captain Butcher is the founder and recruiter for the Special Operation Task Force. Later in the season, Callum Hendry and Ikenna Olowe will be available to purchase in their respective Operator bundles.
Call of Duty: Vanguard Season 4 — Zombies gets Shi No Numa remake
After going radio silent during Season 3, Treyarch Studios has returned with the long-anticipated zombies update for Call of Duty: Vanguard. Round-based zombies are long overdue, but the wait may have been worth it as the classic Shi No Numa map from World at War returns. Players can conquer the “Swamp of Death” in classic round-based Zombies game play with a new main and side quests, a new Wonder Weapon quest, and fresh intel.
Shi No Numa will bring with it a new zipline system to fast travel around the map, while classic traps like the flogger and electro-shock will return for players to gain a tactical advantage over the dead. The map will tie in features from Vanguard’s standard zombies modes like exchanging sacrificial hearts at the Altar of Covenants and the Tome of Rituals to keep things fresh.
Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific — New Fortune’s Keep map comes to play
When it was originally unveiled, we anticipated that Fortune’s Keep would be a replacement map for Rebirth Island. It appears, however, that Raven Software and the additional support studios currently working on Warzone have learned their lesson about permanently removing maps following the destruction of Verdansk as Fortune’s Keep will simply be joining the weekly playlist rotation alongside Rebirth Island and Caldera instead of replacing either of them. Rebirth Island will temporarily be unavailable following the update, but players are advised to keep an eye on the weekly playlist updates for details on when it will return in rotation.
Fortune’s Keep is centered around a luxurious town, featuring a mercenary hideout built on the pinnacle. The map will be roughly the same size as Rebirth Island with four points of interest for players to actively fight for control of. One POI, Town, is inspired by colorful Mediterranean villages and features charming cobblestone alleyways and flat rooftops to give Operators those long sight lines they crave. The town’s center is built around an old fortress, which is sure to provide a hot spot as players battle for the control of the bell tower.
If the town is too hot, players can cool off in the waters surrounding Smuggler’s Cove, an abandoned shanty town loaded with supplies and loot possibly left behind by pirates long gone. This area offers twisting grottos and sea caves for those who crave close-quarters combat while a lighthouse provides a lookout or sniper’s nest. In addition to the cove, the Winery is a point of interest that harkens to classic multiplayer three-lane map layouts while providing cover and plenty of looting opportunities. An underground cellar is loaded with supplies, while a nearby camp offers a helipad and military tents.
The island’s namesake is the fourth point of interest for players. A massive medieval fortress has been converted to a headquarters for mercenaries with multiple watchtowers that allows those in control of the Keep to defend it. However, cleverly placed redeploy balloons can allow operators to fly over the walls, and of course there’s a tunnel system on the island for subterranean infiltration.
Fortune’s Keep, developed for Warzone by High Moon Studios, will serve as a map rotation for the popular Resurgence Mode and will receive a new contract before other modes and maps as well as a cash extraction event. The new Black Market Run contract is similar to the current Supply Run contracts, but will give players an opportunity to purchase off-market loot by reaching a dedicated Black Market Buy Station. This includes items like the Sequencer Grenade, Nebula V minigun, Foresight, a Specialist Bonus, or classified weapons.
During Resurgence matches, mercenaries who are straggling will be given the opportunity to airlift their cash off of Fortune’s Keep; however it is possible for other operators to ambush these players. A flare signal will mark potential extractions, and should you take out the team before their loot leaves the air you can take it for yourself.
Fortune’s Keep isn’t the only map change coming to Warzone. Caldera will be getting a new point of interest that former Verdansk players are sure to recognize: Storage Town. Caldera will be getting a large overhaul throughout Warzone’s remaining seasons, and the return of Storage Town kicks that makeover off. Store Town will be added between the Mines, Airfield, Village and Dig Site on Caldera and will mostly as veteran players remember it. Storage lockers will spread out across the area filled with contracts and loot while with a few large warehouses on the outskirts of the POI. Unlike Verdansk, where the locale surrounding Storage Town was mostly flat, the terrain around the POI on Caldera will feature steep cliffs in the middle of the island, adding verticality.
A drought on Caldera has dried up the rivers, marking the start of just over a dozen point of interest changes that are to come to the landscape. The vegetation on Caldera has been cleared by half to allow for better sightlines across the island. Additional pathways are also more prevalent, with scaffolding being added to the side of Capitol Buildings and Gondola Station, offering more movement options for operators. There are also rumors of new Mercenary Vaults for players to find and gain access to.
With new changes to the map comes new opportunities for how to travel from coast to coast. While Redeploy Balloons and vehicles are already littered about, players can anticipate the addition of a new armored SUV in Caldera later this season. The armored SUV will feature a dedicated rooftop turret, room for Operators to use their own weapons, and a nitro boost for instant acceleration for a limited time. Stay frosty, though, as EMP grenades are also making their way to the battlefield and will be able to disable vehicles and disrupt player HUDs.
Plunder game modes will be getting ATMs that will occasionally spawn bags of gold that players can collect for extra cash. Additionally, a limited time Golden Plunder mode will offer the Blood Money experience with more competition. Player counts will be increased to 120, drop more cash on death, and will need $5,000,000 before they can declare victory. ATM machines on the map may begin to malfunction, spewing out endless amounts of cash while a golden keycard will hold the potential to unlock a bunker full of valuable new loot.
All of this will be capped off with a Mercenaries of Fortune event with eight challenges for Operators to complete. Rewards include weapon camos, reticles, charms, emblems, stickers, and a legendary animated calling card. Completing all eight challenges nets the player the coveted gold skin for the armored SUV.
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Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.