It has become a tradition for each new season of Call of Duty to get a midseason update that refreshes the game with new content for those still grinding out their battle pass levels.
Occasionally, these refreshes come with exciting events that change the landscape of Warzone, much like Season 3’s Operation Monarch, which brought Godzilla and Kong to the Pacific island of Caldera. The planned event for Season 4’s Mercenaries of Fortune storyline seems to be more subdued, however.
Players of Call of Duty: Warzone will notice the most changes during the midseason refresh, with a new Cursed Ground event taking place alongside a host of new items that can change the tide of the battle. Call of Duty: Vanguard fans aren’t left out in the cold, as they will also notice playlist changes, new weapons, and a whole new multiplayer map. And for those who have yet to get their fill of crossover characters, there will be two new operator bundles joining the store that will bring the T-800 and T-1000 terminators to both Warzone and Vanguard.
Call of Duty Season 4 update — Release date and time
As is customary, Call of Duty: Vanguard players will receive the midseason update first on July 26 at 9 a.m. PT. Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific players will receive the update on July 27 at 9 a.m. PT. Once the update is deployed for Warzone Pacific, players on both platforms will receive new playlists and a new assault rifle to unlock. While the Terminator operator bundles are expected as part of the midseason refresh, they will not be available until a later date.
Call of Duty: Vanguard — Multiplayer changes
The most notable change to Call of Duty: Vanguard will be the addition of Desolation to map rotation. The new medium-sized multiplayer map features the flaming remains of a crashed airplane on a cliff along with a maze-like village carved out of the nearby mountainside. A series of shanties and tight alleyways provide close-quarters combat scenarios on the ground, while rooftops and walkways provide more opportunities for longer ranged combat. At the center of the map is an era-appropriate listening center, which is certain to be the heart of the battle zone.
Weapon-wise, the new Vargo-S assault rifle will show up on the battlefield. This aggressive AR with a high fire rate may seem underpowered compared to its counterparts, but a good Gunsmithing configuration can go a long way toward customizing it to your playstyle. Attachments that improve handling and recoil can improve the Vargo-S for quick, SMG-like midrange play, while a scope and stability can help this little AR go the distance. The Vargo-S can be unlocked for free via in-game challenges or by purchasing one of the gun’s weapon blueprints.
The Vargo-S will serve as the favorite weapon for the third and final operator for Task Force Immortals, Ikenna Olowe. He joined the war effort as a battlefield engineer from Nigeria, where he excelled at chess and mastered strategy and Gidigbo, "a martial battle of wits." Players who purchase the Ikenna Olowe operator bundle from the store and use the Vargo-S with the Operator equipped will receive a bonus Operator and Weapon XP.
Ikenna Olowe is not the only new operator to be hitting the store. Both the T-800 and T-1000 Terminators based on the 1991 action film, Terminator 2: Judgment Day will be joining the fight in two limited-time bundles that will be available throughout the month of August.
The Tracer Pack: Terminator T-800 Mastercraft Ultra Operator Bundle will feature 10 items, including the ultra-rare “Model T-800” Operator. The T-800 will have its own finishing move, play of the game, and MVP highlight reels only available with Call of Duty: Vanguard. It will also include the Neural Net Processor ultra assault rifle weapon blueprint, the Coltan Alloy and Motorhead legendary blueprints, a charm, animated emblem, and infrared optics reticle, which will be available to use in both Vanguard and Warzone.
In opposition to the T-800, the Tracer Pack: Terminator T-1000 Ultra Operator Bundle will also include 10 items. Like the T-800 bundle, the T-1000 bundle will include a finishing move, play of the game, and MVP highlight reel only usable in Call of Duty: Vanguard. The included Liquid Metal SMG, Persistent Mission assault rifle, and Identity Theft LMG blueprints, as well as the Alternative Future watch, animated emblem, and calling card will all be available for use in both Vanguard and Warzone Pacific.
Call of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer Free Access Week
If you haven't yet had the opportunity to try out Call of Duty: Vanguard's multiplayer and newly revamped Zombies modes, you can do so for free starting July 20 at 10 a.m. PT until July 26 at 8 a.m. PT. During the free trial week, all of Vanguard's multiplayer maps and playlists are free, including the brand-new USS Texas 1945 map and Blueprint Gun Game mode.
The limited-time free access week also allows players to check out the newly reimagined Shi No Numa Zombies map, a reimagining of the ground-based zombies experience created and popularized in Call of Duty: World at War.
Vanguard's Free Access Week is available on all platforms.
Call of Duty: Warzone — Zombie takeover
Season 4 of Call of Duty: Warzone, the popular free-to-play battle royale title, brought with it a new resurgence map titled Fortune’s Keep, the first to be introduced since the original Rebirth Island was added with the mode. Players quickly discovered an easter egg on Fortune’s Keep where lighting candles in the Graveyard, followed by paying respects at a creepy-looking gravesite, would spawn a zombie into the match. It didn’t take long for players to break the easter egg and discover a glitch that allowed the map to be flooded with zombies.
While it seems the glitch has been patched, the upheaval has led to a limited-time Cursed Ground event for Call of Duty: Warzone. Fortune’s Keep has been stocked with a supply cache of cursed chests that players can discover for high-value loot and power-ups, but only if they can survive the horde of zombies unleashed once the chest is opened. Zombies will continue to spawn in the vicinity of the cursed chests, releasing wisps as players eliminate them.
Collect enough wisps during the time limit to be rewarded with cash, killstreaks, equipment, and even perk tokens, but don’t lose sight of the circle or potential enemies looking to cash in on your efforts.
Fortune’s Keep is not the only map to be overrun by the undead. Rebirth Island will also be getting a reimagined event of Beenox’s Zombie Royale called Rebirth of the Dead. Ten four-player squads will deploy onto Rebirth and battle it out with both living and undead Operators. Players who are eliminated return as zombies who can eliminate remaining humans, although they can also revive as an Operator by locating four antivirals. These can be found in crates and at Buy Stations. Eliminating an Operator will provide two.
Zombies are now powered with a special edition finishing move, and pulling it off successfully on an unsuspecting Operator will net instant revival and the animated Head Scratcher calling card. Unlike regular royale and resurgence modes, players may want to stick around and spectate once eliminated. Rebirth of the Dead will feature an infection meter that gradually fills up during a match. Once the infection meter is full, those still spectating will return to the match for one last ditch attempt at victory.
The Cursed Ground and Rebirth of the Dead events are sure to draw in hardcore Zombies fans to Warzone, and now with the midseason update, those players will also be able to show off their Zombie prowess via their weapon camos. Those who have unlocked camos in Vanguard Zombies, including the Golden Viper, Plague Diamond, and Dark Aether sets, can now use them on Vanguard’s weapons in Warzone.
If you prefer crossover events to Zombies, a new Iron Trials-inspired mode will be coming to Caldera to celebrate the launch of the aforementioned Terminator Operator bundles. The Titanium Trials: Endurance event will see players base armor threshold increased to 300 HP to simulate the toughness of a Terminator model. The Tempered perk, which allows players to reach full armor status with only two shields instead of three, will appear more frequently as ground loot. Each player will begin with a Self-Revive Kit, and core health regeneration will take longer to restore. This results in a high skilled, high-time-to-kill limited game mode.
To compensate for this new balance, Titanium Trials will feature an all-new custom-built loot table with exceedingly rare Redacted Weapons that are more powerful than Loadout Weapons. There will also be fewer resources on the map as a whole to reward more aggressive players. Loadout costs will begin at a higher price point than in a standard match and will gradually decrease throughout the battle.
Titanium Trials: Endurance will go live on August 11 and will only be available for two weeks. Eight event-related challenges will be available to unlock during this time and will reward players with double XP tokens, the Titanium Chrome and Liquid Chrome weapon camos, battle pass tier skips, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day-themed calling cards. Additional secret rewards may also be available for dedicated players.
Players who tend to overstay their welcome and get too close to the collapsing circle on Caldera may find the new portable redeploy balloons useful. Redeploy balloons are a vital means of navigating Warzone’s largest map, and now, players can pick up portable versions that allow them to deploy a balloon anywhere with a clear sky above.
The balloons remain inflated for 30 seconds and can offer a quick escape route in a stressful situation, but they can be accessed by anybody who comes across them while inflated, which means a safe escape is still not a guarantee. Additionally, enemies can destroy portable redeploy balloons, and only have half as much health as a standard balloon. Portable balloons are also limited in height, although their portability and ease of deployment make up for the shortcoming.
Not to be outdone in mobility, players can also now make use of the nitrous boost in the four-person armored SUVs to help escape a tight situation or quickly mow down unsuspecting enemies.
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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.