Call of Duty: Warzone is introducing a feature, one that has the community feeling a bit perplexed about the overall direction of Activision’s flagship battle royale amid questions about whether or not it will actually be a win condition.
Called “Covert Exfil,” the new ability will allow players to escape the map early and will include its own leaderboard. Here’s the description on the official Call of Duty blog.
Speaking of Covert Exfil, players can now exfil the match early with the help of a Covert Exfil. With only five exfils available to purchase per match — for a high price — in Buy Stations before the Gulag closes, a Covert Exfil calls in a helicopter that can fly any player out of the match, ideally with the Weapon Case in their possession. Players can also compete to earn the most successful Covert Exfils with the new Covert Exfil leaderboard stat.
It’s a significant addition, and it has some fans saying that it makes Call of Duty: Warzone even less of a battle royale. Many are comparing it to the extraction shooter genre, which has recently grown in popularity thanks to the success of Escape from Tarkhov and other games like it.
“Doesn’t that completely destroy the point of [battle royale?],” wrote one fan on Twitter. “That’s what DMZ is for.”
Some fans worried that matches would end prematurely because “one guy ordered a helicopter to take him away early.” Raven Software said in a separate statement that it would not be a win condition and that it would not count toward Champion’s Quest progress.
With the #Warzone Season 1 Reloaded update next week, we’ll be introducing Covert Exfil – a challenging new way to escape the match that provides players with one of two methods to secure the Weapon Case!
Successfully extracting via Covert Exfil does not count as a traditional…
— Raven Software (@RavenSoftware) January 10, 2024
“With the #Warzone Season 1 Reloaded update next week, we’ll be introducing Covert Exfil — a challenging new way to escape the match that provides players with one of two methods to secure the Weapon Case!” Raven Software wrote on X/Twitter. “Successfully extracting via Covert Exfil does not count as a traditional win — rather as a separate stat — and will not count towards Champion’s Quest progress. More details and design intent will be provided in the patch notes next week!”
Curiously, Raven’s statement contradicts its own blog post, which does describe it as “a new win condition.” Reached for comment, an official Activision spokesperson reiterated Raven’s statement but didn’t provide any additional information.
One way or another, many fans don’t seem to keen on the new feature, with one writing on X/Twitter “begging” Activision to make it a limited-time mode. “I understand you guys want to keep innovating to keep things fresh, but this isn’t it,” they wrote. Numerous fans chimed in to agree.
The new win condition (or “challenging new way to escape”) is part of the Call of Duty: Warzone Season 1 reloaded content drop, which will also include a Gulag Night Vision Public Event, a brand-new quest in Urzikstan, and a new Weapon Case objective that will see players “battle over a single Weapon Case hidden in a search area at the start of every match to spice up the early game.”
Call of Duty: Warzone launched its Urzikstan map back in December.
Expect more info once Call of Duty: Warzone’s patch notes officially drop. For more, check out our biggest games of 2024, which is expected to include a brand-new Black Ops game set during Desert Storm.
Kat Bailey is IGN’s News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.