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Call of Duty: Warzone leak details a casual sandbox mode with vehicle races

cod warzone sandbox mode
(Image credit: Activision)
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Call of Duty: Warzone players looking to take a break from the battle royale grind may soon have the perfect getaway. A batch of leaked narration lines (opens in new tab) shared by ZestyCODLeaks (opens in new tab) suggests that a casual sandbox mode could be planned for the future. If the leak is accurate, it'll have races, obstacle courses, and a capture point minigame.

"The area of operation is vast. Explore the activities," says one of Warzone's announcers in the audio dump. In all, the video includes a dozen-or-so references to what sounds like a freeform sandbox mode with "safe zones" that players can't use their weapons in.

Here's a complete list of references to this alleged mode:

  • A competitive control point game with several teams
  • Time trials
  • Obstacle courses
  • Vehicle races
  • Some sort of helicopter activity
  • A shooting course
  • Safe areas
  • A floor-is-lava-type parkour activity? Perhaps a skydiving challenge

Assuming there is a casual vibe to this sandbox thing, it sounds like the perfect addition to Warzone's constantly fluctuating carousel of game modes. The idea draws obvious comparisons to Fortnite's vast creative mode that spawned an entire community of its own, though this Warzone version appears to be a chaser to the main battle royale mode rather than a game-within-a-game.

The activities described remind me of last year's Modern Warfare Games of Summer event. The weeklong activities included an addictive sniper challenge, a parkour trial, and pistol courses. Based on the voice lines, it sounds like the parkour trial and pistol course are returning in some form.

Keeping a casual mode around as a permanent staple makes a lot of sense to me, but since this is Warzone we're talking about, there's also a good chance that this will be a limited-time mode that lasts a few weeks and then disappears forever.

Also included in the audio leak are references to a zombies "plague" mode that might be Verdansk's final sendoff. We've had a good idea for a while that Warzone Season 2's zombie outbreak will lead into the introduction of a brand new map (opens in new tab), but this narration suggests the zombies will have their own mode in addition to showing up in normal battle royale matches.

"This is your last chance to save Verdansk," one line says. Another  informs players that "Verdansk is overrun" and instructs them to "avoid the plague." That lines up pretty well with predictions that the zombie infestation will spread later in the season. It sounds like this mode will include a desperate race to an exfiltration site while mowing down zombie hordes and possibly completing side objectives. Even if the players are able to "save" Verdansk, that might not be the canon ending to the story that Activision is planning. If Activision were looking for a good reason to remove Verdansk from the game entirely to make room for a new map, blowing it up is a convenient way to explain it.

Elsewhere in the CoD world, Jeremy is enjoying the return of Gun Game to Black Ops - Cold War (opens in new tab) and Warzone's zombies challenge is, at least for now, severely lacking in zombies (opens in new tab). Maybe that will change by the time Verdansk is, as the narrator states, overrun.

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.