Activision have truly let the dogs out with the reveal of their new operator, Arthur, who arrives to Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2 with the release of Season 5. He's a gritty "warrior to the core" with no face, whose mysterious past is classified intel. I don't care about Arthur, though, I care about the canonically indestructible dog he wears like a fanny pack on his belt.
Merlin, Arthur's personal K9 unit, is a part of a new animal companion system coming to both Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2, as outlined in a news post on the official Call of Duty website.
"Operators will have the option to bring companions alongside them in Multiplayer, Battle Royale, and DMZ modes. This provides the unparalleled benefit of companionship along with a devastating Finishing Move." Just like real dogs, then.
Activison have also made it explicitly clear that Merlin, as well as other animal companions, "Cannot be harmed in any way". This is a huge relief. If I brought my pet to work ruthlessly gunning down military targets, I'd be terrified of them getting hurt while they irrevocably mangle my enemies with a deadly finisher. It hasn't yet been revealed whether this is down to Merlin possessing the tremendous sorcerous power of his namesake.
The battle pass also introduces "Battle Buddies", vtuber-style AI companions who perform moral support during your gun-toting duties. Being digital beings in the cloud, I'd also wager these AIs are technically indestructible, even if I find the worldbuilding implications of an invincible dog far more fascinating.
The first of these, "Gwen", will comment on "Killstreak activations, kills—including with specific weapons or equipment—and other in-game personal events, especially when you win or perform well in a match." Season 5 arrives later today, August 2, so get ready to saddle up with Gwen, Arthur, and this bulletproof best boy.