Warzone 2 is getting absolutely slated by Steam reviewers: 'Crash of Duty'

call of duty: warzone 2 proximity chat
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Today I visited the Steam page for Call of Duty: Warzone 2, and two big orange words jumped out at me: 'Mostly negative'. Any player can leave a review on Steam and the platform summarises the overall mood, and it's not unusual to see high-profile games that launch with issues bombarded with negative reviews at launch before returning to some equilibrium when everything calms down. And Warzone 2 has issues for sure but I've had great fun with it. What's everyone moaning about?

Some reviews are straight to the point. "Ricochet anti-cheat" is the entire text of one negative review, referencing the anti-chat system that some accuse of banning innocent players, while another runs simply: "Crash of Duty." Many mention crashes, some with more restraint and decorum than others (all caps sentences are only ever acceptable on gravestones), while some post ASCII art of the human anatomy to express their opinion.

"This is the only Battle Royale where my squad has been eliminated 1 by 1 by the game crashing," writes Linko64. "It's full of bugs, full of crashes and they have the balls to shove DLC in your face when you launch the game. Crashes more than crypto."

Topical at least. "This game sucks," writes Feet. "It's been out for three weeks, yet I still cannot land without being stuck in parachute animation or having to wait 45 seconds at minimum for the map in front of me to render."

I should say that I've experienced no issues with Warzone 2's performance, beyond the bug that stopped you inviting friends to your party for the first day or so. But clearly they are happening, because recent negative reviews mention not just crashes but general connectivity issues, performance issues, and loading problems. There are also many complaints about the game making players change their names, and having trouble accessing it generally with the COD account.

There is of course another side to this. Some players are complaining about subjective issues with the design, which is fair enough: they don't like the new loot system, or how movement's been tweaked, or the new map. By far the most common complaint is about looting and more specifically occasions where players are getting frustrated trying to loot the item they want, or it's glitched through a surface (this bug has happened in one of my matches).

warzone 2.0 al mazrah

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Then there's also the element of the COD fanbase being one that, like many gaming communities, spends a lot of time complaining about the game it loves. "Staying true to COD," jokes Rinja, "I have to rate it negatively ¯\_(ツ)_/¯". Many are less self-aware, simply leaving reviews with schoolyard insults, "lazy dev" cliches, and angry invocations of various deities.

"Can u please delete this and return Warzone one back" runs the plea of freakshow 371, which is unlikely not least because the original Warzone was never on Steam.

There's some good fun in there as well as the carping. "This review requires a restart," writes OMGitsbees. Surado goes for the bait-and-switch: "Activision made some really cool changes in Warzone 2.0! I really like the Coraline-inspired 15 fps claymation art style they were going for, the 300ms servers work great to capture this effect. Can't wait for the release of Warzone 3.0 next year for even more improvements!!"

"The real PVP in this game is navigating a neverending series of menus that are both useless and unintuitive," writes Dadderall.

At the time of writing Warzone 2 has roughly 14,500 reviews, with 9,200 of those falling on the negative side of things. This seems strange mainly because the general reception to Warzone 2, technical issues aside, seems quite positive (and I've certainly been having a great time). Its current standing on Steam suggests the game retains considerable technical issues, however, and has some way to go to win over the wider public.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."