Warzone adds famous soldier Snoop Dogg and overhauls Rebirth Island

Snoop Dogg as a COD operator.
(Image credit: Activision-Blizzard)

Call of Duty: Warzone players have strong feelings about many aspects of the game, but perhaps the most fundamental split is over the maps: are you an OG Verdansk operator, or more into Rebirth Island's hectic style of play? That debate will be freshly fuelled with today's major update, running alongside an event called Rebirth Reinforced, that overhauls Rebirth Island's layouts, looks, and adds new elements.

The update comes with a genuinely interesting potted history of the map, which was first seen in Zombies DLC for COD: Black Ops II way back in April 2013. It was then simply called island prison, the theme that persists to this day, before becoming known as Alcatraz and later appearing in Black Ops 4—particularly notable because this was the COD that introduced the battle royale mode Blackout, a dry run at Warzone, which offered Alcatraz as one of the maps.

The history goes into some detail of the map's points of interest and what did and didn't work over various iterations—which dovetails nicely into explaining why the developers have made the changes they have. It gets quite granular but to give one example, the prison courtyard area was always a bit of a deathtrap in Rebirth Island: wide open, no cover, surrounded by vantage points.

This may make sense in terms of how a real prison courtyard is designed, but of course this is a silly shooting game. So now the courtyard's got some cover features and tents within it, a fortified wall with guard stations, and a huge wraparound walkway with multiple levels that connects to a water tower and the prison steps. All of which may seem quite obvious, but I find the problem-solving process interesting and also find it hard to remember what maps used to be like after playing modified versions of them for years: so if you're interested in the nitty-gritty of the changes, the map's history is well worth a read.

The prison courtyard area of Rebirth Island.

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Rebirth Island's... rebirth comes with an event alongside it which sees the community earning kills to unlock Weapon Trade Stations on the island and lashings of XP. There will be three more events like this, each unlocking additional map features including communication stations, ATVs, and golden vaults stuffed with loot.

Following all of this excitement, Activision has also announced that Snoop Dogg is going to be added as an in-game operator. This isn't his first time: the rapper previously recorded a voice pack for COD Ghosts. Yes, the press release comes with a quote.

"The D O Double G is back in Call of Duty and this time I’m in the freakin’ game! Excited to be working with the COD team to bring some fly features for you all to enjoy. It’s dope….. y’all can play as me and get these sick items that have Snoop written all over them. Check it out."

Snoop Dogg comes in a gold embroidered outfit, and totes a gold-plated and diamond-encrusted SMG that has a "mini-concert" death effect and somehow gets "even flashier" as you kill other players. He's also recorded new lines for it. I can hardly wait, but sadly will have to: the Snoop Dogg operator bundle launches April 19, and he comes with his own operator progression track, alternate outfits, and various other rewards. You can read more about it all here.

Snoop Dogg in Warzone.

(Image credit: Activision)

Warzone may not make as many mainstream headlines as it once did, but this game and the wider series remain an absolute juggernaut. The latest zoomed-out news on COD is that, following Vanguard's disappointing reception, the mainline series is going to 'skip' 2023: this year's entry, the Infinity Ward Modern Warfare sequel, remains on-track (and will receive two years of support to fill the gap).

Thus 2023 is going to be all about the sequel to Warzone, which will again be free-to-play, and is being developed by Infinity Ward: the big hook, reportedly, is a new "sandbox" mode. It too, inevitably, will one day have Snoop Dogg.

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."