Warzone's Rebirth Island makes battle royale fun again

Call of Duty: Warzone Rebirth Island
(Image credit: Activision)

If you've had enough of Warzone's DMR-14 which, despite its recent nerf, is still OP, it may be time for a little vacation away from serious matches in Verdansk, to Warzone's Rebirth Island map. Introduced in Call of Duty: Cold War Season 1, this map takes the sweaty, blurry start that makes battle royale matches so exciting to play, and manages to maintain that feeling for the duration.

Win more with these Warzone loadouts


(Image credit: Infinity Ward)

Best M4A1 loadout Warzone: Top all-purpose AR builds
Best MP7 loadout Warzone: Effective SMG setups
Best Grau loadout Warzone: Strong AR builds
Best M13 loadout Warzone:  Attachments to choose
Best Kilo 101 loadout Warzone: Boost the punchy AR
Best DMR-14 loadout Warzone: Gain a tactical advantage
Best Cold War guns in Warzone: Powerful new weapons 

While I'm always up for one more game in popular battle royales like Warzone and Apex Legends, I spent my Christmas break racing around Cold War's Nuketown 84's Holiday map in modes like Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed. Closing a match at the top of a Multiplayer leaderboard isn't anywhere near as impressive as claiming a Warzone victory. But as someone who quickly grows impatient if I haven't seen another soul for over ten minutes in Verdansk, I tend to find Cold War's instant respawns and frequent scorestreaks more attractive most of the time.

Even when I'm in the mood for a spot of battle royale, I'll try to do whatever I can to hunt down other squads and avoid the dreaded mid-game lull. By this point in the match, most will have found the weapons and gear they need. Due to Verdansk's size, it can be challenging enough just to find an opponent, not to mention those who'll slink off after a few warning shots, or lurk on a roof with a sniper rifle. My focus wanes and then it doesn't take long for me to get bored and switch off. Understandably, this isn't a downside that's exclusive to Warzone—it's just how big battle royales work—but it makes Rebirth Island's hectic 'mini royale' environment all the more appealing.

Rebirth Island reinvigorates Warzone's battle royale formula by reducing the size of the map, and server capacity to just 40 players. If you're primarily a Cold War Multiplayer fan, this is the same number of players that you'd see in a Fireteam: Dirty Bomb match, squished in a tighter space. Dropping into Rebirth Island for a mini royale match, we're immediately encouraged to be aggressive and chase down enemies. This channels Multiplayer's intense energy, while retaining parts of the battle royale structure, ensuring there's still a consequence for being careless and dying prematurely.

Redeploying a buddy in Mini Royale duos/quads is slightly cheaper at $4,000, so it doesn't take long to get back into the action if you're taken out early. Alternatively, there's also the Rebirth Resurgence Trios mode, which redeploys players for free, providing that one squad member is still alive and kicking. Loadout drops are also significantly cheaper in this mode, meaning that you'll get your hands on your carefully crafted loadouts and blueprints quicker than a standard game. If you've been missing Resurgence since it rotated out at the end of December, you'll be happy to hear that it returned yesterday as part of the Warzone playlist update.

Quick, free respawns already feature in Warzone's Plunder mode (which has been active for some time), but this mode still takes place on the large stretches of Verdansk. Seeing as people tend to gravitate towards cash hotspots in this mode anyway, I'm glad to see that there's an option to hop into a new map that's been designed with close quarters combat in mind. While Plunder is a great place to try out your Warzone loadouts and level up your weapons in a more relaxed setting, Rebirth Island has found the sweet spot between a casual and competitive battle royale experience.

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.