For the most part, people will claim this is an ‘apples and oranges’ debate. On the one hand, you’ve got Warzone 2.0, the popular battle royale experience. On the other, DMZ, Activision’s attempt to break into the extraction shooter genre made popular by Escape from Tarkov. For now, both modes are found in the same place, accessed in the same way, share the same content, and even take place on the same map, utilising the same mechanics.
So, there’s very little wrong with forming a comparison-driven debate between the two. In the last few weeks, the Call of Duty franchise has gone from strength to strength, and it was all kicked off by Modern Warfare II being the fastest-selling COD game in history. Then, in under a week, Warzone 2.0 secured a player count exceeding 25 million users. Despite those milestones, the ecosystem has come under scrutiny as a whole host of issues present players with countless in-game difficulties.
As the community comes to terms with these (hopefully temporary) problems, we’re looking slightly deeper at these two modes. What do you think, is DMZ better than Warzone 2.0?
How is DMZ Different From Warzone 2.0?
Warzone 2.0 is a classic battle royale title, continuing the franchise off the back of the success of 2020’s Call of Duty: Warzone. It’s as traditional as a battle royale can get, with players dropping into a vast map, looting, and fighting their opponents, all with the aim of being the last player left alive. This is a formula that battle royale fans have known and loved for several years, ever since the likes of Fortnite and the now free-to-play PUBG popularised the genre.
DMZ, on the other hand, is an extraction shooter, and it’s a little more complex than Warzone 2.0 right off the bat. In DMZ, players arrive in Al Mazrah clutching a pre-determined loadout, and they then make it their chief goal to have as successful a game as they possibly can. This includes fighting vast amounts of AI opponents, breaching and securing buildings, carrying out multi-stage tasks, and looting all manner of items scattered around the map.
At the same time, they’re fighting other players, dodging environmental hazards, and trying their utmost to not perish. Ultimately, they’re looking to escape again, extracting from the map at pre-defined locations with their loot. If they die in the game, they lose everything they’ve collected and they lose what they originally took in with them. If a player dies enough, they’ll eventually have no equipment left at all, and they’ll be going into the map empty-handed.
Is DMZ Better Than Warzone 2.0?
It’s mostly a subjective debate, but immediately, DMZ offers a much more immersive, thoughtful experience than Warzone 2.0 does. If you’re a fan of the desperate fight to be the last player alive, then Warzone 2.0 is the one for you. However, if you’re after a more rewarding, complex experience with more of a high-stakes feel to it, then DMZ is the mode that you’ll need to choose.
There’s a reason games like Escape from Tarkov have proven to be so successful. In DMZ, you never really know what you’ll find, and each round can be dramatically different from the next. In one round, you’ll secure a cargo ship bursting with loot and escape while being chased by helicopters. In the next, you’ll run a raid on a Stronghold packed tight with tough enemies, locked doors, and booby traps.
It feels like Warzone 2.0, and it looks like Warzone 2.0, but it boasts totally different pacing, unique mechanics, and ultimately, a fear of death.
At present, DMZ is listed as being a beta product, which means it’s still under active development. As time goes on, it’s expected that more content, mechanics, and features will be poured into DMZ, as there’s already a push to get players involved with the new product. For instance, an all-new weapon in Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0, the M13B, can only be unlocked by finding it in DMZ and successfully extracting it from the map.
As both a Warzone fan and an Escape from Tarkov fan, I personally prefer DMZ over Warzone 2.0. It’s something new and fresh, and it feels more like a co-op, open-world adventure than it does a game mode built into a battle royale platform. It’s totally free-to-play, which is fantastic, and it has more weight to it than the rinse-and-repeat battle royale experience. If you’re unsure of DMZ, at least give it a try – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
If you need to learn more about Warzone 2.0, consider checking out our in-depth review of the game.