Look, maybe I’m overreacting, but seeing this did genuinely just make me do a high-pitched yelp at my screen, so I’m going to run with that emotion. Call Of Duty: Warzone‘s latest update has removed Bounty Contracts from the game. These were optional in-game missions where you had to hunt down a player from an enemy squad. You were told roughly where they were, and they were told you were coming. They were great. I wrote a whole article specifically praising them.
They’ve been replaced by “Most Wanted” Contracts, where your location gets revealed to everyone on the map. If you survive, all your dead squadmates get respawned. They sound neat, but… I want both. Why can’t I have both?
Both Contracts elegantly solve one problem with battle royale games, where you’re incentivised to play passively. That’s OK if you want to spend a quite and suspenseful time hiding in huts for 30 minutes, but rewards for going out and killing do make the game more interesting. Bounty Contracts were especially good for pushing players into conflict. Jointly crying ‘oh no’ when someone on your squad starts getting hunted was a lovely little ritual, even though we all secretly welcomed the excitement.
Most Wanted Contracts sound fun, but they’re a much riskier proposition. If me and my pals have survived late into the round, I can’t see us wanting to jeopardise that by lighting up the big “here we are come and kill us” beacon. I CAN see me activating it in a last-ditch attempt to revive my fallen squadmates, then tucking myself away in a toilet cubicle, quivering as the seconds tick down. That is absolutely a fab time. Again, though: I want both.
Infinity Ward haven’t explained their thinking, they’ve just slipped this in as a quiet little patch note. Based on Reddit’s reaction, as seen in this thread, I suspect they might rethink that. I think they’ll rethink all of this. I think we’ll have Bounty Contracts back by the end of the week. Please.
The update also includes a new gun, cosmetics, and the return of a close-range map playlist for regular old multiplayer. You can read the full patch notes here, when you’ve calmed down.
Warzone is free-to-play, and still very good. You can download it here.