Call Of Duty: Warzone's next season is nearly here. There's talk of a nuke descending into Verdansk and blowing it into the 1980s, perhaps totally reshaping the map for the first time ever. Even if it does seem like an overreaction to the zombie 'outbreak', I'm here for it.
And with all this excitement building over what we're going to see and not see and maybe see, all I can think about is rocks. To be honest, they're all I've thought about since Warzone's inception, after my character succumbed to poison gas in a desperate bid to climb up them. I hate these rocks. I despise these rocks. But above all, I fear these rocks.
In Warzone I am a supersoldier whose feet are feat; capable of anything. I am a parkour enthusiast with limbs that don't buckle. I am a carefully constructed specimen with joints that have been stress tested for 1 million flawless drops into Verdansk. I don't have a warranty, but if I did, it would be very long with exceptional customer service.
That tall wall? Vaulted it mate. That building? Dropped off it mate. That window? Hopped off that building, vaulted that wall, scuttled up the railing, and forced entry, mate. Yeah, but what about those rocks? Don't even mate, I can't stand the sight of them.
The rocks are windscreen wipers and we are the droplets, being swept off them with a flourish and a splatter.
Alright I'll say it. I can't scale those rocks. Even after all this military training I've received, and after countless hours spent in Verdansk - I just can't.
But I've heard that others have this issue. That these small rocky outcrops are also impossible for my comrades and mortal enemies to scale. It's not just a me thing, but something every soldier goes through in the Warzone.
Let me describe the issue for you. Imagine glass shattering as you crash through a window and drop to the floor below. You vault a five foot fence and race up a ladder, while gunshots ring out and the walls around you spit debris.
You jump off the top of a skyscraper, and parachute onto the ground below with a thud. Now, imagine you're faced with a cluster of rocks that gently curve upwards: perhaps a cliff face with visible ridges; little pockets which one would assume you could tippy toe onto. At speed, you hurl yourself at these rocks with the express purpose of moving up them.
Instead, you slide down them just as quickly. Again and again, you throw yourself at these rocks. Different angles, different speeds, muffled screams. And then the gas encroaches, and you start coughing; spluttering; a bullet whistles through your skull; the curtains close; polished oxfords slap in the dark; the lights clap on; Bobby Kotick whirls around, he exclaims: "Call Of Duty: Warzone everybody!", and the crowd erupts.
Not only is it frustrating, it's humiliating. The rocks are windscreen wipers and we are the droplets, being swept off them with a flourish and a splatter. I think the closest feeling to the 'abruptness' of these rocks is captured in Dark Souls. Less so that sense of scrambling upwards, but more the sheer pace of crashing downwards. Take a wrong step in Dark Souls and your body plops into the abyss at a frightening pace. You achieve 1-60mph much, much faster than a Bugatti Veyron, and I'd say you'd probably beat Lewis Hamilton at the Monaco Grand Prix, honestly.
I'm unsure why the rocks in Verdansk are like this. Maybe there's an audio log buried somewhere in one of the missile silos which explains all. I'm thinking there's a discarded geography project by a teenage Captain Price that reveals the geological makeup of these rocks. The big reveal being that their mineral makeup makes them slippy, or that they've undergone so much onion-skin weathering, they've become like the core of the onion - slippery as hell, and enough to make you cry.
So yes, I've grown to fear these rocks. I actively avoid their presence now in Verdansk. And on the rare occasion I've got to find a way around them, I leave enough time to do so while peering between my fingers.
Bring on the next season of Warzone! God, I can't wait to see the trailer and yell with giddy abandon at all the cool stuff, then tut at every new rock I spot.