Boots on the ground. Hah, “boots on the ground”. That’s so last gen, so, I don’t know, basic. Armored Royale is the hotness in Call of Duty: Warzone right now, and it’s all about boots on the clutch. It's a mode in which you care and nurture for an armored truck like it’s your child. As long as it stays alive, your team can respawn back into its waiting, metal embrace. If it explodes in a hail of shrapnel, your ability to respawn is severed. And thus, you must roam Verdansk vulnerable and shaken without your big four-wheeled boy. So, it's important to keep your truck well maintained - as the old saying goes, "the team with their truck still in tow often wins, hoo-ah!".
Before Armored Royale, I was totally content with vanilla Warzone and its consistent, even flavour. But now that I've discovered rum and raisin, I'm struggling to go back. Life with trucks is chaotic and devious and hilarious in ways which classic modes can't match. And yet it's only a limited time mode. It's going to vanish one day and I can't think about this for too long otherwise I'll sob over my space bar. Infinity Ward, Captain Price, whoever is in charge here: you know what to do. Keep it live, keep the trucks revving.
I can recall clearly the precise moment when I fell in love with Armored Royale. I was in a match with The Boys - the foaming Joel Franey, the dishonorable Dean Abdou, and our babysitter Jake Green - and I’m pretty sure we were in the midst of a firefight of some sort. Jake was driving, Joel was rattling off bullets in the gunner seat, while Dean and I were out on the cargo bay tapping the trigger but mainly yelling. Just... yelling.
Then all of a sudden another enemy truck emerged from the smoke and clattered into view. Jake announced, with some urgency, “Oh fuck it’s another truck.” That was it, the moment I realised Armored Royale had captured my heart.
Initially we had some difficulties, because we kept getting sandwiched by multiple trucks and we weren’t using our money right. Jake, being the squadron leader that he is, came through with some wisdom during this trying time. "We must pour our money into the truck, not ourselves," he said. We could not be selfish. The truck had to be our priority, nothing else mattered. Feeling energised and renewed, with a new outlook on trucks, we did what we thought was impossible. We got our first Armored Royale victory.
To achieve this, we employed two tactics. Step one: invest in our future. Every last penny was spent on upgrading the truck’s armour, we made sure its gun didn’t overheat too fast, and we gave it a Trophy System to deflect incoming enemy explosives. Less Tonka, more stonker.
Step two: engage Stealth Truck. We skirted the outside of the circle and crept our truck slowly and methodically through the woods. Like a very large, mechanical grizzly bear, we stalked the brush. Warzone now has War Tracks, songs which play as you drive around, so our howl through the trees was DMX’s Ruff Ryders’ Anthem, with a bit of Jack Harlow’s WHATS POPPIN sprinkled in.
Then, out of nowhere, TRUCK SPOTTED! - wait, no, TWO TRUCKS. We leapt into action and what ensued felt like intensity of the highest order. Though, looking back, it largely involved dumping multiple magazines into the enemy trucks and ignoring any other tangos. I remember us scrambling around, targeting these trucks like they were raid bosses until only one survived.
At that point, the landscape of the fight shifted - truck vs. truck, bumper to bumper action. Gosh, we played it well. Jake kept our truck on the move, occasionally dipping in and out to return fire, while the rest of us got our flank on to distract the enemy players, or chip away at their truck which they’d foolishly left parked up.
Soon enough, we’d blown up their vehicle while ours stood, smoking, but alive. Which meant we could respawn over and over until we’d flushed out the entire enemy squad. Cut to us screaming “YES” and “TRUCKS” at the victory screen. Truly, our proudest achievement as a squad.
If and when Armored Royale does end up disappearing, then I guess, I'm thankful. We're thankful. Thankful to the trucks. It was nice, real nice.