If you’ve dipped into Call of Duty Warzone you’ll be familiar with its unique take on respawning.
The battle royale includes the Gulag – a small map players visit after their first death in a match.
There are two stages to your time in the Gulag: spectating and fighting. During the spectating stage, you and sometimes a bunch of other players in the Gulag queue watch a one versus one match play out from the dingy cell above. When it’s your turn to fight, you teleport to the lower shower level and go one versus one against an opponent for the right to respawn on the Warzone map.
But spectating in the Gulag does not have to be a passive experience. You can punch other spectators (this is an annoyance only – you can’t kill anyone), and, if you’re playing in a squad with voice comms open, help your teammate by calling out the position of their opponent.
But the best thing about spectating in the Gulag is throwing rocks. While walking around the perimeter balcony you can throw rocks into the pit at both soldiers. Rocks do one point of non-lethal damage, which means they can take one hit point off either player, but will not kill them outright if they have only one hit point left.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Redditor K1NG0D2396 uploaded a video of their experience in the Gulag, which very much looks like it shows a death by rock.
Friend dies from getting a rock thrown at him and even has a kill cam to show that it was the rock thrower. from r/CODWarzone
Either way, players are having a lot of fun messing about with throwing rocks in the Gulag. You can help your teammate by chucking a rock at their opponent, which will stun them briefly. You can backstab your teammate by throwing rocks at them. Hilariously, you can also use a well-aimed rock to trigger equipment, such as a C4.
Here’s a clip of a dastardly spectator killing one of the shower players by chucking a rock at their claymore.
Killed someone in the Gulag by throwing a rock at their claymore. from r/CODWarzone
I’ve had a lot of fun in Warzone’s Gulag – and I think it’s perhaps the best thing about the battle royale. Not only does it give you a second chance in a game mode that can go on for a bit, but it does so in an interesting way.
I also love how despicable the Gulag can be. It’s awful by design – a map made for back-stabbing, unfair gameplay and punching. Lots of punching. It’s you against everyone else – and the reward for success is literally getting your life back. The Gulag is for playing dirty, and I love that about it.
In fact, I think Warzone does well to give players multiple routes back into the game. Apart from the Gulag, which every player gets a chance to use to get back into the game once, you can buy back your dead teammates with enough cash. The two Warzone matches I’ve managed to win both involved getting back into the game via the Gulag and a buy-back from one of my squadmates. Warzone matches can feel pretty intense and can last a decent amount of time, so respawning takes the edge off the brutality of the experience.
So here’s to Warzone’s Gulag – and to the throwing of rocks.