Modern Warfare Season ONE Battle Pass, Watch, & Operator Bundles Reviewed

This year Call of Duty has been including a ton of content for free in patches, updates, and an ambitious road-map of features, limited time modes, and new maps still on the horizon. However, they have also been selling new operators, kill:death ratio watches, emblems, calling cards, and even fully modified guns as part of micro-transaction bundles which were strategically released months after full reviews of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare were published.

So then, after seeing what happened with Black Ops 4 and its ‘Black Market’ Cash Shop / Black Ops Pass, we decided to take a closer look at what’s going on this year with Modern Warfare and how “worth it” (or not) its micro-transaction and subscription pass schemes felt. We have taken the bullet for gamers and bought a few packs to report back on what we’ve found out. After Activision laid the battlefield with mysterious and vague offerings masked by new terms and misleading descriptions, it’s pretty enlightening, here’s exactly how ‘blueprints’ / micro-transaction items work.

Pros

  • Maps are included for free for all Modern Warfare players, no more playing with old maps when friends haven’t paid for a pack.
  • Getting weapons that have already been set up and balanced for an intended purpose such as accuracy or range versus damage and control up-close.
  • Constantly changing availability of playlists, limited edition game modes, variants on classic “hacked” game modes provide reasons to sign in again each week.
  • No Lootboxes, you always know what you are getting.
  • The Outback bundle which outraged Australian customers has been updated to provide 100% of proceeds to relief aid for AU.

Cons

  • Micro-transaction guns are marketed as cosmetic only but contain attachments which take incredibly long to unlock for free.
  • After buying a few bundles, the fear of pay-to-win treadmill is very real. Even paid guns are being outdated and replaced fast.
  • Featured bundles and Operator bundles are the main cosmetic progression for the game and require micro-transaction purchases.
  • Built as a genius system to manipulate customers vulnerable to addictive behavior such as shopaholics and gamblers.
  • Micro-transactions are sold in bundles only, usually only one or two items per bundle will be very appealing though.

SEASON ONE BATTLE PASS
W/ 20 TIER SKIPS (2400 COD POINTS)

*=Given Free for All Players, Paid BP or Not.

  1. The Purist (Gun Blueprint)*
  2. Back To Back (Calling Card)
  3. Double Weapon XP Token (60 Minutes)
  4. Sweet Mercy (Emblem)
  5. Blackspike (Knife Skin)
  6. 100 COD Points*
  7. Double XP Token (30 Minutes)
  8. Wrong Turn (Gun Blueprint)
  9. Nice Supplies (Weapon Charm)
  10. Urban Hip (Operator Skin)
  11. Broken (Weapon Sticker)*
  12. 100 COD Points
  13. Double Weapon XP Token (30 Minutes)
  14. Masks On (Spray)
  15. Holger-26 (New Legendary Weapon Unlock)*
  16. Breach (Player Card)
  17. 100 COD Points
  18. Impossible Task (Gun Blueprint)
  19. Recon (Operator Skin)
  20. Sand Snake (Gun Blueprint)
  21. Lethal Dose (Emblem)*
  22. Double Weapon XP Token (45 Minutes)
  23. 100 COD Points
  24. Stick ‘Em (Weapon Charm)*
  25. Double Weapon XP Token (45 Minutes)
  26. Checkmate (Weapon Sticker)
  27. Stay Frosty (Gun Blueprint)
  28. ChemWeap (Spray)*
  29. Double XP Token (15 Minutes)
  30. Down Range (Operator Skin)
  31. RAM-7 (New Legendary Gun Unlock)*
  32. 100 COD Points
  33. Keele Campaign Silver Watch
  34. On Alert (Calling Card)*
  35. Collateral Damage (Gun Blueprint)
  36. Double Weapon XP Token (15 Minutes)
  37. Lethality (Emblem)
  38. Hadir’s Right Hand (Gun Blueprint)
  39. Mine Over Matter (Weapon Charm)*
  40. Armored Up (Operator Skin)
  41. 100 COD Points
  42. Monochromatic (Gun Blueprint)
  43. Double XP Token (60 Minutes)
  44. Hot Headed (Weapon Sticker)*
  45. The Traitor (Gun Blueprint)
  46. Double Weapon XP Token (60 Minutes)
  47. Biohazard (Spray)
  48. 100 COD Points*
  49. Smoked ‘Em (Calling Card)
  50. Mariner (Operator Skin)
  51. Baddie (Gun Blueprint)
  52. Cog Of Duty (Emblem)
  53. Double XP Token (30 Minutes)
  54. Wall Hacks (Weapon Charm)
  55. Long Arm (Gun Blueprint)
  56. 100 COD Points
  57. Double Weapon XP (30 Minutes)
  58. Snakebite (Weapon Sticker)
  59. Stygian (Gun Blueprint)
  60. Buckshot (Operator Skin)
  61. Mind Blown (Spray)*
  62. Disco Stud Watch
  63. Double XP Token (45 Minutes)
  64. Into The Dark (Calling Card)*
  65. The Ejector (Gun Blueprint)
  66. 100 COD Points
  67. Death Toast (Emblem)*
  68. Double Weapon XP Token (45 Minutes)
  69. Bombs Away (Weapon Charm)
  70. Sokoly (Operator Skin)
  71. Siberian Tiger (Gun Blueprint)
  72. Fetch (Weapon Sticker)*
  73. Double XP Token (45 Minutes)
  74. 100 COD Points
  75. Hazardous (Spray)
  76. Riptide (Gun Blueprint)
  77. Woods Cutter (Calling Card)*
  78. Double Weapon XP (15 Minutes)
  79. Gassed (Emblem)
  80. Wetworks (Operator Skin)
  81. Blowback (Gun Blueprint)*
  82. 100 COD Points
  83. Double XP Token (15 Minutes)
  84. Set To Blow (Weapon Charm)*
  85. Gilded (Gun Blueprint)
  86. Poison Head (Weapon Sticker)
  87. Double Weapon XP Token (60 Minutes)
  88. Hazmat Savior (Spray)*
  89. Stalker (Gun Blueprint)
  90. Overgrowth (Operator Skin)
  91. 100 COD Points
  92. Standoff (Calling Card)
  93. Life Support Watch
  94. Caustic Area (Emblem)*
  95. Swamp Weed (Gun Blueprint)
  96. Double XP Token (60 Minutes)
  97. Gas This! (Weapon Charm)
  98. 100 COD Points*
  99. Corrupter (Gun Blueprint)
  100. Forest Ops (Operator Skin)

URBAN AVENGER (2400 COD POINTS)

  • Junk Pile (Golem Skin)
  • Patchwork (FR 5.56 Blueprint)
  • Hole Punch (.357 Blueprint)
  • Boxcutter (Combat Knife Skin)
  • Hidden Golem (Calling Card)
  • Scrap Dragon (Emblem)
  • Trash Panda (Weapon Sticker)
  • Weren’t Made (Additional Voice-over Clip for Golem)
  • Laid To Rest (Finishing Move for Golem)
  • 1 Tier Skip (For Battle Pass)

Real Gamer Review: The custom “Patchwork” Blueprint provides an interesting variation on the FR 5.56, which in itself is an extremely accurate and powerful three round burst assault rifle. Personal preference will likely dictate whether the arrangement is anything special, but it does provide an immediate set of attachments pre-installed on a very useful gun for those with a solid aiming skill.

Junk Pile is the most ridiculous looking skin and is the stuff of memes, literal trash camouflage. This bundle was released prior to The Outback and is likely Infinity Ward trying to spark controversy to get people talking about their in-game content. The entire pack felt decent when compared to other packs, but certainly not worth the asking price. We picked it up last because the other bundles didn’t have an Operator Skin we wanted, and this is the epitome of how ridiculous the skin economy can get – so that’s what I wear.

DEATHBRINGER (2400 COD POINTS)

  • Angel of Death (Charly Skin)
  • Death’s Voice (RS-0 Blueprint)
  • Sulfuric (1911 Blueprint)
  • Time To Kill (Kill:Death Ratio Watch)
  • Scythe (Combat Knife Skin)
  • Insatiable (Calling Card)
  • Long Toothed (Emblem)
  • No Getting’ Up (Additional Voice-over Quip for Charly)
  • Between The Ribs (Finishing Move for Charly)
  • 2 Tier Skips (For Battle Pass)

Real Gamer Review: This was the first bundle we purchased, and immediately we discovered that the outfits of Operator Skins are only applicable to one Operator. Angel of Death is a decent look but if players aren’t rocking Charly, a default Operator, then it’s pointless. The real reason this bundle was purchased though was to get our hands on a kill:death ratio watch. At the time, Mother Russia and other similar K:DR watch bundles were not on the store (everything cycles in and out of availability). Other than the watch, most of this pack seems ignorable. Death’s Voice and Sulfuric are decent Gun Blueprints, but not particularly favorited weapons.

LONESTAR (1300 COD POINTS)

  • The Warden (MK2 Carbine Blueprint)
  • Rail Splitter (725 Blueprint)
  • High Noon (.357 Blueprint)
  • Boots On The Ground (Weapon Charm)
  • Liberty (Weapon Sticker)

Real Gamer Review: Truthfully, this bundle was also an eye-opening experience as we purchased it expecting to get the USA symbol as an emblem when it turns out it’s just a sticker to be placed on weapons. This was to satisfy the urge to buy something American and represent home country, however the High Noon is an incredible .357 Blueprint that gives the wild west magnum gun-slinger feel to players with one shot kills at point blank range, two or three shot kills at close range, and heavy stopping power even at a medium range of engagement. I guess it wasn’t a total loss then.

FINAL VERDICT

Not worth it

Some of the more creative bundles featured thus far are nationality-based, cosmetically creative, and sometimes purely gimmicks (such as red bullet traces). A bigger problem is that while technically players can unlock attachments that come pre-installed on blueprints purchased through bundles, and are even made obsolete by other bundles releasing weekly, making them edge closer and closer towards a pay-to-win environment.

The satisfaction of having a different looking character and a couple of guns / emblems is very much short-lived and players are better off to take a look at the guns for sale, write down the attachments used (in order to replicate the same balance / attributes achieved by the blueprint), then try to unlock those and build the gun themselves. Sure, this might take a ton of time but buying the guns is not a great solution either as they will be outdated shortly after purchase – and they are nowhere near cheap, as they’re only available bundled with cosmetics.

The Season One Battle Pass itself is quite disappointing, and like most post-Fortnite “live service” games does not resemble the generosity which made this monetization scheme popular originally. If fairness, a straight-forward presentation, and ease of use are not prioritized alongside a healthy offering of prizes throughout all tiers of the pass, paying for something you might not even get time to unlock really starts to sting, especially when the ‘seasons’ are even shorter than real life weather seasons.

CONCLUSION

A Scary Precedent

I never have a problem giving money to games that make me happy. That’s why I took the chance and bought a few Modern Warfare bundles along with its Season One Battle Pass – against my better judgement which was telling me to just assume the worst and skip it. As it turns out, I’ve discovered that there’s no point to putting money into this game. Many will say “Of course” and that’s a fair enough response, but for those on the fence, the marketing can be pretty confusing. $100 CAD (around $77 USD) later, I understand now how the blueprints system works, and in total the monetization / progression systems which exist in MW set a scary precedent.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare has gotten away with the golden sin in shooter games: selling guns. They’ve done this by technically allowing all players to strive for unlocking the attachments needed to create their own replicas of the blueprint guns others paid to have right away. You can write down the attachments seen on any Blueprint and unlock them yourself. Activision has managed to pull the wool over gamers’ eyes by labeling their content as ‘cosmetic only’ while quickly shifting the availability of these attachment unlocks at a similar rate to the replacement of shop items. Unfortunately, if this is the future for Call of Duty, then we will likely begin to see the balance of multiplayer suffer. Worse yet, if other shooters begin to have similar systems – the genre may suffer.

Review Copy Info: Additional digital content was purchased by RealGamerNewZ for the purpose of this review.

Two Digital PS4 Copies of this game were provided by the Publisher for the purpose of the original game’s review. Multiple Consumer Copies were also purchased by RealGamerNewZ Team.