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Gray Zone Warfare vs Call of Duty Warzone: Which is Better?

The pitched battle royales of games like Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends may get all the mainstream shooter spotlight, but a new breed of extraction-based shooters is staking its claim. Escape From Tarkov’s brutal gameplay kicked off the latest craze, but now two bigger names are muscling in on the action – the scrappy indie Gray Zone Warfare which just hit early access, and Call of Duty’s DMZ mode in Warzone 2. But which of the two, gray zone warfare vs call of duty warzone, extraction experiences does better?

The Faction System

Gray Zone’s biggest unique selling point is its innovative faction system. Instead of a free-for-all deathmatch, you join one of three factions controlling territory on the massive 42km x 42km map. This creates cool temporary safe zones near your faction’s home base where you’ll team up with random players against AI threats. No other major extraction shooter has quite captured this dynamic of allied players brought together organically by joining the same side.

It makes playing solo much more approachable compared to the brutal learning curve of going lone wolf in Tarkov. As you stray deeper into enemy territory, all bets are off and Gray Zone ramps up the tension. But having these pockets of temporary peace is a brilliant middle ground between squad-based play and playing entirely alone.

Call of Duty’s DMZ mode has no such system, favoring the familiar format of many separate squads dropped onto one large map to fend for themselves. It makes DMZ feel more in line with Tarkov’s everyone-for-themselves vibe versus Gray Zone’s phased, territory-capturing flow.

The Persistent World

Another key difference that sets Gray Zone apart is its persistent, open-world map. You don’t just queue for individual raid matches. Instead, you’re dropped onto one gigantic persistent battlefield that you’re free to explore, taking on missions, fighting AI and players, and extracting loot in one continuous session.

If you die, you respawn at your home base to re-arm and either head back out or attempt to recover your fallen loot. This creates a seamless, free-flowing experience of perpetual engagement in an ongoing war effort, unlike discrete matches.

DMZ takes the more traditional approach of self-contained matches with clear beginnings and ends. You deploy into one of Warzone’s battle royale maps and complete objectives/gather loot before extracting, losing everything if you go down during that single operation. The persistent world definitely gives Gray Zone an edge in feeling cohesive and immersive, albeit at the cost of some jank-like enemies glitching or performance issues in the early access build.

Looting and Inventory

Where Gray Zone really stumbles though is in its tedious inventory management. Like Tarkov, there’s a heavy emphasis on juggling backpacks, carefully piece-mealing every individual piece of loot, managing attachments, and so on. To me, this is where the survival sim aspects cross over into being more chore-like busy work than tense, thrilling gameplay. The constant looting admin really disrupts the flow when you have to root around in your bag after every skirmish.

DMZ streamlines and simplifies the looting process considerably. While you still need to juggle limited backpack space, actually picking up and equipping loot is blissfully simple by shooter standards. Items go straight into your personal pool without tedious inventory Tetris, and equipping new weapons or armor is a simple one-click process. DMZ just has a smoother, less obstructive inventory loop that keeps the action flowing.

The Gunplay Experience

Of course, at their cores, these are both modern shooter experiences judged heavily by the feel and balance of their shooting mechanics. On this front, Gray Zone currently exhibits some poor qualities as you’d expect from an early-access game. Enemies can feel like bullet sponges in one firefight, while in the next you’ll be downing them in just a couple of shots with no apparent rhyme or reason. The gunplay definitely needs some tuning and polish.

DMZ, on the other hand, benefits greatly from sharing shooting fundamentals with Warzone 2 and the latest Modern Warfare titles. The weapons, ballistics, and hit detection all feel tight and battle-tested right out of the gate. There’s a level of refinement and consistency to DMZ’s combat that gives it an immediate edge over the inconsistent shooting in Gray Zone’s early access state.

The Verdict

For shooter fans hungry for a fresh tactical experience beyond the typical battle royale, both Gray Zone Warfare and Call of Duty’s DMZ mode show a lot of promise in capturing the intense world of extraction shooters popularized by Escape From Tarkov. 

Gray Zone is the more hardcore, rough-around-the-edges interpretation with an immersive persistent world and innovative faction/territory control system. But it also leans too heavily into tedious inventory management and suffers from performance issues in this early access state.

DMZ on the other hand makes smart quality-of-life concessions with streamlined looting and the technical foundation of Call of Duty’s satisfying gunplay. However, it adheres more closely to the discrete match structure and free-for-all PvP format that Tarkov pioneered.   

Ultimately, DMZ is the more accessible and polished of the two for newcomers to dip their toes into this lucrative new shooter genre. But Gray Zone’s persistent, faction-controlled battleground shows incredible potential to be a truly innovative evolution of extraction shooters if the developers can squash the bugs and find the right balance between tense survival sim and just plain busy work. The war for the best extraction shooter between gray zone warfare vs call of duty warzone is just starting.

Written by
I am an award-winning professional Freelance Writer with over 2 years of experience writing for Content Creators and Companies. My work includes SEO, Copywriting, Blog Writing, Content Writing, and Scriptwriting. Also, I just love strategy, MOBA, and FPS games like Valorant, Total War, and League of Legends!

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