After some teases about Rambo and Die Hard’s John McClane both coming to Call of Duty: Warzone and Black Ops Cold War, the Call of Duty Twitter account has now confirmed “80s Action Heroes” for both aforementioned games, as well as Call of Duty Mobile. The tweet further overtly calls out both Die Hard and Rambo, but previous hints could indicate that this ’80s Action Heroes tease is for more than just a couple of premium paid packs for Operator skins and other cosmetics.
Some heroes Die Hard. Others draw First Blood.
The action begins May 20th. pic.twitter.com/8Rr3c7g26u
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) May 13, 2021
First hint is the wording of the tweet, which says that “the action begins May 20th.” This seems like a lot of hustle and bustle for something to just end up being licensed premium packs. May 20th will kick off Season Three Reloaded, and the expectation is something a little more than just the privilege of paying $20 to look like Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis. (Curiously, we haven’t yet actually seen McClane at all, so it’s unknown if we’ll actually be able to look like Willis’ John McClane.) But wording isn’t the only evidence we have to go on.
When Season Three was first unveiled, the roadmap teased Season Three Reloaded and a mid-season event. It’s not uncommon for each Call of Duty Season to have a mid-season refresh event to keep pace for the second half of the Season. Season Three’s mid-season event was teased to come with new modes, rewards, and more. What’s more, when we got an early look at what was coming in Season Three, the developers specifically mentioned an “80s themed event” later in the season, but were rather cagey about the details. It had an air of something that was a lot more than just some new premium packs, however cool those inevitable packs end up being.
The biggest hint, however, is looking at the last time Call of Duty and Warzone licensed two outside characters for use in game. Yes, the Leatherface and Billy the Puppet (of Saw fame) Operator skins were premium cosmetic packs that players had to buy, but they came alongside the massive Haunting in Verdansk event in Warzone. The Haunting of Verdansk was something that we praised as one of the best events Warzone had ever done, and I see the introduction of Rambo and McClane following suit.
So while the ’80s Action Hero tease for May 20th is almost certain to introduce Rambo and John McClane Operator packs (or skins for existing Operators), I expect it to come alongside an in-game event that will shake things up, entice lapsed players to come back, and get more people in front of those licensed packs. After all, I doubt Activision would pay money to license these characters without having a plan to get as many people to buy them as possible. A related in-game event themed around ’80s action heroes seems like the perfect way to do that.
Either way, it’s not much longer now until we find out. Season Three reloads on May 20th, when the ’80s action begins, so we have a week at most until we find out for sure.
Warzone and Black Ops Cold War’s Season Three has been very ’80s focused, bringing Warzone in line with Cold War’s own themes. Players were thrust back into a 1984 version of Verdansk, and the stories of the two games were bridged even more (there were only distant connections prior). Treyarch, Raven, and the pile of other studios Activision has working on Black Ops Cold War and Warzone are leaning heavily on the ’80s themes, and I expect we’ll see the fruits of that next week.