News - This Is Why The New Warzone's Audio Is Terrible
It truly does feel like 2020 again because War Zone's pretty good, but the one thing that everybody is still complaining about is audio. While I have been having a fantastic time with the new version of War Zone, there is one thing that's on everybody's mind right now, and it's why the audio in Call of Duty: War Zone is so bad.
This is a conversation that is happening to peek up again recently, but it's been a conversation for a very long time in all of War Zone; it was a conversation back in vians, and it's a conversation again in zikan. Because there are thousands and hundreds of other games that have never had these issues, and you can go out there and play PubG and Apex Legends right now, which are large format Battle Royale games, and never experience the kind of audio issues that present themselves in Call of Duty.
There are two fatal flaws with the current system in Call of Duty that we'll talk about in this article today. The first major flaw is some of the underlying bugs in the system, and the second major flaw is the actual philosophical approach and overall audio mix that Call of Duty is using. So first up, let's talk about the bugs, because there are quite a few of them at the moment that are exacerbating.
The overall feeling that there is no audio in the game there's a pretty critical bug right now where the announcer doesn't call in if somebody's landing on your head, which is a fairly major problem as you can imagine, and there's also another fairly major bug where it appears as though Resolute Park is applying Dead Silence.
When people take damage, if somebody is shot at while Resolute is in their perk package and it activates, it appears that their footsteps seem to go to basically zero for a period of time. There's another glitch in the game where going underwater or hitting the ground at a certain level of speed will cause your audio to sound permanently muffled for a certain period of time, as though your head is slightly underwater or you have suddenly decided to wear an earring.
You can experience this a couple of times because the audio just sounds overwhelmingly muffled for a short period of time, and this is something that also needs addressing. And finally, and most interestingly, in the category of bugs that I've seen so far in the war zone, take a look at this clip from my stream today.
That guy's made me very weak. That guy's gun made no sound in my game. This is somebody full-autoing an assault rifle seemingly with no suppressor, about 10 to 15 meters away from me, and I received zero audio from that player firing their weapon at full speed. Now these are audio bugs; they're not fundamental philosophy design errors; they are just things that aren't working correctly and probably will have to be fixed, and these are the frustrations that I have personally experienced.
But I was very surprised to go on social media and see a lot of people talking about a lack of footsteps in Call of Duty, because I personally have not had that problem, and this isn't down to me randomly gaslighting my audience and saying that the footsteps are fine and working accordingly. In fact, it simply highlights the fundamental flaws of what is wrong in Call of Duty at this point in time and allows me to identify them.
Why is everybody having trouble with audio, and why have I personally not had any issues with footstep audio? When I bounced around a bunch of streams and a bunch of other content creator channels. I saw that a lot of them were playing Call of Duty: War Zone anywhere between about 50 and 70% volume, which is what they have to do to avoid the overall sound of their game from completely blowing out their eardrums.
If you play this game at 100% volume with no other effects applied, the sound of gunshot audio or the sound of you getting in a plane is abnormally loud, to the point where it probably could genuinely harm your hearing if you used it at that level, but at the same time, playing at 100% volume is effectively the only way to get the highest possible effect volume, like footsteps.
This is where things are different for me because I play my game at 100% effects volume with a couple of little audio tricks that I do to achieve that, but before I get into those technical details of how my setup's different and how it explains what's wrong with the Call of Duty audio mix. I'm just going to show you an example.
This is what Call of Duty sounds like at 100% volume without any audio effects applied, and you'll be able to see just how loud the gunshots are. This is because I'm using specialized audio techniques in order to achieve this outcome, and I'm using certain effects within certain software to reduce the overall sound of gunshots in the game while still keeping my volume at 100%.
Now you've probably seen online most streamers and content creators using something called loudness equalization, which is a setting on their PC and something that's not even available to people who play on consoles. Loudness equalization is effectively a compressor, which increases the volume of low frequencies and low sounds like footsteps and minor effects but reduces the sound of louder effects like gunshots and explosions in Call of Duty.
Now, this is a decent idea, but the reason that this doesn't necessarily work is because even with loudness EQ applied, most people still have to turn their game down because, while the audio levels have been balanced out, the audio is still generally speaking loud, so although their footsteps are slightly louder and their gunshots are lower because the game is still overwhelming for them, they probably end up putting it at about 60 to 70% volume.
And this is where my settings are different because I'm a content creator. I use something called Elgato WaveLink, which allows me to send audio to my stream PC and separate my audio tracks for when I'm making content. One of the cool things about this software is that it allows me to play VST audio effects on any single audio track, and these are VSTs that are used in music, vocal production, and generally sound engineering.
This is how I can play my game at 100% volume without breaking my ear because I'm not using loudness equalization. I'm using a VST effect called a limiter, and there's a big difference. Loudness equalization balances out the audio tracks while keeping the general audio output signal still generally quite loud, but a limiter literally physically stops the audio from going past a certain amount of loudness.
And I've specifically tuned this limiter to stop gunshot audio from going to its highest point, meaning that the rest of the game can be played at 100% volume, but gunshot sounds in particular, which are the ear-beding variety, are completely canceled out, and this allows me to play Call of Duty: War Zone at 100% volume in the game without having to necessarily lower the footstep audio to reduce the sound of the gunfire.