Call of Duty Season 1 update – how to play Rebirth Island in new-look Warzone

CALL of Duty Warzone fans have a new map to explore with "intense, close-quarter action" and a murky backstory.

Rebirth Island was released on Wednesday as part of the free Season One update for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

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Rebirth Island backstory

According to Cold War's US game developer Treyarch, Rebirth Island is an illicit Soviet base raided and shut down by the CIA in 1968.

During the raid, Operator Russell Adler – a key character in Cold War's campaign mode – interrogated base commander Vikhor “Stitch” Kuzmin.

Stitch ultimately escaped and appears to have rebuilt the outpost almost 20 years later with the purpose of creating a deadly gas called Nova 6.

"Part prison, part chemical bioweapons manufacturing and testing facility, the entire island has dozens of locations to explore," Treyarch says.

These locations include "laboratories, barracks, decontamination areas, and a hilltop prison block where unspeakable acts have been perpetrated."

How to play Rebirth Island

To play Rebirth Island, you'll first need to install the Season One update launched by Treyarch on December 16.

It's available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC. You don't need a copy of Cold War to download it.

If your preferred gaming machine hasn't done this automatically, you'll need to download it manually by heading to your system's settings.

Another option is to fire up Cold War or Call of Duty Modern Warfare. The games will prompt you to download the latest update before continuing.

Once that's downloaded, open up Warzone in Modern Warfare or Cold War and select "Play".

Choosing the "Resurgence Trios" game mode is currently the only way to play Rebirth Island online.

Selecting "Battle Royale" or "Plunder Trios" will take you to Warzone's first map, Verdansk.

Rumours suggest Verdansk is sticking around until Spring 2021 when Treyarch will swap it out for a new, larger Warzone map.

What is Black Ops Cold War Season One?

Season One is the first major multiplayer update for the latest Call of Duty game, Black Ops Cold War.

It merges Cold War – which hit shelves last month – with Call of Duty's free-to-play battle royale game mode, Warzone.

Players' progression and stats now synchronise across both titles.

In a blog post earlier this month, Treyarch excitedly talked Season One up as the "largest free content drop in Black Ops history".

What to expect from Season One

Season One introduces major changes to both Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

Warzone has a new map and mode, as well as two new Gulag battlegrounds for players to enjoy.

Rebirth Island is only the second map to hit the battle royale game since it launched in March 2020.

It's smaller than Verdasnk – the game mode's first map – with fewer players per game as a result.

Warzone fans also benefit from the addition of more than 30 Black Ops Cold War weapons.

Players can now access Warzone from both the Modern Warfare and Cold War menus.

Black Ops Cold War, on the other hand, has received a fresh suite of multiplayer maps – including Raid from Black Ops 2.

On top of all that, Treyarch has added new Zombies modes.

Black Ops Cold War Season One release date and time

Season One rolled out today on PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS4, Xbox One and PC.

As with previous CoD updates, Treyarch launched the download at roughly 2am ET (7am UK time).

When Season One drops, players can expect a hefty file to hit their consoles that will likely take a fair chunk of time to download.

The most recent update to 2019's Call of Duty Modern Warfare took up a whopping 50GB of gamers' hard drive space.

That means the game now demands a total of 250GB of free drive space, rendering it unplayable on some PCs.

Why was Season One delayed?

Season One was originally due for release on December 10 before Treyarch pushed it back by almost a week.

In a blog post announcing the delay, Treyarch said developers needed more time to prepare the "unprecedented amount of free content" on the way.

"We’re taking a few more days to finalise everything before unleashing this massive drop of new, free content to the community," the firm wrote.

"The teams are currently prepping for the biggest Season One launch week ever seen."

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War – what is it?

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is the latest game in the hugely popular war sim series.

It hits shelves in November and plays out at the height of nuclear tensions between the US and Soviet Russia.

The storyline follows the real-world events of the Cold War – such as the Vietnam War – but will dramatise some elements.

An early teaser trailer revealed has that the game will include a hunt for Perseus – a spy working against the US for Russia.

The Cold War was a period of major tension between the USA and Soviet Union, but wasn't an outright war in the conventional sense.

Instead, both nations supported "proxy wars" – regional conflicts used to gain global influence.

And the fact that both nations controlled nuclear weaponry meant that neither side was willing to risk a war proper.

The period is generally said to have run from 1947 through to 1991 – when the Soviet Union was dissolved.

Out November 13, Black Ops Cold War starts at £59.99 for a standard copy rising all the way to £89.99 for the Ultimate Edition.

In other news, The Sun's favourite alternative to a games console is the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.

Grab a VR headset and you'll be able to play the legendary Beat Saber – like Guitar Hero, but with lightsabers.

And Dell's Alienware R10 Ryzen Edition is a gaming PC powerhouse that crushes both the new consoles.

Are you excited for Season One of Black Ops Cold War? Let us know in the comments!

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