Raven Software and High Moon Studios devs discuss bringing the iconic building into Verdansk.
Welcome to the party, pals! The iconic Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard is live now in Call of Duty: Warzone’s Verdansk ‘84 map. Warzone’s new tallest structure arrives as part of the ‘80s Action Heroes event, which also introduces new Operators Rambo and John McClane (available for purchase as limited-time Store Bundles).
It’s not everyday you get to step into the same hallowed ground where action movie icon John McClane foiled nefarious thief Hans Gruber’s heist plans. To mark the exciting occasion, I chatted with Amos Hodge from Raven Software, the lead developer of Warzone, and Matt Krystek from High Moon Studios, whose team led bringing Nakatomi Plaza from Los Angeles to the middle of Verdansk’s bustling downtown district.
PlayStation Blog: At what point in the film is this map set roughly or did you take liberties for whatever complemented the map at the given location?
Matt Krystek: It’s kind of both – I would say it’s probably closest to the middle of the movie. The thieves have controlled the building, it’s not destroyed yet, and they’re still trying to crack open the vault.
Is Die Hard truly a “Christmas movie?” The festive tree in the Nakatomi lobby thinks so…
What was the feeling at both High Moon Studios and Raven Software when you first found out that you were going to be bringing Nakatomi Plaza to life in Warzone?
Amos Hodge: Pure excitement across all the studios. Bringing Die Hard elements into Warzone was a perfect fit and everyone got really into it immediately, everyone was brainstorming ideas. It was just pure excitement.
MK: I remember the first time we saw the shell of the building in-game. Everybody just smiled because it was just so cool and it’s just this massive kind of iconic structure that we’re able to work on.
The dev team removed four city blocks to make room for Nakatomi
Where does Nakatomi Plaza begin on the map as a new location?
MK: We did have to work within the road structure and stuff that was there. We added the new entrance to the parking garage so we had to craft that. We also wanted to give players a ton of ways to access this building, so we ended up adding another stairwell that actually goes down into the garage from outside of the building. Then, we made sure there was enough cover to support everybody doing the hot drop right at the beginning.
AH: The downtown buildings kind of have a reputation for being a hold-out location where one or two teams would hold them out, but in this case, we wanted to make sure that this could support lots of teams, lots of points of entry and that multiple floors were playable. It’s really a space that could support lots of combat and lots of players.
Engage your inner thief, breach Nakatomi’s vault, and make off with valuable loot.
What are some of your pro tips for new players who want to drop into Nakatomi Plaza?
MK: You obviously have to learn the routes. Avoid dropping onto the roof right at the spawn or just be prepared for some really hot action. It is faster just to jump down the elevator shaft and pull your chute than it is to use the ascender. You’re going to need to mix up your loadout as there are definitely a lot of long and close-range fights. You can use some area of denial around the doors and the stairwells to lock those spaces down. Given the amount of verticality here, I think you know UAV’s and heartbeat sensors might not be as reliable, so maybe consider some different options.
AH: For me, there’s some unique gameplay here where you can unlock special loot if you find access to the vault. You can find some game-changing items for yourself. It’s always cool to get in here and race for those items and unlock that stuff.
What are your personal favorite movie moments from Die Hard?
MK: There are two that stand out for me. I love the shoot the glass scene when they throw that hockey puck explosive in. The second one is when McClane and Hans have that face-to-face and then he does that little accent.
AH: I like the banter and interaction between John McClane and the police officer outside, it’s really cool. I grew up watching other shows with him in it, so to me, the scene with the police officer talking to John McClane was a really cool moment. I like the banter back and forth.
The giant teddy bear is safe and secure in what reminds me of limo driver Argyle’s vehicle.
What element of the Nakatomi Plaza implementation would you say the dev teams are most proud of?
AH: That’s tough. I think it’s easier for me to pick out my personal favorites. My personal favorite is definitely the bloody footprints leading out of the bathroom. That’s an attention of detail that is really cool. Players can play as the John McClane Operator and walk over the bloody footprints barefoot as John McClane. There’s some very surreal moments that fans are going to love.
How do you anticipate Nakatomi Plaza will change the flow of a match and the meta of Warzone?
MK: I think it’s totally going to mix up the downtown meta. The nice thing is that it’s a limited time event so it is going to maybe get people to play a little differently or mix their loadouts and maybe take some different options. However, it is limited so I think it’s good to mix things up.
Like McClane himself, expect to spend time exploring the labyrinthine guts of Nakatomi.
Without giving any spoilers away, how can players expect the map to continue to evolve into the future?
AH: We’re definitely going to lean into the ‘80s and we’re definitely going to continue making updates. This is one of the first big splashes we’re making, but you can expect continual updates to the map, new content and ways to play throughout the seasons.
Anything else that you both would like to say to the fans?
MK: I’m just excited to see everyone’s reactions. The first time they figure out how to get into the vault. There’s just so much here that we’re excited to get into the hands of players.
AH: We’re just excited for players to jump into all the Action Heroes content. It’s a fun experience for the entire community. We just can’t wait.
Thanks to Raven and High Moon Studios, you can now explore Nakatomi Plaza in Warzone for a limited time. Just try not to get killed while looking for every last easter egg from the film. You can catch all the explosive, blockbuster action right now across Call of Duty: Warzone and Black Ops Cold War, with developer Treyarch leading the charge in delivering even more action movie-inspired game modes across Multiplayer and Zombies.
Now get out there and be the fly in someone’s ointment, and remember your shoes!