Call of Duty fans got their very first look at what gameplay in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s new “Blackout Mode” could look like today. At first, it looks about what one would expect from a battle royale mode backed by a major publisher like Activision. However, it looks like Treyarch has made Blackout into something more than just a high-budget version of Player Unknown’s BattleGrounds. In fact, Blackout could very well be a genuine step forward for the genre.
First and foremost, Blackout appears to be much bigger in terms of scope than either Fornite or PUBG. The entire trailer plays out across what appears to be a single, massive map filled with all manner of terrain and structures; something players who enjoy tactical positioning are sure to be happy about. The variety of weaponry and vehicles on display here greatly outclass those of every other battle royale game out there, and the sheer freedom of action being advertised is quite unexpected. Flying vehicles, swimming, shooting underwater, and transporting air drops are all brand new capabilities coming to this game type, but perhaps one of the biggest reveals has to be terrain hazards.
The trailer only confirmed the existence of zombies in Blackout, but it wouldn’t be too surprising to find other types of dangers on such a large map with so many different types of terrain. Even if that turns not to be the case and zombies are the only environmental hazard besides the storm, they’re still a completely new element getting introduced to this gametype. Battle royale has always been a strictly PvP affair, but the introduction of zombies into Blackout means it doesn’t necessarily have to stay that way.
Of course, trailers being what they are means that this might very well be all fluff and no actual substance. Fans will get a better idea come September 10 and the launch of the Blackout Private Beta. Hopefully its players will come away from it feeling impressed with the new mode rather than let down by it.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 launches for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One on October 12.