When Activision and Treyarch announced that Black Ops 4 would be shipping with a battle royale mode, we were equal parts worried and intrigued. Everyone seems to be tacking on a battle royale variant to their game with varying results, and many have failed at adapting their mechanics to the genre.
But not long after the beta and one week into the official release of the game, it's clear that Blackout is something special on so many levels. The signature CoD gunplay lends itself perfectly to the stealth/loot-focused goals of Battle Royales and the addition of a wide variety of vehicles is a welcome addition.
But we've come to expect stellar gameplay from the Call of Duty franchise. What we didn't expect though is how the map serves not only as a battleground, but as a stroll down the Black Ops Memory lane. Old maps, locations, characters, and weapons have been added into the game and serve as a reminder of where Black Ops has taken us over the years. This is one of Blackout's most important qualities, and certainly one that recognizes the rich heritage that no other Battle Royale mode has.
After one week running through this Black Ops museum, we think we have a pretty good idea of where this mode stands in the battle royale ecosystem.
Yes, the tired get good meme applies here fully. Because if you're not good, then you're not going to unlock anything. This is the main problem with Blackout so far, the progression doesn't reward players enough and makes it seem like the unlockables require so many hours of playtime to unlock.
As already stated, the Blackout map is a character of its own. You can land in any number of classic Black Ops locales including Firing Range, Array, and even the undead Asylum! Complete with zombies and a mystery box.
Getting into firefights in this awesome selection of maps makes for a great experience thats familiar to anyone who has played Black Ops in the past, and is a very smart choice on Treyarch's part.
Adapting the classic Call of Duty formula to the Battle Royale genre seems like it would be a difficult task, but it fits surprisingly well. The shooting mechanics are characteristically fast and snappy, not clunky like PUBG.
The additions that truly change it up are the preference of guns and the tactics that come with inventory management and looting. Just like every other Battle Royale, it's all about making sure you've got the better loadout, as well as know what to do with that loadout. And there is a great diversity of items that players can use to their advantage.
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