Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 came out way back in October of last year. The game was very well received by most people. Even though Call of Duty is famous for its team death match game modes, Black Ops 4 had another trick up its sleeve, Battle Royale. It is true that battle royale isn’t anything new and other games were already dominating the market when Black Ops 4 came out. However, there is one major thing that set Call of Duty apart.
Call of Duty is not a game anymore; it has turned into a massive brand now. The investment that goes into developing every Call of Duty game is titanic. This means that the end product is extremely well optimized and polished. This is the case with their Battle Royale mode, Blackout as well. It is one of the most polished battle royale games out there. I’d honestly go as far as to say that it is up there with the likes of Fortnite and Apex Legends. However, since it was tied to the main game and wasn’t free, it could not equal the success of its Free to Play competitors.
Blackout is going Free to Play
The competition is about to get tougher though. Activision has announced that Call of Duty: Blackout is going to be free to play for the month of April. This is likely a move to see how well the Battle Royale mode does when it is tested in free-to-play waters. It probably won’t hit the highs of Fortnite or Apex.
However, if it blows up even a little bit, Activision might be tempted to change their strategy. This means that Blackout could potentially go free to play permanently. Blackout going free could also be the turning point in the traditional battle royale landscape. Players can download Call of Duty Blackout for free this month starting from today. However, it still requires a PlayStation Plus or an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play which is a bummer.
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New Map coming to Blackout
The Blackout news doesn’t just stop there though. Activision was on a roll yesterday. In a tweet, Activision stated that they’re finally adding a second map alongside the original Blackout map. The new map is set on the infamous prison island off the coast of San Francisco, called Alcatraz. Alcatraz also fits in well with the Battle Royale setting as it is an actual isolated island with very cool infrastructure on it. According to Activision, players would need to develop newer strategies and tactics to tackle Alcatraz. Gameplay will be a mix and match between both outdoor long ranged fights and, tighter and close-quarters combat sequences.
Lock it down 🔒
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) April 1, 2019
Alcatraz is also considerably smaller than the original Blackout map, which is actually the biggest Call of Duty map ever. This opens the players to a nice choice as both the maps are very different from each other. Alcatraz will be a unique battle royale experience that will change the dynamic of how players think about their approach, according to Activision. The map will also have a higher player density.
This means that players will get into more fights and won’t have a moment of respite. The smaller size of the map would also result in much quicker maps. So, if you want to play Battle Royale but don’t have enough time, Blackout’s Alcatraz might be the one for you.
Some players might not like the new setting though, as Alcatraz does not suit a passive playing style. A lot of people actually like to sneak around the landscape in battle royale matches and pounce from the shadows when the player count is low to win the match. This is probably not going to be possible in Alcatraz as the map would be packed full of players and there aren’t going to be many places for players to hide. However, there is nothing more fun than landing in the middle of a crowd and punching your way out of the mess. With Blackout going free, Alcatraz looks set to be a nice experience for new players. It will also be a neat refresh for older Blackout Players to come back to the game. Alcatraz is out right now on the PlayStation 4, with other platforms to follow.
Future of Call of Duty Battle Royale
There is also speculation about the next Call of Duty game. The game is being developed by Infinity Ward and is set for release later this year. We also have rumours pointing to it being the 4th entry in the amazing Modern Warfare series. Modern Warfare 4 is also reportedly going to be bundled with a remaster of Modern Warfare 2. According to rumours, the remastered version will include all classic Modern Warfare maps.
Fans of the game would be happy to hear about this but the good news doesn’t end there. There is also a chance that if the Blackout free to play trial goes well, we might actually get a separate and free Battle Royale mode for the next Call of Duty game. Some might say that Battle Royale games have peaked but the numbers show otherwise. If the next Call of Duty Battle Royale is actually free to play, it is pretty much guaranteed to have a considerable amount of success. Fingers crossed!