Will Black Ops 4’s Battle Royale be any different from Fortnite and PUBG?

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The official gameplay trailers for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 introduced fans to Blackout, Call of Duty’s version of Battle Royale. The reveal featured exciting new gameplay and left the internet buzzing due to the newly introduced game mode.

Battle Royale is the most popular game mode in online multiplayer gaming right now. A hundred players drop down onto a large map in a last-man-standing deathmatch. However, instead of dropping down with your regular guns according to your level or class like in other games, everyone drops down as an equal. You find guns by exploring the map and that’s what makes the mode so fun. Fortnite soon followed and it also became highly popular. Many other games have tried, but only Fortnite and PUBG have been able to maintain and grow their player-base consistently.

Therefore, with Fortnite and PUBG dominating the Battle Royale scene with no indication of slowing down, how can Call of Duty compete? The only way possible is to offer their own unique version of Battle Royale, will it be like that? The Blackout trailer and Call of Duty boss Robert Kostich give a few answers to questions like these without spilling too much information at the same time.

The Map

According to the Blackout trailer, the Battle Royale experience in Call of Duty will be different than that of other games, therefore, giving players a reason to invest in Black Ops 4’s Battle Royale mode. The mode will feature a huge map, a combination of all the maps of the previous Black Ops games. Most of the “iconic” or popular maps will be chosen, combined into one.

Each individual map in Call of Duty has always been unique and has always brought something different to the table. Some of the best maps have come from all three games, with the most popular one being Nuketown. Another highly popular map is ‘Hunted’ in Black Ops 3. The Battle Royale map will be around 1500 times larger than the Nuketown map, giving players enough room to explore and have fun. Given that Activision hasn’t disclosed yet the number of players that’ll be able to play in Blackout, the large map could possibly fit more than a 100 people, which would cause more chaos resulting in a much more fun-filled experience.

All the individual maps can act as little areas to fight in, similar to the concept of ‘Towns’ in Fortnite. It’s interesting to see how Black Ops 4 adds 10 years worth of maps all into one, and whether there will be some new things added in so that people are rewarded for exploring. Activision hasn’t given much detail about this aspect of the map, but expect them to come out with more details soon.

The gameplay

The gameplay is one thing that will help in making Blackout a success. No matter how much hate the game may get, one thing is certain: Call of Duty has one of the best multiplayer gameplay experience ever. The fast-paced, action-packed, smooth gameplay is what makes a lot of people fall in love with the game, therefore, we should not expect any less from this game.

Given Call of Duty’s smooth and fast-paced gameplay, Blackout will become really interesting because it won’t be the same as in PUBG and Fortnite. It’ll also most likely be in first-person, thus giving incoming players a new perspective into everything given that Fortnite is a 3rd person game. Combining Call of Duty’s combat mechanics and gameplay, with a large map and Battle Royale is a recipe for success if done right.

Moreover, the large map also ties into another aspect of Blackout. Players can travel within the map by land, water, and air through different vehicles. It’s similar to PUBG but has more options. Given that this is Call of Duty, it’s also entirely possible to have weaponized vehicles, imagine the possibility of having aerial fights with fighter jets. Zombies will also be a part of Blackout which makes things a lot more interesting.

Fortnite also has a mode dedicated to zombies, but it’s a separate mode, Call of Duty also has its own highly popular Zombies mode. Incorporating Zombies inside the actual Battle Royale mode will give Call of Duty an edge in the competition. Although there is no word on how Zombies will be incorporated into Blackout, a likely scenario is that zombies will be a part of an area inside the large map and that a bit of exploring will help find that area. This will also help ensure that the game experience is “uniquely Black Ops”, so it now depends on how Activision incorporates zombies into Battle Royale.

The competition

It won’t be easy for Call of Duty to compete with the likes of PUBG and Fortnite. In particular, Fortnite is the most popular online multiplayer game out there right now and its numbers increase day by day. The game creators also churn out content consistently, which ensures that players keep on playing without getting bored.

Black Ops 4 not only needs to have a unique experience as far as Battle Royale is concerned, but it also needs to have a lot of content along with regular updates in order to compete. According to Kostich, who spoke to Gamespot, they haven’t made Blackout just for the sake of it, they came up with the idea once they figured out how to make give it the Call of Duty touch they wanted to give. He said:

“Blackout just emerged as something that was passionately what the development team wanted to do and bring a new kind of experience to Call of Duty fans,”
“And I think it’s one that Black Ops is uniquely positioned to do with the rich history of Black Ops.”
“Certainly the Call of Duty mechanics, the fluidity of our controls, the pace of our action; that for us is like the highest end that we can provide,”

Although there isn’t much information regarding Blackout out there, Kostich’s words reassure fans that they’ll be getting the full Call of Duty experience. Then, Black Ops 4 can really be a competitive force which would then pus the competition to improve as well, a win-win for Battle Royale lovers.

Furthermore, Activision also stated that Black Ops 4 will be getting frequent updates, which will include content. This is great news for Call of Duty fans because unless more content is added to keep things fresh, an online multiplayer game can get stale and boring pretty fast. Therefore, constant updates will keep players wanting to come for more. It remains to be seen whether these updates will be free or will come as part of DLC.

Despite the little information out there for Blackout, it has a lot of potential. If it works, then it’ll start a new wave of Call of Duty games featuring Battle Royale, and perhaps not just Call of Duty either. However, there are still many questions regarding Blackout which will likely get answered in the near future. Till then, all we can do is wait and speculate.


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