Tag Archives: activision

Call of Duty’s Battle Royale Blackout Mode isn’t Really Anything New

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I’ll be honest.  I suck at ‘Battle Royale’ style games.  You know the type.  One giant map, you (or two or four team mates) flying in on a wing suit then parachute to some location, scrounge around quickly for supplies from ammo to weapons and everything in between while trying to be the last man or woman standing all the while a deadly gas closes in on your playable area.

Fortnite and Player Unknown Battle Grounds, two of the biggest and most popular games in this genre have set the tone of what’s to expect within this game mode and Call of Duty have now thrown their hat into the battleground with their own take called ‘Blackout’ which is now in closed beta mode for anyone with a pre-order for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, due for release in early October.

Blackout is Activision’s way of saying “sorry we’ve killed off solo campaign mode, but here’s a blatant rip off of some other games you ‘might’ enjoy.”  It’s an attempt to fill the void left vacant by the sorely missing solo mode but does it with not much difference from those other game readily available such as two other, very popular releases already with a strong and rabid fanbase.

Between Fortnite and PUBG, Blackout falls heavily into the latter of the two with it’s semi-realistic graphics that we’ve come to expect from CoD.  Thankfully there’s no fort/defense building and there’s an array of vehicles you and your team can take control of to whisk you quickly cross the ever collapsing map.

Dropping into a map, it’s a quick scramble to try and find a weapon of any kind along with backpacks, armor, health packs and ammo along with an assortment of Call of Duty based perks such as Iron Lungs and Dead Silence, among others, before really getting into the game.

That said, and going back to my opener, I truly suck at these games and coming off the face past multiplayer mode, I literally don’t have the patience to sit around and wait (for what seems like an eternity) for the next game to start or run around trying to build myself up only to be taken down in one foul swoop from some random player who was lucky enough to find a sniper rifle and knew how to use it.

Actually, of the ten or so games I have played of Blackout, I have spent more time playing a game of hide-and-seek more than shooting at other players.  In one game, as the last man standing of my squad of four, I managed to survive until the last moments of the game without seeing a single other player.  And such as it goes with this style of game.  Then again, the game shortly after that saw me and my squad drop into a train station, only for me to be taken out within thirty seconds of landing on the ground.

Having played CoD for going on a decade now, I can handle myself nicely within their multiplayer world and if anything, the first person shooter game play does sit nicely within a battle royale setting and makes playing the mode somewhat familiar.  I did find movement, vehicle control, aiming and shooting much more easier within Blackout than I ever did in any other battle royale game.

At the moment, the beta allows maps filled with 80 players compared to the 100 found in other releases, and by the looks of it, may offer some form of character customization with the option to choose playable characters from Black Ops 4’s multiplayer mode and zombie mode along with 4 standard male and female skins that, in all honesty, are pretty boring and bland right now.

Is Blackout a fun game?  Don’t ask me.  Remember, I hate AND suck at battle royale.  Is it a worthy replacement for CoD’s solo campaign mode.  Hell no.  The story-line and characters that make the campaign mode can not be replaced with a game mode such as royale.  But in the end, with three multiplayer options now going on within the world of a single Call of Duty game (Multiplayer, Zombies and Blackout) players will have more opportunity to flick between the gaming style that suits them best.

The closed Blackout beta is now on for PlayStation users and begins on September 14 for Xbox One.  The Blackout beta will end for all platforms on September 17 with the full game launching on October 12.

Do you have any thoughts on the brand new Blackout mode?  Sound off in the comments section!

Update 12/9

After day one of Beta testing, Treyarch announced an increase to the player database per map from 80 players to 88.  Another adjustment is to the item pick up speed which players have noted as being very slow and cumbersome to do.

**WIN**

I have three Call of Duty 4 Blackout Beta Codes up for grabs!  Simply share this post on Twitter and email me your name, country and twitter handle to Anthobuzz@live.com and three random entries will receive a beta code for PlayStation version of Blackout Beta!  Prize drawn Friday, September 14th @ 7pm Australian time.  Winners will be notified by either Email or trough twitter DM.

 

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Where to Next for the Call of Duty Series. WWII and Beyond.

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The official announcement of the next installment in the Call Of Duty series has just been announced confirming the setting to be in World War 2 bringing the first person shooter series back to its ‘boots on ground’ origins (Call of Duty 2 from 2005) but this time with Sledgehammer Games (MW3 and Advanced Warfare) taking the reins.

Taking the series back to its beginnings, according to Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg (in an interview with Polygon.com) was a plan that was put into motion three years ago and was not based off the less than positive player response to 2016’s ultra futuristic based Infinite Warfare, noting back in 2014 when the decision was made, the player passion for the historical war setting.

With the high praise for Modern Warfare remastered, which came as an add-on to the Infinite Warfare release, it really is no surprise that Activision have decided to go back to what CoD players loved most from the series but there is that lingering worry of bringing back a classic while keeping it fresh and modern so as not to bring about that ‘seen it, played it’ feel that is always lurking when playing Modern Warfare Remastered.

While the game (MW Remastered) itself is a stellar moment within the series, (and one I am enjoying playing at the moment over the Infinite Warfare release) the remastered release of the 2007 issue showcases just how dated the game is when compared to more modern releases.  Developed by Raven Software, the remastered issue offered nothing really new to the original release with updated graphics, rendering, sounds and animations.  The inclusion of semi-customizable multiplayer characters (including female skins) were a nice touch along with the ‘depot’ which allowed players to spend their game earned tokens on mystery cases filled with player skins, weapon skins and calling cards and emblems.

The question now begs, with WWII the official setting for the next Call of Duty outing, do Activison have plans to continue down the route we’ve traveled down once before?

The series has delved into WWII numerous times with 2003’s Call of Duty, 2005’s Call of Duty 2, 2006’s Call of Duty 3 and 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War.  2010’s Call of Duty: Black Ops took place in the Cold War and partially within the Vietnam War while all other outings have focused on fictional modern era and futuristic warfare.

One setting that the franchise has never delved into (and one I personally would like to see) is gangland/urban warfare.  While Call of Duty is military based, there’s nothing stating the series couldn’t delve into this area without compromising their tactical themed game-play.  The gangland-and-or-urban warfare theme has featured within games such as Grand Theft Auto and the Saints Row series, but is yet to be given the first person shooter treatment that games like Call of Duty offers.

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Saints Row feature Gangland Warfare, a theme yet to be seen within the CoD Series.

Details about the multiplayer within CoD WWII are still sparse to none but it has been revealed that a ‘social space’ called Headquarters will see players, much like that in Destiny, all converge to show off gear and interact with each other before heading off into a match with Sledgehammers Chief Development Officer Michael Condrey confirming to me that character customization AND playable female soldiers will both feature in this next game.

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Call of Duty: World War II drops November 2nd with exclusive pre-order beta access for PS4 users (date to come).  Pre-orders now open either on line or in store with your local retailers.